An Introductory Guide For Parents To
Restrict Access To Porn & Other Such Objectionable
Sites By Kids
The Internet has revolutionized the information age. All the geographical and age barriers have been breached. To be sure, the youth today – with their ability to adapt to latest technologies – at a much faster pace than the parent generation – are a step ahead in their abilities to draw information, create information and interact with peers across the globe on forums that can startle the parent community.
While exciting at one end, challenges have also opened up for the society at large. One in particular for the parent community is that their children today have easy access to `porn' and other such `objectionable' sites.
If you have kids at home,
we would urge you to take steps today to protect your
child from unacceptable exposure.
What needs to be done?
Though experts are still working on solutions to the menace of porn on the Internet and children's access to it, it goes without saying that parental guidance still tops the list.
Guiding children, as a
parent would be the most effective way to keep a check
on your child's access to porn on the Internet.
Browsing the Net together can be a lot helpful in this
Legislations have been
proposed in many countries to criminalise pornography
on the Net and shield minors from objectionable
material. However, it remains to be seen whether this
measure would effectively address the issue of
children's access to such material.
Even the all-powerful US law cannot cover the designs of the Net, as long as it is a global network. Further, constitutional restrictions on these matters would take an exhaustive amount of research and effort.
Proof of Age:
A substantial part of porn content on the Net asks for proof of age before providing access and some site requires a browser to the net to register on the site before accessing the content. Generally a browser above the age of 18 is allowed to access the content. Credit card numbers are also being used as a proof of age. This also requires a judgment call on the part of the content providers. Judgments call by someone who has probably nothing in common with your ideals is none other than you as a Parent. The question arises whether the content provider would be bent to keep objectionable material out of the hands of minors?
Software's and programs:
Software's have been
written to tackle the issue, which has been growing at
an alarming rate, not to mention the widespread demand
for checking measures from organizations across the
In this scenario, it would be of interest to find what we do have at our disposal to check the menace. (Read information given below on `Watchdogs on the Net')
Still the best approach on guiding children through the traits of the Internet. As experts would agree, a proper and comprehensive idea, of the extents to which porn on the Net can be twisted and misleading, can stand the parent in good stead. Further, a close watch on the child's favorite browsing areas and tastes would make the guidance more effective. Ensure that you monitor the child's surfing history as often as you can.
America Online (AOL) offers parental blocking that allows parents to limit children's screen-name to "Kids Only" areas and disallow chat rooms and Internet newsgroups. It might be advisable to restrict your childs access to chat rooms where they could get exposed to indecent/suggestive conversations.
Net Nanny is a parental control tool that allows screening of sites, newsgroups, and text messages. It is specifically parent-configurable and screens material not only coming from the Internet but information your child sends back out to the Internet as well.
Filtering porn: Watchdogs on the Net:
Software's that keep kids
off explicit websites, including FilterGate , Cyber Patrol ,
, Net Nanny
Privacy Services and Internet
Security 2000 , are priced reasonably.
These programs, among others, keep a database of adult websites and block access to them after they are downloaded. These programs facilitate the censorship of sites by offering categories to choose from, like sex, hate and violence. There are other programs, which allow parents to spy on the sites their children frequent or to limit the times when the kids can log on to the Net. Further, there are software's, which shut down browsers, when a taboo site is visited.
But home Internet filters have not been immensely effective, thanks to their reputation for filtering words like "breast" and blocking legitimate sites. There haven't been constant reviews of these filters, but editors of reputed magazines like PC recommend the likes of Cyber Patrol, Guard Dog and Internet Security 2000.
India Citizens Responsibility:
If you come across and observe that kids after visiting our site, choose to visit a porn web site or otherwise, you are requested to report such matter to the Cyber Crime Investigations Cell (CCIC) of Mumbai Police on telephone number (022) 263 0829.
Please joint us in
our drive to flush out corrupt web content and protect
our clean, secured and safe society.
``Be a guiding force to the generation next. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.''
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