Security & Privacy

Keeping Children Safe from Internet Porn

Posted on April 12th, 2010 by

There once was a time when pornography was only available by under-the-counter means, or only from newsstands, where people usually wouldn’t sell it to kids. But with the Internet providing porn with just a few clicks, are kids being endangered? Dr. Terri Apter examines this in length in an article in the Independent. Dr. Apter points out how easy it is to find porn online:

Type into google any common female name, or the name of a sweet (such as a lollipop) or a flower (a blue orchid, say) and up will come links to websites that open on to a disturbing new world – a world of extreme pornography that includes images of child rape and other acts of sexual torture. But these are not sites restricted to private systems requiring credit-card payments or age verification; indeed, they are easily accessible by children.

While some people may search for porn intentionally, kids often stumble on it without looking.

It is now estimated that 12 per cent of our five- to seven-year-olds and 16 per cent of eight- to 17-year-olds have unintentionally stumbled on to some of the estimated 250 million pages of pornography on the internet, while 38 per cent of older teens admit to seeking out such sites.

And what about chat rooms, where kids can be stalked by predators?

In chat rooms, meanwhile, it takes only the input of minimal personal details for a person anywhere in the world to be alerted when a child goes online – and then to instigate a conversation to explore and exploit the child’s interests and insecurities. Research across several countries shows that 31 per cent of young people aged from nine to 19 who go online at least once a week have received uninvited sexual comments.

Parents are worried about Internet pornography, and psychologists question how it affects the development of children who are at vulnerable ages.

According to Ofcom, 66 per cent of parents say they are concerned about what a child might access on the internet, and at the top of their list of concerns is exposure to sexually explicit material. It is not just knowing that graphic, violent pornography is available on the internet; parents are also worrying about the impact such material may have on their children’s – and particularly their sons’ – emotional and intellectual development.

Pornography is a serious risk for our kids, and children need to be protected. Intego ContentBarrier, part of the company’s Internet Security Barrier X6 suite, is designed to block adult web sites and filter predatory chats. Used by school districts around the world, ContentBarrier is the most effective solution to keep children safe from the dangers of the Internet. With schedules, blacklists, whitelists and age-specific settings, ContentBarrier lets parents and educators keep children from seeing the dark side of the Internet.

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