Access to internet pornography can be as near as one click away. Read some of our top tips to protect you and your kids.
Use “safe search” mode when it comes to search engines
Whether you’re a Google user (http://www.google.com/familysafety/) or you use Bing as your search engine (http://www.bing.com/preferences.aspx), they each have their own safe search modes that block inappropriate content . Don’t forget to utilise these settings on other platforms such as You Tube as well – they’re there to help protect you and your family.
Use the tools provided by your computers/other device’s operating system:
Both Windows and Mac operating systems provide family safety settings that are easy to find and simple to set up too.
Use family safety tool services:
These are very specific filters that you can tailor to fit your family’s individual needs. With levels of appropriateness changing a great deal as children grow older, these are ideal. Often called ‘parental controls’, they’re also great for blocking out information that you yourself are unhappy to see.
Remember that the controls need to be installed on every device your child uses to go online: game consoles, cell phones, tablets, personal laptops and computers.
Look at your child’s browsing history – often.
It’s vitally important that you take an active role in monitoring exactly what your child sees on the internet – and it’s very easy for you to do so. By looking at your child’s browsing history, you can know exactly what they’ve been looking at and whether you need to tighten the security you currently have. It’s worth noting that there are a variety of very innocent sounding phrases youth use to get around pornography filters – like “breast feeding” and “childbirth”. There are also some fast-changing slang terms that filters may not catch up with like “walking the dog,” which is a slang term for sex.
If you see odd search terms, give the sites a quick look.
Social networking sites have privacy filters for content to be shared among known friends only.
Use them and make sure you check often that the settings are still in place. Unfortunately, a great deal of pornography can be (and is) shared among private albums on social networking sites.
Scan the photos on your child’s mobile phone once in a while.
While your younger children won’t be sexting, by the time they’ve hit their tweens (early teens), they may well have started dipping their toe in these sorts of messages. Explain to your children that every now and then, you’ll be checking the images on their phone.
Check the app that your child downloads to their device.
Some mobile content filters may not catch particular inappropriate apps.
You are more of a tool than you think.
Have a regular chat with your children and spouse about what your family finds appropriate and inappropriate. This conversation should never be a one-off but must serve as support for your family – in which you’re able to discover and ensure that they’re safe from pornography and other inappropriate websites.