You Porn?

I recently watched an interesting British documentary about how modern children, some as young as five, have access to hardcore pornography thanks to our modern, online and interconnected world. For those interested the documentary ‘Porn on the brain’ can be seen here.

Now after watching this documentary I decided to write an article on this concerning subject matter. Though, I am not a parent. Far from it in fact. Nor am I going to become one! So the only logical thing I could do was to speak to an actual parent and get some advice for you from them. Fortunately my good friend Pippa Tshabalala was keen to throw her weight behind me, my article, and share her thoughts with concerned parents everywhere.

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So for those that do not know you’re a happily married mother of two, correct?

That’s correct. I have 2 boys and have been married for almost 10 years.

As such you’ve got to be concerned about what your kids will eventually be exposed to online. Now you’re more a tech-head than most others out there. So what are your main areas of concern, tech wise?

My eldest son at 4 years old is already quite tech savvy and knows how to navigate his way through Youtube with a touch screen. It’s very easy to find inappropriate material if you don’t monitor what your kids are doing.

Now according to the documentary children as young as ten have access to hardcore porn. So what’s your take on this under-aged access to porn?

I think it’s very easy to find if you don’t have the correct safety measures in place. Kids who are even more technologically minded know how to turn off those safety measures as well. I would have known how to do that at 10.

tumblr_nnzmtdzzoh1sms3c7o1_400Now there’s a lot of online safety software out there. What’s your take on them?

It’s not something I currently use as for the moment ensuring safe-search is on is enough, but as my sons get older it would probably be something I would look into.

According to the documentary, kids in the UK are swopping hardcore porn at school via smartphones and such. So what do you reckon parents here can do regarding porn at schools?

I think it’s very difficult to control that kind of thing. If they can’t get access to it at your house then they’re going to find it somewhere else. The best you can do it educate your kids and try and monitor it as much as you are able.

What advice to you have for non-tech parents?

Become aware of how to control your child’s internet access! If they know they can do it because you don’t know how to monitor it, they almost certainly will. If you need to call someone in to walk you through it and explain how to monitor their access and history and how to enable safe-search, then do so.

rolling-stones1.gifAdvice for tech-savvy parents?

I probably don’t need to give much advice here, they would be doing all the same things I am! The key here is knowing what your kids are doing and who they’re interacting with online.

What would you like to see regarding online porn? (New rules. XXX as an adult only paid for URL?)

There will always be a way around restrictions, it’s just a reality. As a kid, I was quite capable of finding my way around firewalls and online restrictions when necessary although porn wasn’t generally the reason! Sure, it makes it more difficult to access if you implement things like adult only paid for URLs, but there are free access sites like YouPorn out there that will never implement things like that.

Anything else you’d like to share with the mums and dads out there?

Like most things online, there are advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you’re aware of both and make sure you know what your kids are doing. I’m not advocating spying on them as everyone needs their privacy, but don’t blindly close your eyes to it because you think “my child would never”.

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Pippa shared a far more coherent and truthful opinion on the facts than I ever could. Thank you for that.

As for adults out there, I’ve compiled this little list of child protection softwares. Please look into these products, but do not accept them as a be-all-and-end-all for protecting your children.

Do your research!

Check online!

And familiarise yourself with what your children have access to on the internet.

  • ┬áNet Nanny 6.5 – Still one of the best online protection products around.
  • WebWatcher 8.2.2 – Is amazing product comes highly recommended.
  • McAfee Safe Eyes 6.1.123 – Not a bad product, but it can be a little tricky at times.
  • Profil Parental Filter 2 – A good software to use, but online support can be tricky.
  • Family Protector – A fantastic protector for MAC uses.
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