“How can I protect my children from adult content on the Web that I don’t want them to see?”
In most cases, parental controls, web filtering software, or services like OpenDNS are employed but such solutions rely on block lists to deny access to known objectionable and offensive websites … and they are not automatic.
While black lists and block lists of most modern web filtering solutions are a result of years and hundreds of man-hours of invested research and technology resources and “community” supporters, as well as third-party security feeds and governmental insight, even so, detecting “all” adult web sites is an ongoing challenge that does not ever end. Years ago IDC stated that over 30,000 new porn urls are registered every single day, and since it is impossible for anyone to know all of the hundreds of thousands of adult websites that may or may not be live on any given day, a simple block list or black list will fall short of expectations.
For this reason, parents are often advised to create a safe list only adding the names for the websites they feel are appropriate they can block everything else. Over time, new and kid-safe domains can be added as they are discovered and while this is work for the parents, it an effective solution. However, adult content can and is found on some of the most widely used websites of today, such as Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, as well as SnapChat and Instagram, where it can be buried within a site or hidden behind an access log-in or obfuscated by using an encrypted connection. In these situations, even a white list of parental “approved” sites may be inadequate.
Consider your innocent daughter who search’s Tumblr for a “red dress” for she might find fashion articles, prom dresses, as well as news articles or even movie reviews where a “red dress” is mentioned, but there are also a wide variety of potentially offensive as well as pornographic images which also include that simple phrase.
Considering the many challenges of filtering online adult and objectionable content, web filtering should take place at the Internet connection source, that being at the network level of the service providers. Filter that connection point and all devices in a household or network are covered and protection of smartphones and tablets not utilizing a home’s web connection, then filtering would similarly take place at the mobile carrier network level.
Adult consumers could opt-in/out of any web-filtering program via their ISPs and while consumers tend to accept defaults, that might not be a bad thing given all the security risks related to “adult content”.