A survey from Family Safe Media assessed that the average age that a child first sees porn online is 11years. There haven’t been very many studies done on this subject but other related studies show that with more and more younger children accessing unfiltered internet enabled devices, and the rise of adult pornography available on the web, the chances that your child will see porn under the age of 10 is becoming more and more likely.
The first time a child sees porn can be through an innocent search through an unfiltered search engine looking for something they like, or looking for information for a school project. It maybe that their search is hijacked by others who are listing their content so that searches for “pussy” or “fairies” shows porn.
Many children’s cartoon shows have been re-made into semi or full porn animations and are available on YouTube and on other websites, children are accessing these by searching for terms related to their favorite show. Do a search for “Sexy Simpsons” on YouTube or Google without a safe search filter set, and you can see what I mean.
Children are also seeing adult content, if an adult who also uses the same internet connected device has been viewing porn and hasn’t deleted their history. Some porn sites then download “pop ups” onto computers, that can appear on browsers, or may send emails to the computer that advertise porn.
Increasingly children are seeing porn when it is being shown around at school, having been brought in on mobile devices. With the introduction of Bring Your Own Devices in many schools, the likely hood of your child seeing porn at school on another student’s device is going to be more of a risk. It is imperative that all parents now devise ways to protect their young children from finding and sharing porn.
Some of the ways to protect children from viewing porn are:
- Educate your child to ask you before clicking on any links they don’t recognize
- Educate your child to alert you if they see something that is shocking or upsetting.
- Use the built in parental controls on mobile devices that your child has access to.
- Set a secret password lock on all your mobile devices
- Set a password to prevent your child using your PC without supervision.
- Set up a separate parental controlled log in for your child on your/their PC
- Sit with your younger child while they are using an internet connected device
- Set up a safe content filter on your house hold modem or individual devices
Use “Safe Search” settings available on YouTube, Google, Bing, & Yahoo. Go to preferences on every browser on each device and then to the safety settings. Make sure it is also enabled on mobile device browsers or use a child friendly browser like Ranger Browser instead of Safari or Google Chrome.
If allowing your child to use a messaging app, choose child friendly Skype or iMessage, and set privacy settings that don’t allow automatic acceptance of files or approaches by strangers.
Set up a free www.openDNS.com internet filtering account on the family modem so that all devices connected by Wi Fi in your home can be covered by safe search filtering options. Note: Now filtering software like NetNanny or OpenDNS can filter adult content from enclosed apps, like Facebook, Instagram, Kik Messenger. There are no safe search filters for apps, you can only disable them in parental control settings.
Parental supervision is essential for safety online. But it won’t work if your child is using an app that isn’t appropriate for their age. See Why. Allowing younger underage kids on adult or older teen apps is not safe with or without parental supervision.
Ask your internet service provider about their family internet safe filtering options.
For more detailed instructions see Leonie’s “Keeping Kids Safe Online” Cyber Safety Manual https://thecybersafetylady.com.au/keepingkidssafeonline/