You’ve heard all the buzz over parental controls and why they’re so important for any child who spends time online. Chances are, you’ve even looked into those parental controls and considered them for your family. The thing is, you have a good kid. You don’t have to worry about your child getting into things they shouldn’t, and for the most part, you’re pretty sure they tell you everything. With kids like that, you don’t really need parental control software, right?
Finding pornography online doesn’t necessarily require a child to go looking for it. All too often, porn pops up accidentally. Of the 42% of teens and tweens ages 10 to 17 who admitted in a survey that they’d viewed online porn in the past twelve months, 66% responded that they hadn’t intended to view the images. In many cases, these kids were searching for something comparatively innocent and ended up on a website that they didn’t intend. In some cases, explicit sites or porn stars share names with otherwise innocent things. In other cases, the child might have been browsing a familiar website and accidentally uncovered an ad that took them somewhere else entirely. Unfortunately, for many kids, it doesn’t end with a quick look and a fast click away. Once they’ve seen it, they start getting sucked in, often struggling to break the pornography cycle later.
What’s Out There?
You know that there’s pornography all over the internet, but there are other things that you might want to protect your child from, too. Consider blocking sites that:
- Show graphically violent content
- Describe how to commit acts of violence
- Promote self-harming behaviors or suicidal tendencies
- Encourage low self-esteem
Keep in mind, too, that pornographic content doesn’t have to be visual. Girls, in particular, are more likely to be attracted by written content that describes sexual acts or goes into detail about other parts of sex. You might not even recognize the URLs if they start to appear in your internet history–but your children may have been exposed to that type of content anyway. Yes, even your good kids can–and do–find bad stuff online.
Keeping Your Child Safe
Parental controls are the first line of defense in keeping your child safe online. Protect all the devices that your child uses. Their computer isn’t the only way they can come across explicit content! In fact, most kids who do go looking for explicit content or who explore it in more detail are more likely to do so on personal mobile devices. Here are some additional actions to consider:
- Protect your mobile devices with a trustworthy parental control that cannot be easily defeated like a home router or app can.
- Regularly monitor your child’s internet use and search history. Keep in mind that even the best parental controls may not be able to filter everything, especially if your child does go looking for explicit material.
- Discuss appropriate online behavior–including what sites should and should not be viewed–with your child on a regular basis.
- Use a parental control that has timeout or controls that allow you to schedule “off times” for internet-enabled devices, including smart phones and tablets.
- Consider what apps you consider to be appropriate for your child. Keep in mind that may apps allow children to view content that they might not be able to get to on other sites.
Keeping your child safe online feels like a full-time job! When even the best kids are exposed to online content that you don’t want them to see, keeping them innocent can feel impossible. The first step is using a quality parental control software to protect your kids on their mobile devices wherever they go…and make sure it isn’t just something that protects them at home but protects them wherever they go with their mobile devices!
You have a lot to consider because most parental control apps and “safe routers” are easy for kids to circumvent. These days, it is so important for parents to be watchful about what your kids and teens are doing on their mobile devices and to be proactive. Remember, even for the best kids it is in their nature to test your limits and to be curious. As parents our job is to make sure that they stay safe and don’t make bad choices which can harm them for years to come. One trustworthy parental control that prides itself in not being easily defeatable by even the most tech-savvy teens is Netsanity.
Blocking inappropriate content is easy with Netsanity’s Catblocker feature. Using public and private databases, Netsanity’s own artificial intelligence engine, and other proprietary tools, they maintain a database with many millions of websites and apps. Catblocker works regardless of the browser or app being used as well as setting boundaries with the types of apps that your children and teens are exposed is a good first step. Additionally, Netsanity offers a large suite of services for parents. Another favorite is their appblocker – is a “must have”. With one click, you can block more than 50 previously tested and profiled internet-based apps that you find inappropriate. If you have a Samsung device, you can disable any app instantly in addition to appblocker!
They have a 14-day free trial, so it’s worth checking out if your kids have Apple or Android for Samsung devices.