At the end of Sunday’s sermon, I promised to put some advice online about how to block, filter and guard against the incursion of pornography into your home and office. Here are the best tools I know of. Feel free to suggest others in the comments.
More important than any software/hardware tool is address the heart issue.
What lie(s) are you tempted to believe that would lead you to think that pornography is more pleasing and satisfying than being in relationship to God?
But sometimes you need to detox enough to process biblical truth. So with that said, here are some tools to help in the battle.
The advantage of an internet filter is not merely the blocking, but the alerting. The software below will email you regular updates of all internet usage and highlight any violations. They also are able to block access to various categories of sites (e.g., porn, gaming, social networking, etc).
Covenant Eyes – $8.99+/mo; known, used and appreciated by a variety of FBC men
X3Watch – $7/mo, includes real-time notifications via text messaging
Using a network router to fight porn means that any device (computer, tablet, ipod, etc.) that’s hooked into the internet via that router is automagically filtered. The delight of this solution is that it covers all devices in a home or business. However, it does provide protection for devices that can leave the house (e.g., a laptop at Starbucks) or that have built-in internet access (smart phones, some tablets & a few laptops).
OpenDNS FamilyShield – Free, can be used with most existing home routers; business options also available
Skydog – $149, a router with extensive parent controls; setup different rules for different devices; be notified when any new device joins your network; limit amount of time on specific sites (e.g., Facebook). Purchase of router covers filtering subscription for 3 years.
Smartphones and Tablets
Believe it or not, iPhones, iPads and iPods are far easier to set up limited access for than Android-based devices (Galaxy, Droid, etc). These devices are more prolific than computers now and often have internet access built-in. Make sure you figure out a solution here!
PARENTS = you may not be the most tech-savvy person, but take the phone you purchased for them and begin looking at the apps they have downloaded. Visit grovo.com for online tutorials of various sites/apps. Get to know what they have installed. As parents, you also should start downloading the same apps and familiarizing yourself with them. If you don’t have time to visit these various sites and don’t have the ability to interact with them, make a friend who does.
I am just stunned by parents who give their pre-teen children iPhones or iPads with unrestricted Internet access.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) July 11, 2013
iPhones and iPads (read both!)
Block Porn & Internet on iPhone/iPad – clear instructions on how to lock Safari and install an alternate porn-blocking browser; someone other than the user should do this; do not share the passcode with the end user!
Control Access to Apps on iPhone/iPad – many apps allow internet access independently of Safari. The Mobicip browser people have setup a good guide to locking in the rest of your iPhone/iPad. Particularly relevant are the settings that begin at “General Parental Control Restrictions Setup.”
Android (Galaxy, Droid, HTC, Nexus, etc)
Block Porn on Android Tablet – useful tool for locking down Android tablets; does not work on phones
Make Android Kid-Friendly — Android does not include very much built-in to lock down your device; sandboxing the device is a great method for younger kids; alternately, you can install a variety of apps to lock up access
Block Access to Select Apps – this is a solid app to lock access to individual apps