How to Set a Block on Your Computer so Your Kids Can't See Porn

Written by deanne lachner
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How to Set a Block on Your Computer so Your Kids Can't See Porn
You can't watch them every second; use software to block inappropriate content. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

From gory or violent images to porn, today's tech-savvy kids may see more on the Internet than you'd like them to. Protect your children from seeing content they should not be exposed to by choosing software to block porn from displaying on your computer. Free software, as well as programs you must purchase, is getting smarter to keep up with both kids and online advertisers who try to beat the system and display inappropriate content.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Implement non-software solutions first. Keep the family computer in an area where you can monitor its use at all times, teach kids how to avoid inappropriate content on the Internet and monitor your phone and credit card bills to make sure a child in your home isn't purchasing porn. With younger children, share an em-ail account so you can see all incoming messages. Restrict your kids from accessing sites that you have not investigated and subsequently bookmarked for their use.

  2. 2

    Download and install FoxFilter 7.6.2 (see Resources), a free Firefox add-on that you access through the "Preferences" menu on your browser. The free version of this program blocks inappropriate content but displays advertisements. For a small fee, you can buy a premium version that offers a few more features and does not display advertisements.

  3. 3

    Set up free parental controls on your Windows system. First, create a standard user account for each child, and set yourself up as the administrator. Click the Windows "Start" button, then "Control Panel," then "User Accounts" and finally "Set Up Parental Controls." Select the child's account for which you are setting up blocking and follow the on-screen directions to adjust the individual settings as desired. For example, block specific websites, allow only age-appropriate websites, restrict a kid's ability to download anything or add keywords that will trigger blocking.

  4. 4

    Install a free program to monitor or block a child's computer use. CNET recommends these free programs: K9 Web Protection, Parental Filter, PicBlock, Anti-Porn, NetDog Internet Porn Filter, FilterGate, APE and The Web Blocker. Download the program of your choice from download.CNET.com, install it according to the on-screen directions and configure as you wish.

  5. 5

    Purchase an Internet filter program. TopTenReviews recommends the following programs in descending order: Net Nanny Parental Controls, PureSight PC, CYBERsitter, Safe Eyes, Cyber Patrol, McAfee Family Protection, FilterPak and imView. Prices, as of March 2011, range from £18.80 for Net Nanny to £39 for PureSight PC. Install and set up the program according to the on-screen directions. Features vary, so investigate the programs before choosing one.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't be lulled into a false sense of security, thinking it cannot happen to your family. The fact is that children are, on average, 11 the first time they see porn on the Internet. About 80 per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds have accessed "hard core" porn multiple times, and 90 per cent of 8- to 16-year-olds have seen porn online, according to TopTenReviews' Jerry Ropelato.

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