Imagine your son is working on a school project with some friends in his room. He is in middle school and your only worry is that they won’t finish by supper, right? As you head up to his room to bring everyone a snack, you hear some giggling. Upon entering you find your son staring at the screen in disbelief. However, by the time you look they are only working on their PowerPoint again. Knowing something was up, you look at his web history later that night and what you find is very startling. You son and his friends weren’t just working on a PowerPoint, they were also looking at some adult content.
With over 1.5 billion unique users, the internet is truly the largest portal to knowledge in the world. Sadly, a large percentage of all internet traffic involves visiting adult content websites. While this is appropriate for adults at certain times, we have an obligation to protect children from these images and videos. While sometimes looking at such sites is the result of a “dare”, often times it occurs un-expectantly. Often times a computer virus is to blame, sending popups with adult content to unsuspecting computer users. However, even more dangerous is when a normally safe website is hacked and redirected to an adult site.
I remember a good number of years ago when I was in 6th grade I was on the internet intending to look at a weather forecast for my town. Little did I know that the site I was connecting to had been hacked earlier that day. I was directed to an ad for an adult website that had some material I had never seen before and it scared me. I quickly exited out of the window and closed the browser, afraid to tell my parent what I had seen because I thought they would get angry.
The above is a reality for thousands of children every year. Firewalls, though effective do not block every site. In addition, firewalls often will not catch new sites as the companies behind firewalls are often more concerned with copyright infringement than with adult content. In order to sleep well at night you need to use a program built exclusively to block adult content. This program needs to be powerful, quickly blocking new sites while at the same time be stealthy enough that the browsing experience of users is not affected.