Keeping Internet Pornography Out of Your House

by Bryant Evans on May 26, 2009

Pornography has no place in your home. Like a thief poised to steal your most valuable possessions, internet pornography is trying to steal your family. While we lock our doors against intruders we often allow porn to enter through the front door. It’s time to lock up!

In previous articles we have detailed the [cref internet-pornography growth] and the [cref internet-pornography-why-it-matters danger] of internet pornography. It is vital to keep this lurking monster out of homes and out of our lives.

Keep the computer in a busy room of the house.

This may be the easiest solution to pornography. By putting computers in a busy, open room of the house, you take away the secrecy, anonymity and privacy of viewing explicit materials. Make sure the screen is turned toward the center of the room so that anyone passing through the room can see the screen. This is especially true for children who often become victims of internet predators. Children should not have an internet connected computer in their bedroom.

Use a Buddy System

Admittedly more inconvenient this idea will help keep internet users on the straight and narrow. Commit that you will not use the internet for any reason unless your buddy is present.  Again, this is especially useful for children who can be pared with an adult for supervision.

Establish No-Use Times for the Internet

Set certain times that the internet cannot be used. For example, the internet is off-limits if there are no adults present. Adults can commit to the same policy if necessary. In addition, very early hours and very late, when others are still sleeping, should be made off-limits too.

Engage and Examine Browser Tracking

By default, most internet browsers record a history of what sites have been visited and when. These histories can be easily turned off or otherwise disabled by the youngest users. Set a policy that histories must never be disabled. Then visit the history listing at least once a week to see when the computer was on the internet and what sites were visited. This is not a perfect solution. Individual entries in the history list can be deleted but this is a start.

Use Internet Filtering Software

This solution takes a little more work and will cost as much as $50-$75 per year. However it is well worth the investment. Many different filtering packages are available but they should include, at a minimum, the following capabilities:

  • Web Based System. These systems essentially route your viewing through their servers and so monitor where your computer is linking. This is a far more secure system and less likely to be bypassed.
  • Password Protected. A password is required to make changes to the system and to bypass blocks. Even when bypassed, the system records that event.
  • Notification of Accountability Partners. This may be the most important criteria. The best filtering software will send a report to people you designate each week. By causing a report to be emailed to your spouse, your minister or some person you deeply respect, you will create a great deterrence to viewing porn or other undesirable sites.
  • Schedule Internet Use and Total Time Online. Choose a package that will allow you to schedule times when the internet can be accessed. Other times will be blocked. You should also be able to set the total time per day that the internet can be accessed. When a user consumes the preset amount of time he will be blocked.
  • Email and Chat Monitoring. Select a package that will monitor and even record online chats through AIM or Messenger.

In my judgment, the very best program available is SafeEyes. This program is highly tested and recommended. User support is available. The cost is $49.95 per year. More extensive packages are available.

Please remember. There is no such thing as a perfect solution. Vigilance is required. These solutions will help.

Thursday we will look at other resources for those dealing with pornography.

What do you think? Do you have experiences or ideas to share? Please leave them here for everyone to see.


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{ 2 comments }

Joey Sparks May 26, 2009 at 8:59 am

Several of my college buddies & I use Covenant Eyes accountability software. We have all enjoyed the ease with which it works and its helpfulness in tracking our general surfing habits and trends. The more usernames you add to an account, the cheaper the cost per username. It cost $42 for 2009. They also offer filtering software for a minimal additional charge. As a minister, I also enjoy the peace it provides professionally from a liability standpoint.

Thanks for the great series…praying our generation can turn this epidemic around.

Luke June 3, 2009 at 8:01 am

Accountability is a HUGE help when trying to turn our eyes away from tempting images online.

You may like this pdf that Covenant Eyes put together about addressing this issue in your church:

http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2009/03/10/addressing-pornography-temptation-in-your-church/

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