By Dan Garner, LMHCA
It is becoming more and more difficult to protect our families from pornography but it is not hopeless! The following articles, which will be released over the next 2 weeks, are designed to give you the most up to date information on web filters, tips and tricks for today’s tech savvy kids and best practices for keeping communication open and relationships healthy.
There are many options available when it comes to web filters today. However, no web filtering system is going to be enough because kids are too tech savvy for that to be sufficient. It is a good first line of defense, though, and a must for any home especially if you know about some of the better options out there:
OpenDNS - This should be a part of every home filtering system! This is a filter that you set up in your wireless router so that everything that gets broadcast throughout your home is filtered before it even reaches a computer or device; and it’s FREE. What this means is that even if you kids’ friends bring their phones into the home and hook up to your wifi the information will still be filtered. Every computer, phone and tablet that uses your wifi will be kept safe and secure. Of course, this does nothing to filter other signals that can be picked up in your home (i.e. 4g, LTE, neighbors wifi etc.) but for less savvy kids it can stop a lot of inappropriate content and curious searching in its tracks.
Mobicip- This is a web browser that you can install on your devices that is automatically filtered; no settings for kids to fiddle with or work around. It will be important that you erase whatever other web browser is on the phone (Safari, Chrome etc.) otherwise they will still have access (although if you have OpenDNS set up on your router it will still be filtered). You will also want to lock down your child’s ability to download their own apps without your approval. This can be done as part of the parental settings on all smart phone.
Accountability Software - One of the most effective tools you have to protect your family from pornography actually doesn’t block pornography; at least that is not it’s major function. Accountability programs such as Covenant Eyes monitor every key stroke and mouse click and log it in a cloud so that you can access it anywhere at anytime and know exactly what has been accessed. This is useful because one of the first things that someone who has viewed pornography is going to do is clear the history, cookies and cache of the web browser (or they are going to use the private viewing setting) in order to cover their tracks. By having this type of software in place you are able to see everything that happened if the actual computer/device no longer has that information. This is not to be used a tool to “catch” people in the act so that you can shame and punish them. Rather it is a powerful tool for opening up a discussion about internet use and encouraging openness and compassion.
As will be stressed throughout this serious, none of this information is intended to give parents license to shame and control their kids. This information is intended to provide protection for your family and to foster an environment of communication and compassion. I have seen these tools to be very affective with the clients that I work with. If you would like more information please feel free to contact me for a free 15 minute consultation.
-In Tri-Cities, WA
Keywords: Pornography Addiction, Porn Addiction, Sex Addiction, Web Filters, Family,