Stopping Bad Websites

Feb 03, 2011

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Not too long ago, my wife handed me one of my daughters' homework assignments. She had been asked to note some people in her family that help others in their work and she had listed me:

"My dad keeps bad websites from spreading all around the world!"

That made me really happy for two reasons.

First, I love what we do here at ContentWatch: helping families like mine everywhere to take advantage of the modern marvel of the Internet but to do so in a safe way. We build peace of mind.

Second, I know that my daughter knows there are bad websites. She's only six right now but she already knows. I suspect (and hope, I guess) that she doesn't understand how a website can be bad.

Years ago, a friend of mine told me about his dad, who was a special forces commando of some kind without his children ever knowing it. He had a civilian cover job and the military sent him to places all over the world as needed. After retirement and revealing his secret to his children, he answered the door of his home one night to find his daughter's ex-boyfriend, drunk on his porch with a friend. The ex-boyfriend insisted on seeing his daughter. This father told them to move along before they got hurt. They did not move along and decided to push him around. The fight was very brief.

Now I'm not a violent person, but I want to protect my family too. Every good dad wants to protect his family. And it can be pretty frustrating when bad websites slip into your home. There's no confrontation on your porch. No way to tell them to leave your family alone.

We as parents must be deeply and actively involved with our children if we want to protect them. Buying stuff (even Net Nanny!) is not enough. They're just tools. If someone is determined to get to those bad websites, there are ways around anything. Our kids need to understand what that Net Nanny icon on our computer means and cooperate with it. They need to understand that there are bad websites (and lots of other bad stuff) out there and if all protections fail, what to do then. And we need to stay vigilant to make sure we have done all we can.