It’s not every day I get to talk with a dad who is a true technology pioneer! A dad who identified a problem with internet filtering and worked hard until he’d discovered an ingenious solution.
And you’ll be excited when you find out what new advances he’s developing to make screens safer for kids!
Internet filtering or accountability software? Which is best for your child?
Recently I had the privilege of chatting with Ron DeHaas, the president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes (affiliate link), an internet accountability software company. Currently, 250K families subscribe to his monthly service as they train their kids to use the internet wisely through the principle of accountability. (See the video below to meet him yourself!)
You’ll be blown away when you find out what new technology Covenant Eyes is developing to screen out porn on mobile devices! This is going to revolutionize a parent’s ability to protect their kids from porn exposure! (See time mark 15:13 in the video below.)
And find out what tragedy led Ron to become a stepfather and turn his grief into a new way to protect families from pornography.
After the video, make sure to read below why Ron believes porn is worse than heroin when it comes to addiction. And learn which word Ron wants parents to be able to say to their kids. (We’ve provided a FREE guide below to help you do just that!)
Video Interview Guide
Listen to the entire video or find the questions you’re most interested in and skip ahead.
- What tragedy took Ron from being a geologist to pioneering internet accountability software? (2:28)
- Can parents use filters to “train” their children to use the internet wisely? Why or why not? (4:20)
- What is “accountability software” and what does it provide for parents? (5:06)
- What’s the difference between filters and accountability software? Which should be used for young children? (7:13)
- How does the combination of control, trust and “scrutiny” (guarding or watching) help parents protect their kids? How does accountability software fit in? (7:55)
- What tool does Ron use to help parents talk to kids about pornography? What word should parents be able to say to their kids without shame? (10:06)
- What did the study, The Porn Phenomenon, show about people who use filtering? (This will surprise you!) What does this mean for the usefulness of filtering for teens and adults? What age can teens get off a filter and onto accountability? (11:29)
- What exciting new technologies are coming that will help identify and filter out pornographic images to outsmart the predatory porn industry? (Hint: It uses artificial intelligence!) (15:13)
- Can this new “smart filter” technology be used on a smartphone? When will it be available? (20:37)
- What free resources does Covenant Eyes provide to protect families? (23:15)
- What can parents do to push back against the influence of the porn industry? How can champions of communities get involved? (25:36)
- What national organization is doing the most to demonstrate that pornography has become a public health crisis? (28:04)
- Besides addiction, what other (possibly more disturbing) negative effects of porn are hurting children? (29:43)
Ron’s Advice for Parents
Which is worse: heroin or porn?
When I was a kid, my parents, teachers, and every other adult in my life warned me that heroin is deadly. “If you take one dose of it, you’re hooked for life, and it will kill you!” they said. They made it so scary, it made me think that if I was within a hundred yards of the stuff, it would poison me.
And as a result, I didn’t touch it and never want to. Come to find out, those adults were pretty close to the truth. Heroin is now causing great damage to our society.
Pornography is worse. You might argue with that, but let me make my case.
Consider the following:
- Substances can be removed from the body, but images cannot be removed from the brain. Many addicts who are addicted to both drugs and porn, say that porn is the hardest to overcome.
- There is 100 times more use of porn than of heroin in the U.S.! Heroin was used by about .01% of the population last year whereas recent studies report that upwards of 50% of the U.S. population purposefully sought out porn in the last year.
- Pornography and its sister, sex trafficking, have reached the level of a national health crisis that is being addressed at federal, state, and local levels.
- Many experts now believe that the huge rise in erectile dysfunction in young men (from 1% to 33% in the last 60 years) is largely attributed to pornography use. In fact, in an article last year about why men are trying to quit porn, Time magazine popularized the term “porn-induced erectile dysfunction.”
Don’t shy away from calling it what it is
Another thing my parents did when they talked about heroin was to call it by its name: heroin. They didn’t couch it in general terms like “drugs” or other names. They called it what it is so I would know it when or if I was exposed to it.
In the same way, we parents need to call pornography what it is: pornography. And we need to be descriptive about what pornography is – of course, in an age-appropriate way. I believe the average age of exposure to pornography is 8 years old for boys so we need to be accurate even at that young age.
Want help defining the word pornography?
Get your free copy of the popular guide, 3 Simple Definitions of Pornography Kids Can Understand:
Ron’s personal recommendation–tools every parent needs
If you are a parent, do you have the read-aloud books Good Pictures Bad Pictures or Good Pictures Bad Pictures, Jr.? These books provide age-appropriate guidelines for teaching our kids and grandkids. I share them every chance I get because they give parents the words to say, and specific instructions to kids when, not if, they see pornography. I love these books because they also train kids in accountability by teaching them to tell a trusted adult whenever they are exposed to bad pictures.
As a father and a stepdad, I advise every parent to empower their kids with an internal filter as well as accountability—the two are a powerful combination to help you raise a generation of porn-proof kids.
Ron DeHaas is the president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes. Ron has a BS and an MS in Geology from Ohio State University and attended the University of Michigan as a PhD candidate. Ron pioneered the concept of Accountability Software, and founded Covenant Eyes in the spring of 2000. Today over 250,000 subscribers enjoy the Internet accountability Covenant Eyes provides.