Internet Porn Nightmares
The Internet is full of shady characters soliciting
pornography. Without some sort of protection like a computer monitoring or blocking program, online sexually explicit
material is everywhere. It can easily find it's way to your, or
your child's computer screen even if you were not actively looking
for it. Realizing that the online porn industry is one of the few
"Dot Coms" that are surviving and making money, over $1
Billion a year from adults that pay for content, it's no wonder
that the material Is everywhere. The industry will try every marketing
and/or email scheme ever known or unknown to get you to come to
their site and spend a few dollars. Here is an example. Your son
needs to do some research on President Bush. The best place to start
would be www.whitehouse.gov . But what if he didn't know that the extension was .gov, what if
he typed in .com? For years, the .com address was an adult site.
It seems to have changed hands but it is still a classic example
of how kids could accidentally come across the undesirable sites
on the Internet. There are still way too many sites out there that
are not fit for the average person, let alone our children. How
do we protect ourselves from these characters, how do we protect
our kids on the Internet?
We could call the Internet police but there are no
laws that work. If these shady characters were walking the streets
handing out pornography, they would be arrested for their behavior.
There is very little protection against these characters on the
Internet. Laws have been tried. Laws have been overturned. Over
the last six years, Congress has made many attempts to regulate
porn on the Internet. The result is a bewildering assortment of
laws that, at least in theory, protect children from material that
some communities consider unsuitable.
Pornography is so prevailant on the Internet that
it is difficult to search for anything without some of the results
linking to undesirable material. Your kids could be innocently searching
for something and come across some very explicit images.
The problem exists. The problem is real. According
to a survey done by the National Academies, one in four children
reported at least one unwanted exposure to sexually explicit pictures
on the Internet during the past year, and one out of five reported
that they had received a sexual solicitation. The scary part is
the fact that the majority of children won't tell their parents
about what they have seen for fear of the computer being taken away.
One out of every four or five children have been exposed to something
sexual in nature while on the Internet, can we let this go on? What
can be done to stop it?
need to protect your children from pornography.
That brings up another question, what about your spouse or employees
that might see this material and are interested in it. Will they,
or are they, spending more time online than with you or spending
more time online than doing their job? Do you really know what
they are doing? Do you care? There are definite warning signs that someone has a problem or infatuation with pornography
on the Internet. Keep your eyes open for any signs of a problem.
The government says that it is the parents' responsibility to
make sure their kids are OK when they are online, and to choose
what their children can and can't do in cyberspace. How does that
make you feel? Do you know how to keep an eye on your child online?
As parents, you have every right to know what they are doing.
You really need to know what they are doing.
We don't want to cut off the Internet completely because it is
a vast resource of information and recreation when it is used
right. The computer does have a history button that allows you to see what web sites have been visited
in the last few weeks. The history button is limited because it only shows the web sites that have
been browsed, it doesn't show what has been typed on the keyboard.
Another drawback - Internet savvy kids can clear the history.
The best method of protection is to use a monitoring
program and combine it with as much supervision as possible. There
are a number of different monitoring
and filtering programs available that can help keep your children
safe from the explicit material on the Internet. They have all
been intensely tested and evaluated and the general consensus
is that none of them are foolproof but a computer monitoring or
filtering program can help immensely to keep your kids safe on
Just remember that no computer monitoring program
can replace the relationship that you have with your children
but it is a giant step towards keeping your children safe on the
Internet. Other steps you can take towards Internet safety is
to spend time with your child on the computer. Put the computer
in a place that can easily be accessed by the entire family.
your family use a friendly search
page that filters out unwanted material. Use the Internet
with your child to play games, plan for a family vacation or learn
about new places and people. Ask your child to teach you more
about the computer and to show you certain tricks he or she may
have learned. Not only will you gain knowledge, you will also
get valuable information about just how much your child knows
about the computer. Make sure to ask your child what he or she
likes on the Internet and to show you their favorite sites. The
Internet will probably never be "kid safe."
certain places where kids should not be unsupervised; bars, nightclubs,
construction zones, the middle of a busy superhighway and the
middle of the busy Internet. Don't let the Internet become a nightmare.