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Protecting Your Children from Porn

Protecting Your Children from Porn

This Christmas many of our children will be getting a whole range of techy gifts including tablets, smart phones and games consoles, all of these devices can access the internet and if left unrestricted there is the potential for exposure to some of the most explicit internet content even without meaning to access it though accidental searches and some surprising results for the most innocent search terms.

We will look at ways of protecting your children from this later in this article.

When I was going through my teens in the 1980’s the closest we ever really got to porn was watching the odd dodgy documentary on channel 4 about prostitution or sex education lessons at school which involved Mr Garret the science teacher embarrassingly talking through some sterile pictures of a bloke with a beard (it was always a bloke with a beard) in the missionary position with what looked like one of the women out of Abba, or every now and then one of the boys would discover a crumpled porno mag at the back of their dad’s wardrobe and bring a couple of faded pictures in for us all to look at. I remember once finding a copy of Mayfair from 1979 stashed inside a copy of the Farmers Weekly, there was a woman that looked suspiciously like one of our neighbours in half a Notts Forrest kit with her breasts out…. quite tame by modern standards!

These days things are a lot different!

It’s hardly a secret that there is a vast amount of pornography flooding the internet. It’s said that “if it exists, there’s porn of it”, believe it or not there is Toaster Porn, Food Porn, Shrimp Porn, Guitar Porn,  Teapot Porn…. you name it, it’s out there on the net somewhere.

Daily Infographic reports that 12% of the websites on the internet are porn sites. Around 28,000 internet users are viewing porn right now. 40 million US citizens are regular visitors to the sites. 1 in 3 porn viewers are female and 35% of all internet downloads are porn related. That is a boat load of porn available to absolutely anyone who searches for it.

It’s quite frankly astonishing how many results for pornographic content will appear through the most innocent search terms using search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. There are many cases where pornographic results have come up for the most basic search terms. A very worrying example would be with the 2013 release of ‘Pokémon X’, a Nintendo DS game targeted at a younger audience.  When you google ‘pokemon x videos’, as many kids undoubtedly will, the very first result that comes up in Google out of over 50 million results is a Pokémon pornographic video from the porn website X Videos.

My oldest daughter recently reported to me that when searching for ‘perfect girls shoes’ for her daughter on google the top two results are a porn site called ‘perfect girls’! With clerks shoes just above them in the sponsored results.

Porn has even been developed for TV Show and Film characters, including The Simpsons, Twilight, Harry Potter and many others. It is everywhere and phrasing a word wrong could land you in some serious trouble. For example, even typing something as harmless as ‘Hermione riding a broomstick’ brings up a few questionable images on google image results.

Exposure to such website content can not only be very confusing but exceptionally damaging to a young child, and it’s doubtful that many parents want their children seeing these things.

Amazingly it’s not just porn sites with questionable content. My son enjoys playing Minecraft and just recently while looking at minecraft videos on you tube I was astonished to discover he had been regularly viewing demo videos of other players using the most expletive commentary, this goes for videos of most of the games our kids and teenagers play, out of the 20 games videos that we checked on you tube over a quarter of them included commentary with unbelievable bad language, these videos are not even restricted.

Thankfully there are ways we can protect our children from a lot of the nasty content on the internet, whether they are using smart phones, tablets, computers or games consoles.

Computers and Laptops

There are various net nanny type internet content blocking programs out there, some of the popular ones include:

K9 Web Protection: a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids. Visit http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

Net Nanny is a world leader in Internet filtering. Net Nanny checks each web page you visit, in real time, and will allow or block a webpage based on your preferences. Net Nanny provides monitoring features that are pre-set, which can be changed to suit the unique needs of each member of the family. You have the flexibility to determine the type of content you feel is appropriate for each Net Nanny user. Visit http://www.netnanny.com/features/internet-filter

iPhone and iPad

Apple includes enhanced parental controls on iOS 7 including an iPad and iPhone porn block feature that can restrict the ability of users to access websites with adult material. This is a free feature in iOS 7 and it is at the system level so it can block porn and other adult themed websites throughout the device without requiring the user to use a specific browser.

When you have iOS 7 installed the following taps will get you to the point where you can block porn on the iPhone and iPad.

Settings -> General -> Enable Restrictions -> Websites -> Limit Adult Content

This will prompt you to enter a pass code, and you should make it one that is different from the user’s unlock code, or they can turn it on and off at will. When prompted create a secret code that the user will not know.

Sony Playstation

Go to Sony’s parental controls page via the web address below and find out how to apply content restrictions on films and games, set chat preferences and limit in-game spending.

https://support.us.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5097

X Box

The Xbox 360 console lets you customize and manage your family’s access to games, movies and television content. The Xbox 360 parental controls can be used to control the console itself and access to Xbox Live.

http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-360/security/xbox-live-parental-control

Nintendo Wii

Detailed instructions on how to configure parental controls.

http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wiiu/en_na/system_settings.jsp?menu=parental_controls_faq&submenu=wup-pc-ht-setup

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