So your kid got a new tech device this year —cool! If you’ve already set up the parental controls and installed WiFi filtering in your home, well done! If not, don’t panic–this post is especially for you!

We’ll walk you through the three basic steps to protect kids from porn and create a safer home internet experience for kids of all ages.

protect kids from porn filter new devices

Protect kids from porn: get past filter frustration

Perhaps you’re like many parents who know they should do something to filter their kids’ devices but don’t’ know where to start! If that’s the case, I can totally empathize.

For years the terms internet filtering and parental controls were synonymous with frustration for me. Every solution seemed either too constraining (filter everything at the level of preschooler) or so complicated I needed an IT certificate to execute it.

Fortunately I’ve since learned three things that have helped me become more confident in my ability to protect kids from porn:

  1. First, filtering software products today are much more user-friendly than just a few short years ago. Plus they are often flexible enough to fit the needs of various family members.
  2. Second, filtering software programs have their limits. Although filtering is integral to protecting kids from online dangers it is only part of the solution.
  3. Finally, I don’t have to wait for the perfect product to protect kids from porn. I just have to get started and do something.

Know the risks: one in ten under 10

The more we know about online risks, the more we realize filtering needs to begin as soon as a child has access to the internet. Today, one in ten visits to porn sites are from children 10-years and under! Let’s do everything we can to protect kids from porn and change this trend!

Filtering 101 outlines three basic steps to ensure a safer home internet experience for your family:

  • Filtering the wireless signal in your home
  • Parental controls on individual devices
  • Helping kids develop internal filters

Filtering 101

1. Filter the wireless signal in your home

Time commitment: 1 hour

Why: Filtering the wireless signal to your home can protect kids from porn by greatly reducing the risk of accidental access to inappropriate content.

Plus, most filtering systems now offer other useful functions such as time controls, internet pause, assigned bedtimes and device specific settings. This is especially popular among families with young children who want to monitor and limit screen time.

Getting started: There are lots of good products to choose from. Try not to get overwhelmed. The fact is that each internet filtering service is a little different. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for your family.

Your homework: Pick a filtering system —any filtering system! And get that extra layer of protection working for your family today!

Some products are free like, Open DNS. Other systems like, Circle with Disney are purchased outright with a one-time fee.

No matter which you choose, these software programs help protect kids from porn. Your home will be safer as a result.

2. Set parental controls on individual devices

Time commitment: 1 week (a few minutes each day)

Why: We wouldn’t dream of taking kids on a drive without first insisting they put on a seat belt. Safety features built-in to your kids’ devices are like seat belts for the internet. Setting parental controls is another layer of protection to safeguard kids from accidentally accessing inappropriate content.

Getting started: If you’re not tech savvy, find a friend who is. Fortunately our good friend Chris McKenna from Protect Young Eyes is exceptionally good at setting parental controls. This is their area of specialty to protect kids from porn.

Check out this post, Set Parental Controls on Christmas Devices. Here you’ll find easy to follow instructions on how to set parental controls on this year’s most popular tech products. We also highly recommend families register with Covenant Eyes (affiliate link). This service is designed to enhance parental controls on tech devices, teach kids accountability, plus offer a filtering solution that grows with them.

Your homework: Make an inventory of all the internet connected devices in your home. (Be warned, the length of the list may shock you!) Every day over the course of this week set parental controls on two or three devices at a time until all devices have been set.

Note: Until well into teen years, parents should have full access to their kids’ accounts and passwords on all new devices.

3. Help kids develop internal filters

Time commitment: Ongoing

Why: While the first two levels of filtering help protect kids from porn and other inappropriate content, they are not fail proof. The current digital reality is that all children will be exposed to pornography sometime in their young lives. Kids need a plan to help them reject pornography before that happens.

[Related: Hidden Porn Exposure Leads Young Boy to Sibling Abuse]

Getting started: Teaching children about the harms of pornography is an ongoing process. See The Porn Talk: Five Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

At Protect Young minds we have amazing resources to help you define pornography in a way even young children can understand. Plus our blog is full of tips and ideas for parents. Above all you’ll want to create a safe place where kids feel comfortable talking to parents about anything.

Your homework: No discussion about internal filters would be complete without mentioning our best-selling books: Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-proofing Today’s Young Kids and Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds. Pick up a copy and read it with your child. If you’ve already read it together, do it again! Parents and experts agree it’s one of the best tools to help protect kids from porn.

When you read these books with your children they will be able to explain:

    • What pornography is
    • Why pornography is harmful
    • How kids can reject pornography (with a plan!) when they encounter it 

[Related: “Look Mommy! That’s Pornography!” How a 5 year old sparked a grocery store chain to cover up Cosmo]

Plus, each book contains a plan to help kids build their own internal filter. The CAN DO plan is a 5-step proven plan that any kid can use to reject pornography. Get a FREE copy of the CAN DO plan today! CLICK HERE

Congratulations! Give yourself a gold star!

Now that you know the three basic steps to providing your family with a safer internet experience, we’re confident that you’ll want to act now! Once you’ve enabled all the parental controls and installed an internet filtering software program, give yourself a gold star! You’ve passed your first course!

As you can see from this post, filtering is a layered process. It’s also something that you will work on and adjust over time. When you’re ready for filtering 201, have a look at Apps with Dangerous Doors to the Internet. At Protect Young Minds, we want to make sure that every parent knows that there is something they CAN do today to protect kids from porn.

Bonus gift

Another great place to start the conversation is with our downloadable guide My Family Media Standards. Talking together about your standards will help kids know which media is good and which media is not!

Download your FREE copy below:

There are affiliate links in this blog post. When you use them to make purchases, we thank you for supporting Protect Young Minds!

Marilyn Evans
Marilyn Evans lives east of Toronto with her husband and five sons. Concerned with the ease of access to online pornography, she began searching for ways to address this subject with her own children. Frustrated with the lack of resources and information available to parents at the time she began speaking out about the harms of porn anyone who would listen. After a concerted but somewhat futile effort to gain the attention of her school board Marilyn felt her voice would be better served in the blogosphere. Over the past two years she has written regular articles for Parents Aware, as well as guest posting for Strength to Fight, and recently published an opinion article in Education Canada. She is thrilled to add her voice to the community at Protect Young Minds.
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