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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

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I too, have acidentally seen porn on the web. This needs to be stopped.

On a serious note, I guess one of the few perks of having girls is that this shouldn't be a huge problem. Then again, I certainly don't want them stumbling on bighugescarything.com.

These are the things that frighten me to my core. That and those freako, internet predetors that seem to love to appear on Dateline.

"66 percent said they had not sought out the images."

Yeah, OK if you say so.

Good info none the less.

Well, you have to assume that the study is not all that scientific. I just used it as a jumping point to discuss the issue.

My husband did a search this weekend on Ebay for "road bikes" and the first item to come up included a photo of a naked woman with her legs spread open. So yes, you can come across porn if you're not trying. He reported the posting to the site administrator since it obviously should not have been there. It doesn't seem like changing settings on our computer have blocked this kind of thing. Or would it?

No, probably not. Unless you decide to block e-bay from your kids, which has other merits.

I think the best you can do is limit the quantity and number of times something like this might happen.

Funny thing is, it's really hard to find good porn on the internet.

:P

That's probably true, though I can't admit it. My wife reads this site.

Thanks for the "plug" Brett!

Lot's of great advice and helpful information. I liked your idea about setting up your own email hosting, but once the kids are older, if they know that you're monitoring their email, they'll be quick to get free accounts at gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. So I guess the trick would be to lead them to believe that their email is private. But then you could never confront them about it without blowing your cover. :-)

When I was a kid, you had to hop a train and go to a major city, and get into the bad areas to find the porn culture. (I have vague recollections of being in NYC and seeing some bawdy stuff when I was a kid, but I didn't know what those places were until I got older.)

Now, it all comes flying into your home at 3Mbps or faster.

A friend of mine uses a router that apparently can subscribe to a blacklist of IP addresses that are updated regularly. Since it's blocked at the router, it doesn't matter how the kids are logged on or what browsers they are using. That's something else to consider.

Mine are pre-teens now and I do worry a bit, but the kids computer is right here in the living room, only 4 feet away from mine. So far I've just been trying to keep an eye on the activity and I haven't seen any red flags so far.

My pleasure.

Good point on the e-mail, but of course, there are many tricks around each block.

For example, You can block a lot of stuff at the router, but can you block enough? There are "porn blogs" nowadays run by individuals just having fun.

So in the end, keeping the computer in view at all times seems to be the best over the long haul. And even then, you never know what's going on in the house of your son's best friend.

Mitch: Oops, I didn't see your comment for some reason. Fortunately, we have our TV off so I don't see all the scary predators on Nightline.

No you can't block everything and never will be able to. You'll go insane trying. The router solution I mentioned has the benefit of doing it on all of the computers in the house at once, but it's still just a list maintained by people that gets automatically loaded into it, and you can't keep up with the pace of new domains that people dream up. I bet there are thousands of new ones registered every day to put the filth onto.

I think a "Deny All" by default is the way to go and when the kids need access to a new website, you put them on the white list as needed.

But another point that you mentioned earlier I meant to address. A big part of the problem is that parents aren't always the "sysadmins" of the house. It's often a kid. So the kid creates the accounts and the kid as admin rights, and then the parents try to install software to protect the kids. But if the kids have administrative rights and some know-how, they will be able to disable or uninstall the software somehow.

I've told parents that to secure the machine, give your kids limited accounts and you hold the password to the admin account. Then they tell me that they can't do that because it's too much of a pain to have to log onto the computer every time the kid wants to install something.

Then the kids install keyloggers to get a hold of their parents passwords so that they can disable the parental control software. It's just classic.

It ain't easy being a parent in this brave new world, so get yourself signed up to a "Windows System Administrators" night course and earn your certification in "responsible parenting". ;-)

Thanks Mark for the great advice.

After reading your article and comments, I conclude that

…“No one can shield their children forever”. But what you can do is help them to interpret and properly deal with what they have seen, heard and done…

I strongly believe that Internet is the ‘’today’’ part of new technologies and like any powerful tool of nature, has to be managed and accessed properly to get real benefits out of it. And, only a combination of educational-guide tool and parental involvement is still the most effective way to keep our kids safe online…

As in the real world, parents set limits on where children can play depending on their age and maturity, keeping toddlers in the back yard, for instance, while letting teenagers roam…

That’s why we created AxylomClass ® a 2nd generation of Internet parent control software based on an innovative approach without exploiting standard technological filter, spying methods or censure approaches but with a Trust mode of navigation to develop a real parent-child communication.

AxylomClass ® lend a hand as parent to develop and to sustain self-governance, ethical and critical attitudes from yours children electronically connected to the world with a solid control on Internet clutter by creating your private Internet (Virtual Library).

Finally, to give them a reason to push aside all of that clutter and focus on reaching their true potential at home, in school and beyond

Sounds interesting.

Good article, all good points.
One day my young son thought about creating his own website...so he typed in his first and last name, tacked a .com on the end, and the screen was suddenly filled with a large image of an aroused naked man - a gay porn video site. After that wake-up call, I found this free-for-home-use software:
http://www.k9webprotection.com/
You can even set it so that the watchdog BARKS when somebody tries to access a questionable site. And you have per-user settings and easy overrides, so it's easy for dad (and mom) to still get their p0rn while the kids can't. :-)

Isn't it ridiculous that with all the rogue programmers, none of them seem to turn good and offer a solution to this HUGE problem?

Get a grip guys, lets protect our kids from this sleaze!

We just found our 9 yr old son on pornhub.com OH MY. I could not sleep and found him at 5 am on the site. We are now installing parental controls through our Norton, should have done this before!! I was hoping this site might give advice "what do I say to him?" I was calm and asked him what questions he had about what he saw. Changing our password. Our computer is in kitchen within sight. My advice - do not wait to protect your kids. Our son is in the advanced program at school and is very computer literate, more so than us. A friend told him about the site. He is younger than what your article said and he did search it out on purpose. We are a very hands on, going to church every Sunday type of family. I thought I had time still with the whole SEX talk and parental control thing. Guess not!

You might want to look at installing this software: http://www.softwaretime.com/

Even if you got rid of every computer, iphone, etc.. in the house, kids and parents alike will find a way to get it. My advice is to live somewhere where there's no technology. lol
Seriously though, what do you do (this is my question) when, not IF,, your 12 yr. old daughter goes to her dad's house (the ex), and opens the computer to do Club Penguin, only to find the screen on a male porn site. She texted me furious, scared, felt betrayed, confused, etc... It's devastating to find out something like this. So now what? We talked, he and I talked, we all talked it out, and still she's very hurt and confused. She shuts down around him now. He's been a good dad in every other way. help please.

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