Can Your Child Find Porn on Your Phone?
Whether a six-year-old is tapping on Grover in “The Monster at the End of This Book” on an iPad, or a teen is blowing through “The Hunger Games” on a Kindle Fire, some parents don’t realize that many devices, marketed for reading, music listening or gaming, also provide Internet access — and sometimes a back-door to unwanted content.
When I was interviewing parents for “So How Do We Talk About This?” many said they had carefully set up parental controls on a home computer. But when I asked about the full range devices in their home like Wiis, PSPs, Nooks, and iPod Touches — all of which can access the Web—few of the parents had closely considered trying to extend those controls.
Kids access the Web in lots of ways beyond the family computer. A recent report from the Pew Research Center, focused on teens shows that nearly half have accessed the Web on a smartphone in the last 30 days—and nearly half of those did so using a borrowed phone. So, if your family hopes to filter unwanted Internet content, where do you start without going insane?
After talking to software experts, sex educators and a whole lot of overwhelmed parents, we compiled a five-step guide to thinking through your own family’s approach to managing explicit online content at home, on your phone and anywhere else the Internet travels.