The ideal solution for protecting one’s family from internet pornography and other inappropriate material consists of a triad of three essential components: filtering, accountability, and router protections.
1. Filtering Software
Filtering software should be an obvious component of protecting one’s family from inappropriate online material online. There several excellent choices available, our family uses SafeEyes. Note, this type of software is not free. Typically there is an upfront charge to purchase a program and a yearly subscription charge for keeping the filter up to date.
If you balk at the idea of paying, you should ask yourself the question, “Can we afford NOT to use it!”
2. Accountability Software
However, internet filtering software alone will not block all porn sites… such a filter does not exist. In addition software that filters inappropriate sites there should also be an accountability trigger.
Accountability software ‘issues a red flag’ if someone tries to circumvent the filter. Some filtering programs have an accountability features built in, others do not. So you should be careful when selecting filtering software that you know what features the program offers. If it does not include accountability features an additional program should be used.
One should assume that all filters… if let loose in the hands of a 17 year old would allow at least 2 or 3 inappropriate sites through after only 5 minutes of ingenious searching. Just assume that to be the case. BUT… during that time, such activity should trigger an accountability filter that sends a notice to a responsible party.
3. Network Wide Router Level Protection
The thrid level of protection that should be used is network wide ‘router level’ filtering.
Without being too technical this type of filtering actually works with your local network’s router to prevent any device connected to the network though that router to be filtered. For this purpose we recommend OpenDNS which is free for home use.
This is the best method of discouraging and preventing access to inappropriate websites.
This blog post was adapted (with permission) from an email written by Jesse Gentile. Thanks Jesse!
Image credit: Kenny Louie