Parents, okay, let's talk pornography and your kids. Not a fun subject I realize. But an important one. Your kids will be exposed to pornography at some point in their young lives. Are you up for the challenge of delaying that exposure? Me too. Please keep reading.
Pornography will seek your kids out, even if they never go looking for it. Pop-ups, ads, and redirected URLs will expose them to pornography at some point. Smart phones, iPads, laptops and now even the challenge of stay-at-home orders with more time spent on the internet increase the odds of our kids being exposed to pornography. Is there anything we can do about it? Fortunately, yes. But it will require a bit of work on your part. I trust you are up for this important work? Below are 5 tips to help you out.
1. If you do nothing else, set up OpenDNS Family Shield on your family's home internet router right now. It is free and it is pre-configured to block the majority of pornography websites on the internet. I've embedded 2 YouTube videos in this post in point #6 below that will walk you through this process. Configuring your router is the only slightly complex task and you might need to buy a new router that will allow you to update your DNS settings. Watch the videos below and then go to this website link to get started: www.opendns.com/home-internet-security
2. I highly encourage you to watch the first 39 minutes of this video embedded below which details an incredibly helpful "The Porn-Free Family Plan." It is a plan developed by Tim Challies. He gave this talk at a church in Colorado in February of 2020. Tim does such a great job of first explaining the dangers of internet pornography for our kids. Then he gives parents super practical tips on how you can protect your family. It was this video that taught me about OpenDNS, Covenant Eyes and the Circle Parental Controls device - points #3 and #4 below. In addition to watching this video below, I highly encourage you to read Tim's blog post about The Porn-Free Family Plan at this link: www.challies.com/articles/the-porn-free-family-plan/
3. In addition to OpenDNS, in the video above Tim refers to Covenant Eyes as a helpful website that you can learn more about at this link: www.covenanteyes.com
4. Tim also references the Circle Parental Controls device in the video above, which you can learn more about at this link: www.meetcircle.com
5. Parents I know have recommended the books for kids Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr and Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today's Young Kids.
6. Below are two helpful videos about how to set up OpenDNS Family Shield on your home internet router:
(Note that the home internet router I leased from my internet service provider would not allow me to change DNS settings, so I could not utilize OpenDNS Family Shield. I ended up purchasing this router which allows for DNS setting changes: www.asus.com/us/Networking/CM-32-AC2600)
Parents, what other tips would you share to protect your kids online? Please share in the comments below, thanks!