Many parents and spouses in today's world are worried about their families; there are a lot of opportunities for children to be exposed to offensive content on the Internet, and many spouses have a tragic history of pornography use or addiction. So how do we guard our homes against this? How do we help everyone to have safe use of the Internet for learning and recreation? Here are some ways to help everyone be safe and stay protected while using the Internet.
1. Keep your computers in a public area of the house
...such as the living room or kitchen. Avoid putting it in an area that cannot be monitored easily, such as a basement or in a bedroom behind a closed door. While this may sound ridiculous, pornography use, like most other addictions, is often done in secret (Dr. David Hawkins). When you make it more difficult to be secretive, you make it more difficult to access pornography.
2. Install a content filtering system
It is crucial that filters be installed on your network and devices. Much of children's first exposures to pornography happen by accident (http://www.enough.org/inside.php?tag=statistics), possibly as ads or pictures while visiting benign sites. A content filter cuts down on the number of accidental viewings of explicit material, as well as purposeful viewing of said material.
3. Have open conversations
...with your children or spouse, and make a plan with them as to what their response will be before they view harmful pictures or sites. There are many different ways to do this. One such strategy is called the 10-minute Rule, shared at the 2016 Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) conference by Deanna Lambson, founder of White Ribbon Week. When implemented, all parties involved commit to letting a parent or spouse know when they have come across harmful material within 10 minutes of viewing. The spouse or parent who is informed commits to keep their cool and get the facts of the situation before responding, creating open communication.
While these three points are the most important, there are other ways to prevent pornography use or online infidelity, such as: sharing accounts or account passwords with a spouse or parent; being aware of what is being watched on your television through movies, games, and TV shows; asking spouses or children about what they've been learning, doing, or working on while on the Internet; and limiting screen time of all sorts. These steps will aid you in making your home safer and your family happier and more connected.