The Official Net Nanny Blog

Setting Boundaries for Tech Addicted Kids (and Parents)

Like most parents, I struggle with setting boundaries with technology that my family will respect. Before setting boundaries, though, it’s important to understand why our kids are on their devices so much. Unfortunately, the truth is that we, as parents, are partly responsible

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I was watching “How I Met Your Mother” once and I noticed that one story arc was based on something very real.  The character Marshall was going for a job he really wanted and was told if he passed the background check then he was in.  So he googled, binged or yahooed himself and found a video online from his college days, drunk and streaking.

In this age of social media sites or virtual communities’ people are sharing everything.   Pictures of their night out this last weekend or a trip to Cabo for vacation posted to Facebook. Video of the funniest things they did while at Mardi Gras posted to Youtube.  All the twits and tweets they did commenting on people, places and things while touring Disneyworld.   There is Livejournal, Tumblr and MySpace they don’t get as much press these days but they exist and get postings.   Multiply this by all your friends and family and there can be quite a listing under your googled, binged or yahooed name.   The question is how will prospective employers, grant givers or just folks you are trying to impress look at these pictures, videos or tweets?

There are things to consider before posting. Do the pictures contain any alcohol, rude gestures, nudity, fighting?    All of these things can raise a red flag to prospective employers.  Facebook now has face recognition so they don’t have to have your consent to tag you in a photo that has been posted.   So if you decided you really wanted those beads at Mardi Gras and exposed something to get them, then every girl/guy in your vicinity probably has their phone at the ready to post to their fave social media site.  Also…when posting your status on Facebook if it’s something you would not want your mother to read then you probably shouldn’t post it.   Youtube is a free forum to post a video and caption it with anything.  So if a frenemy of yours finds a treasure trove of videos of everyone “just having fun” …you can see where this can end badly.  Twitter is a fun way to connect on a daily sometimes hourly basis with your followers or people you are following.  Be careful on what you tweet. Once you hit tweet it’s on the internet and cannot be unsaid or un-tweeted.  If you are feeling judgmental that day and tweet what you consider sarcastic and funny about someone or something it can be considered hateful, rude or condescending which does not reflect well on your character.    These can seem inconsequential when looking at just one but combined it can lead to a not so flattering picture of a person.  Those higher ups that you are trying to impress may think twice about your application.

Best rule of thumb when posting to social media sites is to constantly consider “What type of person do I want my internet presence to be?”  

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Internet Presence and How It Can Affect Us

I was watching “How I Met Your Mother” once and I noticed that one story arc was based on something very real.

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"Quite honestly, your honor, (pornography) destroyed my soul," says Bradley Dean Freeze, a former fire agency captain of Kaysville, Utah. The Standard Examiner reports that he is now charged with one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. The punishment for such a crime is 15 years in prison.

From Porn to Prison

"Quite honestly, your honor, (pornography) destroyed my soul," says Bradley Dean Freeze, a former fire agency captain of Kaysville, Utah.

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Lots of kids have or want an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad -- including my kids.  These devices are very popular for games, music, videos, and much more. They are feature-rich and have Wi-Fi access.

Parental Controls for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad

Lots of kids have or want an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad -- including my kids. These devices are very popular for games, music, videos, and much more.

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I have treated substance abusing adolescents on two continents: Europe and North America. While I worked for a private company that contracted me to work with substance abusing adolescents on an American Military installation in Germany, I would regularly see kids stop using marijuana and start using alcohol upon their arrival in Germany. Alcohol in the states was harder to come by due to regulation efforts for the 21 and under crowd. When teens arrived in Germany, they found marijuana was second to alcohol in availability with a legal drinking age of 16. In the Atlanta area where I currently practice, we have problems with cocaine and crystal meth. When living near the Belgian border, ecstasy was in plentiful supply but I hardly ever heard of cocaine use in my teen client population working abroad. Likewise, ecstasy use is not in plentiful supply for teens in Atlanta as it was in Belgium where 90% of the world’s Ecstasy is produced.

Access and Availability: Distribution Channels in the Role of Addiction

I have treated substance abusing adolescents on two continents: Europe and North America. While I worked for a private company that contracted me to work with substance abusing adolescents on...

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As you review which parental controls or Internet filters work best for your family, take a look at these couple blogs written by mothers. We met both bloggers at CES while announcing our new mobile product, which filters mobile device Internet surfing. We will be releasing the Android mobile version this week and the iPod version in March.

Shopping for an Internet Filter? 2 Moms Share Their Perspective

As you review which parental controls or Internet filters work best for your family, take a look at these couple blogs written by mothers.

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“My story is different than most women’s. Yes, my life has been affected by pornography. However it isn’t a boyfriend or spouse that has an addiction. I am the addict.” (Source: Good Women Project)
The typical pornography addict surfs the web for the latest images on their favorite site. They feed their unquenchable addiction and spend countless hours viewing sexually graphic images. 
According to United Families International blog, out of any given three pornography web sites visitors, one is a woman. So pornography is not just a man’s problem--17% of women would describe themselves as “addicted” to pornography. Women face the same challenges of addiction as  men.  
One brave woman wrote about her addiction to pornography while on the road to recovery. Like other addicts, she was ashamed and disgusted and wrote about her challenge anonymously on goodwomenproject.com. Her addiction began with romance novels.
She began reading love stories, which seemed innocent. But after the short-lived story was over, she was left intrigued and unsatisfied. She dabbled in erotic literature but it didn’t satisfy her appetite either. It was then that she began viewing hard-core pornography.
After years of viewing, she realized she had an addiction. She said, “An addiction is a bad habit that you can’t stop on your own and your personal willpower isn’t enough to help you overcome.”
She commented that addiction took the joy out of life. She worked less and less; as a result she didn’t have enough money to pay bills or buy food. She stayed up all night and slept during the day. She viewed pornography constantly. Her family noticed the change. She was “living in a world of darkness.”
This woman watched a friend get arrested in a prostitution sting induced by pornography. She decided to change. She cut herself off from pornography. At 12-step meetings, and while working with a therapist and her ecclesiastical leader, she started to build a new life, free of pornography.
She notes, “I quit cold-turkey. And I suffered withdrawals. I didn’t sleep for about 3 weeks. I couldn’t think. I didn’t want to eat. All I did for those three weeks was pray, educate myself on addiction and recovery, and do the bare minimum to survive physically. There were moments of despair and hope, pain and joy, fear and love, and darkness and light. In the end I was stronger, more knowledgeable, lighter and above-all else: clean.”
Any sort of addiction stems from character weaknesses. We use things, such as pornography, as a coping mechanism to these problems. We want to lessen the pain and disappointment we feel in ourselves by numbing it with an addiction. This woman’s first-hand account is devastating but hopeful. And she is one of millions suffering from pornography addiction. She is recovering and has been clean for 10 months. There is hope for the addict.

How Can Net Nanny Help?
ContentWatch, makers of Net Nanny, will give a copy of its leading Internet Filter to any addict or addict’s family. Free.
Here’s how it works:
The addict should identify a sponsor (e.g. Ecclesiastical leader or spouse). Just like Alcoholics Anonymous, an addict needs a sponsor to go to for help.
The sponsor contacts ContentWatch to ask for a Sponsor Copy of Net Nanny. (email: dlyon@contentwatch.com) ContentWatch will donate a Sponsor Copy with a free twelve-month license.
The sponsor installs Net Nanny on the addict’s computer, and keeps the passwords and login credentials. If the addict needs access to Web sites that are being blocked, he or she needs to ask the sponsor for permission. The sponsor can administer requests remotely and no local access required.

Women and Pornography, Silent and Widespread

“My story is different than most women’s. Yes, my life has been affected by pornography. However it isn’t a boyfriend or spouse that has an addiction.

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No, it's not a pretty headline, but it seems to be reality.  According to a Journal of Urban Health study, one in 13 teen girls said they engaged in "multi-person sex" (MPS).  Researchers at Boston University's School of Public Health believe imitation of pornography is a leading cause.

Pornography Makes Teen Girls More Likely to have Group Sex

No, it's not a pretty headline, but it seems to be reality. According to a Journal of Urban Health study, one in 13 teen girls said they engaged in "multi-person...

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After years of rejecting its applications, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to give the adult entertainment industry the .xxx top-level domain, a move that results in the establishment of a virtual red-light district on the Web.  This week, the sale began.

Today, most web site names end in .com, .net, .org, .gov, or .edu.  The implication of this proposed change is that an adult content / pornographic web site will have the option of using the .xxx domain name.  At first glance, this would seem to make it easier for parents or parental controls software vendors to monitor and protect children and teens from objectionable sites. 

In reality, this change would potentially make it very easy for a curious child to quickly get into trouble.  I envision children getting immediate access to X-rated materials by innocently typing in almost any word with a .xxx name.  Exposure to such images is not quickly forgotten or erased from a young memory.

Knowing how well-funded corrupt businesses operate, I expect pornographers to co-locate their content on existing .comdomains and also on the new .xxx domain, thus increasing the prevalence of pornography sites.  Pornographers won’t likely voluntary give up their successful .com addresses to locate solely on the .xxx domain.  As a result, pornography content will be more pervasive. 

As the owner of a few reputable web sites, I have considered what will happen when .xxx domains go on sale and reputablecompanies are a bit slow to purchase their .xxx domain name to simply protect them.  Our company will jump to buy www.netnanny.xxx to avoid the trouble a pornographer can wreak if they do any URL spoofing based on our brand name.

The other overriding challenge is that there is no real legal regulation, in practice.  Indeed, Internet pornography is hardcore obscenity and it is illegal.  But it is so ubiquitous, it is not usually prosecuted.

It’s not likely that Congress would be able to pass a law requiring pornographers to conform to the .xxx domain.  And even if passed, such as law would be relatively unenforced in federal court, if the past is an indicator of the future. Historically, efforts by Congress to regulate smut on the Internet have not been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In short, as .xxx domains go on sale, we will see an increase in the pervasiveness of pornography and its accessibility.  Ironically, the Internet is used for so many good things too.

.XXX Domain Names Go on Sale!

After years of rejecting its applications, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to give the adult entertainment industry the .xxx top-level domain, a move that results...

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