Protecting your kids from inappropriate material online
xxxaware is designed to provide practical help and advice to parents on protecting children from viewing pornographic images and videos online.
Unfortunately there is not one single solution to keeping your kids safe online. Setting up parental controls on ALL devices your children use that connect to the internet is an excellent start. Parental controls enable you to govern what they view when they go online by filtering out certain material. This site gives you the low-down on available parental controls and aims to guide you through the process of setting them up on different devices.
How do I protect my kids from viewing unsuitable content?
Nowadays our kids are incredibly computer savvy as computers and other connected devices are part of their everyday life even from a young age. When it comes to computer know-how, often parents are left behind. Don't worry if you are not confident using a computer, this site will give you an understanding of the products and services out there so you can make informed decisions about protecting your children from unsuitable material. It will give simple, easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up parental controls on your PC, Mac, tablet, smart phone and games console. Over time each product will be road-tested by a real person who will fill you in on the pros and cons.
Adult images are for adults
The internet is a wonderful resource with a wealth of information but not all of it is appropriate for children. Images and videos ranging from nudity to explicit pornography are just a few clicks away so as a parent you need to decide what your child can and cannot view.
• In the UK 22% of 13 – 16 year olds and 6% of 9 – 12 year old boys have seen sexual images on websites. (Sonia Livingstone - UK Kids Online Dec 2010)
• 6% of 11-16 year olds (boys and girls) say they have seen images of people having sex. (Sonia Livingstone - UK Kids Online Dec 2010)
• The top 100 websites visited by people in UK include 5 “tube sites” offering free explicit adult videos. (Alexa traffic rank www.alexa.com/topsites/countries/GB .)
• Filtering software is in place in just 39% of households where a child aged 5-15 uses the internet at home. (Ofcom Children and Parents Media Use and Attitudes Report Oct 2011)
Don't let your child view pornographic material just because you don't know how to stop it.
When should I put parental controls in place?
It's simple, if you have children or young adults in your house AND any connected devices you need to consider parental controls.
Young kids may stumble across unsuitable images by tapping buttons randomly. Older kids may hunt them out. Either way, if you want to do your best to shield your child from adult images and videos, you must think about how best to protect them.
If you install parental controls while your children are young, they will get used to the idea of restricted access and you will get used to putting these measures in place. With older children and teenagers, it is an idea to talk about what you are doing and why. Remember always make sure the controls are age-appropriate.
Not all products will be able to block all inappropriate material. Your kids might see something they shouldn't while using someone else's computer or phone so it's important you talk about what they may come across online. Also be aware that there are no parental controls on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
There is no silver bullet
There is no magic button that will protect your children from viewing pornographic or explicit material online. Even if a product did exist, kids use a variety of devices to surf the net and not all of these offers the same level of protection.
As a parent you need to decide what is age-appropriate for your child. Setting up parental controls is only one part of protecting them online. You may need to decide what is safe internet practice for your child and how you monitor their screen time.
The internet is an amazing tool which will undoubtedly enrich your child’s life. Make sure you understand what is out there and how you can protect them until they are old enough to make their own viewing decisions.