Teenage son & porn - internet filtering software needed


#1

Can someone recommend good internet filtering software? We’ve been using B Safe Online, but it has caused some problems with our PC.

We have the PC and two Macs. We do not have filters on the Macs so far.

Despite his promises not to, our 15-year-old son has been visiting some terrible porn web sites when he’s home alone. He’s addicted to internet action videos, and will get very angry if we cut off his computer access. He has some mental issues, and needs to be dealt with carefully. He’s been institutionalized twice because of threats of violence against himself and us. It has been easier to use the filter rather than impose sanctions. He does not have a computer in his room; the computers are in areas where we can watch what he’s doing, if we’re home. We’ve tried “logging off” the Macs when we’re not here, but he’s found a way around that.

Yes, he’s getting plenty of competent psychiatric help and counseling, and is on medication. This just isn’t a “I’m Dad and you will obey” kind of situation. That approach won’t work. No, I am not a weak parent.

Your thoughts are appreciated… - Rob in Oregon


#2

We use K9 protection on our computers. We've used it for about 2-3 years on our MAC and its great. Customizable, to everything out there.

www1.k9webprotection.com/

Rob


#3

try

www.surfonthesafeside.com

its not free, but very effective !


#4

[quote="Strawberriness, post:2, topic:202939"]
We use K9 protection on our computers. We've used it for about 2-3 years on our MAC and its great. Customizable, to everything out there.

www1.k9webprotection.com/

Rob

[/quote]

Make sure that if you use this you select "proxy avoidance" so that he cannot use a proxy to get around the filter.

EDIT: Just out of curiosity, have you talked with your son about the dangers of pornography at all? If you have not recently, I would suggest doing so immediately.


#5

Net Nanny also makes a good Mac version. It also has a tracking log which will be useful to know what he has been up to.


#6

Try OpenDNS. It's free if you want and can be customized.


#7

You might also ask him to listen to the following talks on porn/lust:

This one's great, by Jason Evert:
alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/The_Poison_of_Pornography.mp3

This one's by Fr. Kenneth Dean. It's good, too.
alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/Conquering_Lust_by_Father_Kenneth_Dean.mp3


#8

I don't have much advice but wanted to say that I understand how hard it is to parent this type of child. We had a foster son who had some anger and self control issues. You DO have to work on trying not to have triggers go off (confrontation, for instance). So, I think you are right to try and work on a way for the problem NOT to happen (access to sights) vs. how to punish when it does happen.
One thing might be to have his therapist say to him that he is requiring you to password protect the computers at all cost so that he cannot be on them when you are not home. Then, his anger will be at the therapist vs. you. This is not a cop out. This is a way to protect your son and family. When he get mad about it at home, you can simply say: Well, you need to address it in therapy next time.
We did this with a couple of issues some of our foster children and it lessened the stress in our home.

Finally, the other option is to take him to a public library and let him use the computers there. The filters are very strong in our public libraries.

So sorry you are going through this. It is VERY hard living with someone you cannot trust, especially when they are not rational when you try and address the issues.
AnnGrace


#9

I second the use of OpenDNS. I have the free version set up on my main PC and it is very effective.

The REALLY good thing about it is you can also set it up on your router so it will affect ALL computers on your home network. So if you son decides to go on other computers or bring something else in for his viewing “leisure”…he will still be restricted.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.


#10

I did some research and the one that won the most awards is SafeEyes. Consumer Reports gives it really big points.


#11

I should have mentioned that the link at the top of every catholic.com page that says “Chastity” is a good resource.

Also, speaking from experience (I’m a 19 yo male), your son’s problem needs immediate action–on his part more than yours. I realize that he has some conditions that may affect the way he behaves, but it is imperative that you explain and reason with him as to why pornography is so destructive. Again, use the link above if you’d like to see some additional examples.

Even at my age, I have already seen how destructive and accessible pornography can be in my life and the lives of others.

I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll say a prayer for your son.


#12

Friends:

Thanks so much for all your advice.

Our son was adopted from Korea, and was borne 6 weeks premature to his birth mom. His diagnosis strongly suggests Asperger's Syndrome, although there are other issues.

As far as lecturing him about porn, I will try to bring the subject up soon, at a good time. I'm taking him and his 12-year-old Chinese adopted sister to our parish this Saturday for confession. I'm going to gently suggest, when his sister is not around, that he confess this.

There are also some very good books about chastity at the Catholic Answers Store. Perhaps it's time I ordered one of them for him.

I remember well my youthful addiction to porn when I lapsed in my faith, so I know how he feels. I thought the Church's moral teaching was impossible to live up to, so I gave up rather then feel hypocritical. Now, at age 59 and in a good marriage, the only problem left is occasional glances at immodestly dressed young women in public, and I'm working to rid myself of that, too. When will this "low-cut-blouse" fad go out of style?

This forum has been a great blessing to me over the years. I think it has been responsible for many conversions. Let's send CA a dollar or two when we can, to keep it going.

God bless.. - Rob in Oregon


#13

This should not be the only conversation you have with your son. I honestly wish that my parents had been more on top of my issues when I was younger. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any type of filtering software, and I was good at covering my tracks. I was also good at weaseling out of any conversation involving pornography.
I said things like:
“Don’t worry. I was just curious, and I don’t look at that stuff anymore.”

Maybe I hadn’t looked at pornography for a week, but I did again soon enough.

My point: This needs to be an active conversation. It’s not a one time lecture. Most of us in my generation were exposed to pornography around the age of 11 or 12 (this is actually the national average in the US), and we lacked the maturity to realize its harmful effects.
This has lead to the normalization of pornographic material in our culture and the expectation that young men will always be looking at pornography.

This isn’t the pornography you encountered when you were his age.

The sooner you act the better. Good luck, and I’m sure that many of us will be praying for your son and all of the you men and women his age.

EDIT: Also, great idea bringing your son to confession!


#14

Move the computer to a communal place in the home.
Take the router with you when you leave the house and he's being left alone.
Share with him the stories of women who were in the porn industry and have since left. Help him to see these women as human beings rather then just objects for lust.

I dunno... that's all I can think of.


#15

the filter that i have on my pc is clean internet

cleaninter.net

It's very good and I haven't been able to bypass it (im pretty good at comptuers and there is a fault in K9 which you can bypass it)


#16

[quote="Rob_in_Oregon, post:1, topic:202939"]
Can someone recommend good internet filtering software? We've been using B Safe Online, but it has caused some problems with our PC.

We have the PC and two Macs. We do not have filters on the Macs so far.

Despite his promises not to, our 15-year-old son has been visiting some terrible porn web sites when he's home alone. He's addicted to internet action videos, and will get very angry if we cut off his computer access. He has some mental issues, and needs to be dealt with carefully. He's been institutionalized twice because of threats of violence against himself and us. It has been easier to use the filter rather than impose sanctions. He does not have a computer in his room; the computers are in areas where we can watch what he's doing, if we're home. We've tried "logging off" the Macs when we're not here, but he's found a way around that.

Yes, he's getting plenty of competent psychiatric help and counseling, and is on medication. This just isn't a "I'm Dad and you will obey" kind of situation. That approach won't work. No, I am not a weak parent.

Your thoughts are appreciated... - Rob in Oregon

[/quote]

I used to run a course for parents, gaming, internet use ect. this is right up my ally!

So the bad news:

Nothing you can do will stop him. Programs half work arounds moving computers into public areas will work. Locks are made for honest people as the saying goes. Theres a reason back vaults are graded by how long it takes to open them not but how nifty they look.

That being said you need to address the source of the problem instead of just setting up locks. Little billy is crafty and most likely knows the family computer much better then you.

I would flat out restrict him using the computer at all. Lock him out all together. Then when he complains sit him down and explain where porn really comes from. Sex slaves, virus filled servers and under age trade sites.

Telling your son the danger of such sites and what he contributes too maybe the thing he needs.

Trust me it works.


#17

Open DNS. It’s a router-level filtering/blocking program. Not much gets through if you set it up correctly.

Of course, your son can always access porn through someone else’s connection. Or the public library.

:mad:

You just have to stay vigilant and work with him to let him know how bad this is.


#18

I would recommend K9 web protection and OpenDNS. Both are free, and you can use both of them together. Install K9 web protection on each computer (though I don't know if they have a Mac version), and configure OpenDNS on your router to restrict all computers/devices on your network. You will then have two layers of protection, without having to pay for anything.

EDIT: Oops, I didn't realize how old this topic was. Oh well, maybe someone else will be looking for a similar recommendation.


#19

Neither did I. :blush: I usually catch the initial date, but somehow this one had so few responses initially that I didn’t check. I hope the OP found a solution that worked for his household, it sounded like he had challenges that many of us don’t have. Not that any teen is happy when he can’t get to his favorite porn sites - my son still makes daily attempts to bust through Open DNS. :frowning:


#20

There are many Internet filtering software available in the market which comes with parental controls and can monitor the activities of your children while accessing the Internet. The important feature of these products is that they limit time spent on the internet by creating predetermined time rules. It does this by limiting time based on the time of day or daily and weekly time allowances, once time limits are reached a blocking message appears on the screen of the monitor.
Internet filtering software


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