Internet Filters – It all Comes Together
This is part 3 in a series.
By Edward Allison
In part 1 of this series I discussed the importance talking to your kids about sex and educating them in the way you feel is appropriate, because if they turn to the internet they are going to be taught some pretty scary and disgusting things. Part 2 was about adding an internet filter to your router so all internet traffic coming into your home would be filtered.
In this section I want to discuss internet filtering at the device level, this means the actual computer, tablet or media device. This is critical because mobile devices are, well, mobile. So they are taken out of the home and therefore your filtered router does not help. There are many software applications out there that help to filter pornographic and other unwanted content. Some examples are; Netnanny.com, Covenanteyes.com, Internetsafety.com and many others. Do your research by looking at the features and deciding what your priorities are and how capable you feel with setting them up.
The one that I happen to use is K9Webprotection.com. They offer a free software package that is MAC and Windows compatible. They also offer apps through ITunes for Mac devices and Play store for Android devices. The K9 web filter offers a lot of neat features. I have mine set to turn the internet off all together on the kids’ computer during the hours of 9PM to 6AM. The kids have learned to get their homework and other internet stuff done by 9PM. If my college girl needs a bit more time, it allows me or my wife to extend the time by 15 minute segments. There are also logs and adjustable content filters to play with. But being a free software, support is limited.
Most of these filtering programs offer 30 day trials. So go do some research and test them yourself.
Please remember that the most important point of contact with the internet is person using the device. Our goal at Educate and Empower Kids is to encourage youth to develop a healthy sexuality through love, communication, education and empowerment. Pornography is not a good way for our children to learn about healthy sexual relationships. You need to teach your kids that no filter is perfect and that if something pops up that tries to lead them to pornography they can just close it up and walk away.
As stated, there is no perfect solution, but a combination of router filtering, device filtering and teach your children to avoid pornography will be the strongest defense.
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