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Students, Phones, and Smart Parenting

June 2, 2011

I had a conversation with the dad of a student in our youth group the other day.  His question was this:  “My son has internet access on his phone.  What’s available in terms of internet filters for phones?  I want to help him stay pure.”  Good question!  In fact, I don’t think I have had this conversation with one other parent yet (regarding phones), but it’s something almost all of us have thought about.

Does your student have internet access on their phone?  Have you thought about this yet?

In doing some research I found this article by Kevin E. Outland at xxxchurch.com on how to “Get Porn off your Kid’s Back.”  He says some really helpful things, some of which Jim Swanson recommended at one of our last Parents’ Connections at WLGBC.  Here’s a few of his points:

1. Don’t allow your kids to have Internet access in their bedroom – whether on a computer or other Internet enabled device (Smart Phone, iTouch, PSP, iPad etc.). You’re just asking for trouble. Make Internet access available only somewhere in your house that you can see what they’re doing online (like your kitchen).

2. Get an Internet filter. Yeah, they cost a few bucks but it’s well worth it to protect your kids. Sometimes they can run into Porn Monkey’s with just a simple typo. Now I hear from people all the time on how kids can get around filters. Well that is not all kids and sometimes a filter is just the deterrent a kid needs to keep him away from Monkey Island (porn monkey island).

3. Check your kids computer, phones and other electronic devices for porn. They can get it from places other than the Internet – a text from a friend, an email with an attachment, a USB stick from a buddy. So randomly check their devices and see what you can find. If they know you’re checking that may help them avoid the monkeys.

Internet access won’t be going away, and not everything on the internet is pornography, but parents DO have the right and responsibility to set the standards and guidelines regarding usage for their students. Here are a few resources I found to help with that if you choose to allow your student to have a phone with internet access.  Let me know if you have found more.

X3Watch Android:  This “always on” application is an accountability tool (no filters) for those with Android-enabled phones.  Cost is $6.99.

X3Watch iPhone:  This application requires you to disable and replace the Safari browser.  No filters, either.  Cost is $6.99.

Verizon Wireless Content Filters:  This free service allows parents to set age-appropriate content filters based on a rating system.

Covenant Eyes Android App:  Be a part of the test group for Covenant Eyes’ newest tool.

What about you?  What will you do

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