The Ultimate Guide to Blocking Porn on Mobile Devices

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Some say it’s harmless, that neither the viewer nor the subject is at risk because no one is physically hurt.

Some say it’s no one’s business what you view in private, out of sight of others.

Some say it’s everywhere anyway, so why be so concerned?

Here’s our guide on not only WHY but how to block porn on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Samsung Android mobile device.

What are the problems with pornography?

The definition of pornography: printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings is wide-ranging, heavily debated and has existed as long as the earliest creation of erotic images. But there’s no question the advent of technology combined with the addictive nature of pornography, plus the availability of violent images and child-based websites, has turned the industry into the worst of what experts call “digital heroin,” the ability to get and keep the attention of users to the point where everyday life suffers for the sake of greater online thrills. Pornography’s digital availability easily drawn young smartphone users into its world, creating addictions, mental and emotional disorders, costly rehab-based treatment and lasting consequences.

Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pornography

The consumption of pornography has evolved—and skyrocketed. What was once a matter of stealthily stealing someone’s father’s naughty magazine and getting it put back in place before being discovered is now as simple as turning on your smartphone. Our devices go everywhere with us, and now porn can, too.

One of the world’s largest, most-visited pornography sites, Pornhub, releases statistics every year that give us some insight on who is watching porn—and how much they’re consuming. Take a look at some of these numbers from 2018.

  • In 2018, there were 33.5 billion visits to the site (five billion more than in 2017).
  • There were 962 searches per second.
  • The top four searches were “lesbian”, “hentai”, “milf” and “stepmom”.
  • The United States contributes the highest daily traffic to this site.
  • People are spending more time watching: the average visit lasts 10 minutes and 13 seconds (up 14 seconds from last year).
  • Women now make up 29 percent of Pornhub’s viewing audience, which is up three percent from last year.
  • The average user age on Pornhub is 35.5 years.
  • Worldwide, 80 percent of Pornhub visits are done on smartphones and tablets. (In the U.S., 91 percent of users visit the site on mobile devices.)

Keep in mind, this is data from just one pornography site. There are thousands of others.

Stats on Mobile Porn

Much of the porn on the web is now available via your child’s mobile phone. Even though it is slightly dated, just check out how pervasive pornography is on the below info graphic.

Pornography Statistics on Mobile Devices Inforgraphic
The statistics of pornography online is mind blowing. You can block porn for free using Netsanity Free or other free methods.

Why do people even use porn?

We think there’s an easy answer to this: people are curious or unsatisfied by what’s happening in their real sex lives, so they go online. This is only part of the issue.

One study, referenced by Psychology Today, found the most common reasons for viewing porn (many people have more than one reason for doing so):

  • 94.4 percent: sexual satisfaction
  • 87.2 percent: sexual arousal
  • 86.5 percent: orgasm
  • 73.8 percent: alleviate stress
  • 70.8 percent: alleviate boredom
  • 53 percent: forget daily problems

Still, it doesn’t matter why people use it. The results are often the same.

The Problem With Rising Porn Consumption

Like alcohol, drugs, or gambling, porn can become an addiction. A video that seems daring and exciting the first time eventually fails to elicit  the same strong sexual excitement; the user needs more and more to get the same result:

“…repeated exposure dulls the reward circuitry response to pleasure.”

Porn also gives us the wrong idea about sex in real life, particularly for young people who haven’t yet engaged in sexual activity with a partner. They may watch porn with:

“…no storyline, no emotional connection, no buildup to the sexual performance, and no concern for physical or emotional safety. There is no talking, no negotiating, no seducing, no romancing, and no tenderness. Usually kissing and foreplay are totally absent. All that’s there is an endless stream of idealized body parts and sexual acts. Zimbardo and Duncan assert that because of this boys’ brains are being rewired to demand unrealistic levels of novelty, stimulation, and excitement, and, as a result, they are becoming totally out of sync with real-world romantic relationships.”

Furthermore, porn can contribute to sexual dysfunction. A man may be able to get aroused and experience an orgasm while watching porn, but not while engaging in sex with a partner. This is just one-way porn damages relationships.

Dr. Michael Rich, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard School of Public Health:

“Pornography has many, many different effects, but the central one that exists regardless of age at its base, pornography commodifies the sexual act. [Pornography] turns something that is intimate, human communication and intimate connection with another human into something which can be bought and sold”

Studies show that young men repeatedly exposed to pornography are more likely to objectify women, and young women who view pornography are more likely to self-objectify and tolerate sexual harassment from men.

Some children may seek out sexually explicit content online out of curiosity, but accidental exposure is also common. One national survey found that 25% of its participants (ages 10 to 17) had experienced unwanted online exposure to pornography in the past year.

Be aware of the different ways the internet can be accessed in your home especially when mobile devices are involved.

**OK, that’s a lot of information so far. Take a break from reading and watch this short film. It’s one father’s take on pornography and we think it’s a pretty powerful message! 👇 👇 👇

How Pornography Can Hurt a Relationship

The porn user may start to feel that his or her partner doesn’t measure up. Perhaps the partner won’t do the things the porn user finds exciting in the videos, or it becomes a matter of appearance. Combined with the satisfaction he or she receives while watching porn, and (perhaps) the dysfunction he or she experiences during real-life sex, the porn user may prefer to watch porn and avoid his or her partner. If the non-porn viewing partner discovers the porn use, he or she may feel betrayed, almost like being cheated on.

This article references a study indicating that women whose boyfriends/husbands viewed porn weren’t as happy within their relationships. They were bothered by porn use and it damaged their self-esteem as well as their relationship satisfaction and sex life.

Porn use can chip away at trust in a relationship. When one partner discovers the other partner’s porn use, he or she may wonder how long it’s been going on and why the porn user felt the need to look to pornography for sexual satisfaction. A secret is a secret; even if the user claims it’s not a big deal, trying to keep it a secret indicates it is a big deal.

An Australian study showed that boys tend to view porn for the first time around age 13, while girls see it for the first time at age 16. About 80 percent of young men aged 15-29 watched on a weekly basis, while about 66 percent of young women that age reported watching at least once a month. Starting at such a young age and watching with such frequency, it’s easy to see how porn can shape sexual attitudes and experiences that last a lifetime.

How and When Kids Find Porn on Their Smartphones & Tablets

Children are two clicks away from pornography as soon as they learn how to use a smartphone or tablet. One click to the website, often designed as a kid-friendly place, and the second click assuring the site owner they are 18 years of age. The porn sites have no means to truly verify the user’s age; it is strictly honor system.

Children learn about porn sites from other children on the school bus, on the playground and at sporting events. But they also find information on social media, using fake names and secondary accounts, unbeknownst to their parents. A classic example is a “Finsta”, created by teens as secret second accounts on Instagram as a way to hide activity from adults and indulge in a different, more daring and possibly dangerous lifestyle. (Read more about Finsta accounts here).

Kids as young as third grade find porn through online videos. At this age, lengthy text or dialogue is difficult to comprehend, but colorful, active videos are similar to TV cartoons or gaming, making them attractive to young children.

The brain of a young child isn’t prepared for the bombardment of violent or highly sexual images; the early viewing often leaves children confused and disturbed by what they’ve seen, even though they don’t comprehend the images. But continued viewing desensitizes their feelings over time, so they are acclimated to porn and it becomes more normalized.

The Danger for Teens and Families

Pornography is both accessible and anonymous for all involved. No one knows the users or those depicted. But both are victimized in the long run. The user gets pulled back to a website that tracks their visits and could even use this information for blackmail or to sell to illegal digital operators. The pornographic subjects often receive no compensation for repeated use of their images or have no idea as to the true purpose of those images. Minors used for the purpose of pornography feed an exploitative global industry that abuses about 10,000 children every year.

Pornography is addictive for its thrilling and unknown nature. Similar to gambling at a casino, you pull the handle of the slot machine, not knowing whether the next time is a dud or a winner. After a while, it’s no longer about the reward, it’s the addiction to anticipation: pulling the handle, feeding the machine and waiting for the results that matter more. And like any addiction, it’s a difficult habit to stop once established.

Digital pornography is easy to hide from family members. Many websites are purposely designed to look like family-friendly sites, and with nearly half of all teens admitting to nearly constant online time, teens easily switch from social sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr to porn sites and back without the casual parental observer knowing the difference.

Pornography is expensive: the websites’ initial draw is free viewing, but this is a $97 billion worldwide industry, and the money made comes from subscriptions, access to “premium” content (often hardcore, violent images) and merchandise. Once use of the credit card on the site, and the information is recorded for later use, sale to other sites or exposure if the site is hacked.

The Costs of Porn Addiction

Pornography addiction is treatable through counseling, outpatient or residential rehabilitation programs, which are often expensive and not covered by insurance. Outpatient treatment may cost around $500 per week, while in-patient programs run as high as $14,000 per month. And relapse happens, as is the case with any form of addiction; between 40% and 60% of addicts relapse within the first year.

The Emotional Losses

The addiction to porn often substitutes for real-life relationships. Kids who form these digital bonds early often fail to form or maintain emotional bonds with family and friends, retreat into the fantasy online world and remove themselves from everyday life, wreaking havoc at school and work and turning the balanced family dynamic into a battlefield as time, money and energy are directed to saving them from their addiction.

Arrest, Conviction, Jail Time, Legal Bills

While there is no one set of laws covering the criminal aspects of the creation, distribution, and possession of adult pornography, strict and straightforward laws exist for child pornography. It is a federal crime to view, possess, create or distribute such images, and violators are subject to federal prosecution that may result in heavy fines and up to 20 years in prison. Adult pornography laws vary from state to state, and what is legal in one jurisdiction may result in prosecution elsewhere. The legal price of pleasure includes bail, attorney fees, court costs, loss of a job, termination from school, and a jail record, which impacts any future employment or school opportunities.

Protecting Your Family Relationships

While some people may say porn is a tool in their healthy sexual relationship, more and more research indicates that pornography does more harm than good. If you discover that your partner has been viewing porn, you need to have a discussion about how it makes you feel. It may be necessary to see a counselor or a therapist, either together or individually.

As a parent, you can help protect your children from pornography and its devastating effects by using parental controls. Of course, an open dialogue is also important, as your children may be less likely to seek porn out of curiosity if they have a place where they can get their questions answered. Still, blocking pornographic sites on your child’s mobile device and on any home computers you may have makes it much more difficult for them to access the material.

With parental controls, you can also disable the internet during certain times of day: perhaps at night, when your child is bored and unable to sleep. This keeps him or her from going on the internet to kill time, where he or she might be tempted by unsavory websites.

“Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent and obscene material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.”

The days of kids hiding a stack of Playboys in the basement may be over, but unfortunately, many teens and even young kids today have something much more dangerous in their hands pretty much constantly.

According to one of the largest porn websites in the world, now more than half of porn use in the US is coming from smartphones!

When we say mobile, many parents don’t stop and think that this is not just on an Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. Pornography is now being watched on iPads, Android tablets and can be accessed even on a basic iPod Touch!

Today, nearly three-quarters of teens have access to a smartphone, and with no restrictions, smartphones can access graphic hardcore pornography with ease.

One Parent’s Story About The Need to Block Porn on Her Kid’s Mobile Devices

Lara tells us that she was shocked to find out that her 13-year-old son had been watching pornography for months on his iPhone when riding home on the school bus.  Kids were pulling up X-rated videos and websites on the bus and passing their mobile devices around. When one parent discovered what was happening, she contacted all the parents in her neighborhood.  They decided to get together immediately and make a plan.

Lara told us that their plan was to first have individual discussions w/ their teens and to immediately implement some form of parental controls, in her specific case, by signing up for Netsanity. For these parents, thankfully, one’s discovery led to constructive conversations and a plan for action.  Sadly, most times, pornography viewing goes unnoticed by parents and caregivers because kids and especially teens are very good at hiding it.

It’s one thing to try to hide use on a laptop or desktop, but now, tucking your phone in your back pocket or school backpack is easy and many parents are no wiser to it. We discuss all the current ways teens hide apps and photos in this blog.

The Solution: Block Known Websites and Content

Start with a reliable parental control. While nothing is foolproof, having proactive protection, such as one offered by Netsanity for Apple and Android mobile devices, or a host of others, will give you peace of mind in knowing that you have some control over content and risks.

Follow up and with regular, open, age-appropriate discussions with your children on why you are using parental controls and why some material on the internet and via apps are not appropriate for them.  Also, think about developing a mobile contract for the child or teen as good practice. Our friends at Kids In Touch have an article discussing this, as well as having a link to a funny example of one mobile contract a parent enacted with his teen.

Porn is serious business on mobile devices. The latest porn sites are multi-million dollar enterprises with sophisticated ad-tracking, analytics, and highly mobile friendly capabilities. If your kids have private access to a mobile device like an iPad, Samsung Galaxy, or other smartphone or tablet, know what they are doing on it and ensure that you have some controls.

Use Netsanity Pornblocking Technology For Free

What are the options & risks to blocking porn?

Surprisingly, some parents find it OK to not filter porn at all. Their rationale is that they will see it anyway and it’s better to let their curiosity lead them. Plus, the parent will be there to offer guidance.

Our philosophy is that, as parents, it’s our job to protect them until such an age that they are mature enough to make their own decisions and understand the consequences. Learning that sticking your hand in the fire will certainly teach them that it’s not a good idea, but why subject them to that unnecessarily?

Other parents lock everything down making it that much more enticing for kids to find ways around filters. Setting the right tone is different with each parent and child so the key is to have tools that you can adjust based on individual preferences and your own personal values.

We will walk through how to block porn (websites, images, and videos) on their Apple iPhones, iPads and Samsung Android devices you protect through Netsanity.

Searching and accessing porn – what’s the difference?

Many parents, rightly, don’t understand the differences and nuances between searching the internet and looking at results and actually accessing the content. Understanding the difference is crucial when it comes to limiting or preventing adult content from children.

Part 1 – Searching the web for pornography

When you search for something in Google, you are asking it to look around their entire index of web content and return a small snippet of what you are looking for. Those snippets can be text, images, or videos – or all 3.

In our example below, we are searching Google’s UK site for “deep sea fishing”

Google returned a bunch of snippets of what it thinks would be relevant to us. As you can see above, it lists some websites, and further down a video as well as images.

Now imagine if that search contained porn requests, like “best porn videos” (try it yourself).

(Using Microsoft’s Bing search has a similar flow, although Bing’s share of global searching is nowhere near Google’s.)

These images, snippets,  and videos are all on a Google search result page. When your kids see them, they have not actually clicked anything nor gone to a specific site other than Google. They are simply looking at a small “cache” of information that Google stored about a specific site and image. So if you have the best content filtering database in the world, it is of little use as the kids can get plenty of bad stuff just by Googling all day and night on their mobile devices!

Google Safe Search

Google returned a bunch of snippets of what it thinks would be relevant to us. As you can see above, it lists some websites, and further down a video as well as images.

Now imagine if that search contained porn requests, like “best porn videos” (try it yourself).

(Using Microsoft’s Bing search has a similar flow, although Bing’s share of global searching is nowhere near Google’s.)

These images, snippets, and videos are all on a Google search result page. When your kids see them, they have not actually clicked anything nor gone to a specific site other than Google. They are simply looking at a small “cache” of information that Google stored about a specific site and image. So if you have the best content filtering database in the world, it is of little use as the kids can get plenty of bad stuff just by Googling all day and night on their mobile devices!

There are no magic beans. And unfortunately, there is no big red button that you press and 100% of all porn disappears forever. There are thousands of dark web sites without even a website address with horrible content. There are secret forums and chats – porn is everywhere. However, for the average family, implementing the best-in-class tools will help.

By utilizing our advanced safesearch and catblocker and siteblocker features, parents give themselves the best chance to succeed at the battle of keeping inappropriate content away from their impressionable children!

Netsanity’s Safesearch

When you activate SafeSearch with Netsanity, all searches for

Google and Bing are redirected to Google and Bing’s “safe” search algorithms.

When searching for adult terms and images, they block the RESULTS in the search so the child will not SEE those images or websites in the first place.

Keep in mind, those results are only as good as Google and Bing are with their algorithms but it’s as good as you are going to get on searches.

Get SafeSearch and Pornblocking For Free – Claim Your Free Forever account at NetsanityFree.com

Part 2 – Website Access Explained

So stay with us! Now that you saw those results, you can visit the website by clicking any link that Google presents to you in its search results. That is web access and that is what you can control, generally, with a good database.

There are hundreds of public and private databases out there that contain records for millions and millions of websites. They claim to have the largest database in the world or they have the largest database of adult content, etc. Many are good, some are awful, and some are bogus.

If you employ a router at home, are utilizing OpenDNS, or another filtering service you are offering protection by filtering those cataloged websites. While this is a great start it can be misleading once you dig into it a bit more.

Most databases are an ever-growing list of millions of sites that have been added over the last 10 or even 20 years. How many websites from 1995 do you think are still around? So, the main issue with traditional databases is that they are, well, traditional. They are old, stale and don’t get updated very often. Yes, Playboy and Penthouse will be listed in these databases, but when you dig further you will find most are lacking newer content. It’s not really their fault – it’s just that porn blocking technology has not got the “love” as much as the latest and greatest new apps have.

Another great service but one that also is not updated as often as it should is CleanBrowsing.org so while the main sites get blocked, newer, smaller, or less popular sites may not have made it into the database.  Netsanity now includes a smart AI called PIERCE™ which updates sites in near real-time as users around the world access new porn sites.

How Netsanity’s content filtering is different

Netsanity also has old and boring databases like everyone else. Wait…what??

Yep, we’ve gone out and found all the most popular porn sites and cataloged all the sites our crawler + human testers (an interesting task!) could find. But what makes us unique is our proprietary AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology P.I.E.R.C.E.™  (see diagram here) that works 24/7 getting smarter and adding to our database in real time.

We can’t go into all our “secret sauce” in a public blog but below is a sneak peek and preview into some of our process and technology:

  1. First, every time a new website is accessed via our service that is not in our database – porn or otherwise, it goes into a special process that uses our AI robot to find out what it is and what category it belongs to and adds it to our database – so the next time someone tries that same site, we already know about it and if the parent has blocked the category containing that site, it will now be blocked. For example, a child in Dallas visits a site that his friends told him just went live – let’s say it’s www.superbadadultsite.com. No databases have it yet as it just got launched. The first time that site is accessed, the Netsanity system will quarantine it internally and get it cataloged. When that completes, it will be added to the adult/porn/nudity category in our Catblocker – now, the next time that site is accessed by a boy in London, or even by the same child, it will be blocked, as his parents have that category blocked and the access will be refused.
  2. Second, our systems are always hunting and searching for new content results and catalog these websites as fast as possible because we focus on what kids are searching for instead of the millions of erroneous and outdated sites that are in traditional databases.
  3. Lastly, we don’t use a safe browser – all of our content filtering is done at the network layer which means regardless of browser or app used, whether they use Safari or Chrome, your kids content will be protected.

Additionally, we also integrate many public and private sources together to continually ensure that our database evolves as technology does.

Interested in YouTube Filtering? Click here to read how we are leading the charge to make YouTube safe for kids.

You can help to protect kids on mobile devices by knowing the facts and using readily available tools.

Many parents just want to know how to block Internet porn. Netsanity now has 100% free service to block porn on your Apple iOS device or Samsung Android. You can sign up and claim your free forever account at NetsanityFree.com. No catch. Just a pure, powerful, porn-blocking for you and your family. If you choose to upgrade to a paid account, we have 20+ other features you are welcome to try and buy!

We’d love to know…..What are your biggest challenges with blocking porn websites or inappropriate web content in your home? Let us know on social media with hashtag #netsanityasks

References:

  1. PornHub 2018 Statistics: https://www.pornhub.com/insights/2018-year-in-review
  2. Psychology Today article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201607/why-the-reasons-someone-looks-porn-matter
  3. Enough.org statistics: https://enough.org/stats_exploitation
  4. Pew Internet study: http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/
  5. Fight the New Drug: https://fightthenewdrug.org/how-does-the-porn-industry-actually-make-money-today/
  6. Addiction.com: https://www.addiction.com/get-help/loved-one/paying-treatment-for-loved-one/
  7. Kids in Touch: https://kidsintouch.com/blog/protect-your-child-with-a-mobile-device-contract

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