Why did I get a notification?

By Melanie Terry |

Guy holding smartphoneYou just got your first notification text message.  Now, you might be wondering what to do next.  Some of you might even be panicking, wondering where you went wrong as a parent/spouse.  STOP.  Don’t panic.  There are many reasons you could have gotten that notification, and some of them do not include your child or spouse purposely looking for porn sites. The NetAngel filter, like all machines, is fallible.  It has it’s limitations, and could possibly be alerting you to a number of false positives rather than a blatant search for pornographic material.  Here are some examples of triggers for the alerts.

  • URL Trigger.  This may or may not be a sign of a problem.  The URL line often has a bunch of random characters after the initial site name.  Sometimes words with sexual connotations end up in the middle of the random characters, triggering the alert.  However, if the initial site name has something to do with sex, this is more likely to be a legitimate problem.
  • The site is blacklisted.  This means the URL searched for matches one found in our list of known (and blocked) porn sites.  The whole site would be blocked in this instance.
  • Search keywords.  Pages would be blocked if someone did a Google search for pornographic content or words relating to sex.
  • Social Media posts.  Coming across inappropriate content on social media would cause part of the feed to be unable to load and trigger a notification text.
  • Comments.  An article or page with inappropriate comments would get a block on that part of the page and trigger the alert.  The user may not even be aware anything was blocked.
  • Links to inappropriate sites on base site.  An innocent article or page may have links to other articles or pages that have sexual content.  Like with the comments, the user may not know anything was blocked since it only blocks part of the page.
  • Images or ads.  Images with sexual words in the image file name or ads that are found to have inappropriate pictures will be blocked without affecting the rest of the site.  This also has the possibility of the user not knowing anything was blocked, even though a text message was sent.

The main purposes of the text message notification system are to add instant visibility into Internet use and to open the way for conversations when inappropriate content appears.  It is not meant to be used as evidence of a pornography addiction.  So as you are getting text notifications, remember not to jump to conclusions; it’s up to you to determine what is really going on through observation and conversation.

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The NetAngel filter is the world's first human-driven pornography filter.  It sends text messages to a parent, spouse, or accountability partner in real-time whenever pornographic content or inappropriate sites are accessed on the internet, which invites a conversation to happen.  Buy a router today to instantly protect all devices in your home.