I have heard many times the excuse of “I don’t want to put filters on my computer because it will block stuff that it shouldn’t”. On one hand I understand where the concern is. For some, computers are a foreign language and on top of learning how to fix regular issues that come up, you are being asked to add a new complexity to it!?!
From personal experience I know that web filter companies have figured out how to simplify the interface so the average Joe (mom, dad, or any person) can use these tools to their advantage without all of the hassle. What I want to do is show the average user that it is possible to set a filter to exactly how strong/strict you need it to be.
One Example is a free PC/Apple Web-Filter called K-9 Web Protection. You can find the link on the resource page. I have used the program through and through. In a way, it has helped getting out of the slavery of pornography addiction much easier. It blocked what it needed to block and it was flexible to change when it needed some tweaking. The good news is, it has multiple levels of security as shown in the picture below from high, moderate, minimal, and custom. These settings allow you to make it very generic or very specific. Did I mention it is free?
For the parents of little ones:
You should start at a young age, as soon as they can hold a tablet in hand ;), by speaking to your children about what they should do when they see inappropriate content online by accident. Go tell mom and dad right away! Next, put a parental filter on any and everything electronic (including websites). This will help create an atmosphere of safe browsing, and set a standard to show your children by way of experience what they can and cannot look at. This could include social networking if you would like, or even all image/video searches…but you can choose which category to filter on.
You may be thinking this will never happen to my little one I don’t need this, but remember the average first viewing age of pornography is 11 years old. This of course can happen by accident, but it can also happen when the neighborhood friend comes over and decides to show your son what his brother was looking at online. It could only take that one time to ruin a kids life, especially if they aren’t told beforehand how to deal with something like this.
For the parents of teens:
Sadly, by this time your kids may already have some secrets. According to the statistics on my previous post “here” :
– More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13.
– More than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.
While I was a youth leader at my local church I spoke to parents about what issues their kids will be dealing with during their teenage years. Most of them were oblivious to what their teens were doing outside of the house let alone what they were doing online. One way to help make sure your teens/young adults are doing what they are supposed to online and on smartphones/tablets is to use the same filters and to check their online activity on a regular basis. K-9 also allows you to put certain times that it does not allow internet activity like say… 11pm -6am Mon-Fri. Why in the world would a teen need to be online that late when no one else is awake?
For those who struggle with a true addiction to pornography, these filters/blocks are a mandatory action. Some of you may need to ask someone else to keep the password for you while you have the filter on the strictest settings. “Because if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell”. -Mathew 5:30
Even then, this alone will not get you out of the slavery of addiction, there is usually a deeper issue than just having access to illicit materials. I will be writing a separate post on this soon.
*I promise, I am not getting paid to endorse any of these products. I just have a passion to serve Christ by pointing out awesome resources which are already available on the internet.