The Challenge“Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.” –U.S. Department of Justice
Average Age of first exposure to pornography
- 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18 90% 90%
- 71% of teens hide online behaviour from their parents. 71% 71%
- 28% of 16-17 year olds have been unintentionally exposed to porn online 28% 28%
- 35% of 17-year-olds have received a sext. 35% 35%
How to help your Family
Filtering your Internet
The reality is, you can’t be with your child at every click, so you have to teach them how to make good decisions. Most importantly, you have to have to encourage them to share their experiences with you — the good and the bad. You also have to be careful about falling into one of two traps:
Over-blocking: Some security solutions might be too restrictive, and block many sites you or your children need or want to see. Overly restrictive blocking can be frustrating for you and your family if you have to unblock sites on a regular basis and can also be a motivator for them to work around the protection.
Under-blocking: On the other hand, if your security software does not have sophisticated Web filtering capabilities, it may not block enough inappropriate or dangerous content. As a result, your family may wander into (or intentionally find) sites you don’t want to see.
Pornography is Everywhere
Keep in mind that with today’s technology your children can access inappropriate online material not only at home, but also when they are out and about… on a neighbour’s WiFi, public WiFi at many facilities and of course if they have a data plan.
So for proper filtering and accountability it is best to take a three-pronged approach:
- Talk – keep up the dialog about what you children access online,
- Filter – set up a filter on your family internet connection
- Monitor – set up an app on mobile devices (phones, iPods, tablets, laptops)
One strategy is to ensure that your home internet connection has a filter and monitor installed. This will both block access to inappropriate content and allow you to see what devices in the home have accessed.
The following are some brands that may be well known but are not recommended:
- K9 web filter – purchased by Symantec and not actively updated
- NetNanny & CyberPatrol – Not very well updated
There are also some monitoring tools available (no filtering) and the following are not recommended:
- Products by Retina-X — PhoneSherrif, TeenShield, MobileSpy
Resources on managing internet-connected technology including the book: Through the Screen:
Internet Safety and Tips for Everyone. Book and resources by Martin VanWoudenberg.
A Digital Agency
Where can you turn if you or your family struggles with pornography …