The reason I'm such a blockhead is due to online pornography. I might go into it in more detail in another post, but at the moment I want to stick to my immediate problem; the ease with which my kids can now get pornography in their hot little hands; and I mean literally.
Despite knowing my way around a computer a little, I was very slow to realise just how easy porn is available. Why it took me so long I don't know. I didn't think it would be an issue in my house and so I guess I didn't look, until I was forced to and found that I was a little late.
My 18 yr old son seems to have had a head start in finding on-line porn. I believed his denials initially, but should have had my head read. My 14 yr old daughter reckons it's gross. I found by sleuthing that my 12 year old son had started to educate himself. My suspicions and research paid off but I didn't like the result. I want to cover all bases though just to be sure.
My 12 yr old was the last straw and steps were then taken to make it as hard as possible to access on-line porn. That's in addition to talking to them of course and laying down the home law. The final threat being that the internet will go completely. We won't let our 12 or 14 yr olds wander the red light area of Kings Cross in Sydney, but unrestricted net access allows 'The Cross' to wander in our house.
Our second hand computer had an out of date Norton Internet Security program. I bought a current subscription and that was that, or so I thought. Having been kicked into action I found that the program also has free provision of two family settings, probably most programs do. One set up basically tracks where your kids go. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have the time or inclination to go through each child and their search history every day. It still wouldn't stop them from hitting porn sites. What is also provides is an Add On Pack. This is a free download and comes with settings to suit the user and is controlled by the parent and password protected. This one blocks the sites you want blocked. I'm not sure if it is foolproof but I'll give it a plug and say it seems to work pretty well. I feel a lot more relaxed about the porn issue anyway.
I wish that retailers would advise buyers at the time of purchase, just how easy it is to access pornography. Perhaps they could ask if you have kids. Naive perhaps, but it would have started me protecting/restricting a whole lot earlier.
My 18 yr old, the owner/user of the laptop, had to wear it on his computer as well, otherwise no Internet. Our ISP I also found, can enable a filter to block nominated categories before they get to our computers.
The big prompt for this article is that my two youngest kids have an iPod touch. Great things that's for sure. That's why the picture to start with and the cute little Winnie the Pooh. Oh to remember when the kids liked Winnie the Pooh.
Well, here we go again. Both my wife and myself thought what cool MP3 players these are, but they are so much more. In fact, with the APPs available they become a very portable mini laptop. They can access the net and have pornography images in their hot little hands. This can be done while they are 'listening' to music in their room, out in the yard, school, maybe even Macca's Restaurants. Who knows. This makes me cranky; it's bloody annoying.
I now have to find a way to block this problem and still let them enjoy their 'toy'. This really cheeses me off and I might have a rant about this system of free access to everything on the net at another time.
I'll finish on two points;
.....Any parents who didn't know the capabilities of an i-Pod; you may want to check what your kids can get to.
.....If anyone reads this and has a solution to the i-Pod problem, I'll really appreciate your help. The Apple site, not much good on first check. HELP.
Extra baggage for the kids; not if I can help it.