In a recent e-mail we recommended a service called Covenant Eyes, which monitors the individual’s internet usage and emails reports to selected people for accountability. Covenant Eyes also has a filtering service that can be used in combination with the accountability service. Complete information and pricing can be found at http://www.covenanteyes.com
In response to this we received an e-mail from Randy Ross of Teens-4-Christ
Bro. Cloud. As you recall, we have ministered to teens for more than 13 years and we operate Teens-4-Christ.org.
Covenant Eyes is a great product for accountability's sake. In fact, I recommended this product for many years. However, it does not address a more critical problem: accidental views and problems with kids. Additionally, we have found that it was easy to bypass.
Here are some interesting statistics I have found in my research:
* 48 percent of students K-1st grade level interact with people on Web sites, while 50 percent indicate that their parents watch them when they use a computer, leaving the other half of those youngsters more prone to being exposed to predation behaviors or other threats posed by online strangers or even persons they know or regard as friends. (Rochester Institute of Technology, 2008)
* 48 percent of K-1st reported viewing online content that made them feel uncomfortable, of which 72 percent reported the experience to a grownup, meaning that one in four children did not. (Rochester Institute of Technology, 2008)
* 32 percent of teens clear the browser history to hide what they do online from their parents. (Harris Interactive-McAfee 10/2008)
* 16 percent have created private e-mail addresses or social networking profiles to hide what they do online from their parents. (Harris Interactive-McAfee 10/2008)
* 63 percent of teens said they know how to hide what they do online from their parents. (Harris Interactive-McAfee 10/2008)
* 43 percent have closed or minimized the browser at the sound of a parental step. (Harris Interactive-McAfee 10/2008)
* A study revealed that boys do the majority of deliberate viewing of pornography, and a significant minority now plans social time around viewing porn with male friends. (Sonya Thompson, Sonya, “Study Shows 1 in 3 Boys Heavy Porn Users,” University of Alberta Study, March 5, 2007)
* Porn has become a major presence in the lives of youth, and while a majority of teens surveyed said their parents expressed concern about sexual content, that concern has not led to discussion or supervision, and few parents are using available technology to block sexual content. (Sonya Thompson)
* The author of the study, Sonya Thompson concluded that parents need to improve dialogue with their children and their own awareness level. They need to be the ones setting the boundaries in the house.
* Overall, boys aged 13 and 14 living in rural areas are the most likely of their age group to access pornography. (Sonya Thompson)
From my own experience with teens, parents simply have no idea what they are doing or how to protect their teens. I could share some horror stories about how the lives of teens have been destroyed.
There was a girl who “fell in love” with a boy who was more than a thousand miles away. In the course of their conversations, she sent him explicit photographs of herself.
There were numerous boys who fell to pornography.
There was one boy, whose home we visited, who was heavily involved in music and pornography. His parents were oblivious and stunned at what we found. This boy was called to preach.
There was another boy who, in a guilt ridden state, was near suicide because of his participation in pornography and child pornography. (He got saved.)
The best option is a combination of a FILTER and a reporting mechanism. I recommend the products offered by BSecure (bsecure.com) and SafeEyes (http://www.internetsafety.com/). SafeEyes also offers products for the office and smart-phones.
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