Combating Porn: Keeping Schools Safe on the Web
Did you know that in the UK porn websites are accessed more frequently than social media sites like facebook and shopping sites like amazon? “According to new data obtained exclusively by the Guardian, internet traffic to legal pornography sites in the UK comprised 8.5 percent of all “clicks” on web pages in June – exceeding those for shopping, news, business or social networks.
Only “arts and entertainment” – a category that is boosted by Google’s video site YouTube – and search engines were bigger, at 9.5 percent and 15.7 percent respectively.” – Business Standard
Another interesting factoid: 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn.
The internet in the class room
The introduction of the internet into the classroom has led to some serious unintended consequences that many administrators are not prepared to handle on a daily basis. I warn you, some of the statistics are shocking and hard to read for most parents and educators out there. We try our best to protect our kids from the dangers of the internet, but sadly they are still getting through our safe guards and viewing illicit content.
In Australia, 64% of children are learning about sex from internet pornography. “In Australia 12 to 19 year olds are large consumers of pornography and early exposure to explicit pornography is leaving young people with a skewed idea of how to have sex. At the moment it’s not about finding your dad’s Playboy at the back of your shed anymore. It’s about the increasing number of instances such as hardcore, fetishistic, B&D thumb drives being passed around a grade six class and this is how they’re initially learning about sex.” -WAtoday.com.au
According to a recent survey of 19,000 parents world wide, children start watching porn at the age of 6, and begin flirting on the Internet from the age of 8. “The survey found that gaming, hacking and so-called “hate” websites, where youngsters are free to use profanity and express disdain, are hot destinations for kids and teens.”
“Kids lie about their age to get access to something they want to explore, in this case a social network,” says Jo Webber, CEO of Virtual Piggy, a website that enables kids to manage and spend money within a parent-controlled environment. “It’s no different than my generation lying about age to get cigarettes or into a bar.” – ABC News 10
In the UK, 100% of 9th grade boys and 50% of girls surveyed by the Deputy Children’s Commissioner were found to be accessing porn, while 4,500 children had committed sexual offenses. “The NSPCC say 11-year-olds are now actively searching out porn on the internet; police figures show that more than 4,500 children, some as young as five, have committed sexual offences. Given such horrifying statistics urgent and robust action needs to be taken to PROTECT children and young people.” – The Huffington Post
The effect that pornography has on our children is profound and well documented. Clearly, parents and school administrators need to have a solid strategy in place to control the internet and limit the exposure of children to pornography and other illicit adult material. The referenced sources in this blog are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to children and pornography. More information can be found at roadtograce.net
Combating the Porn Problem
So the question now becomes “what can we do to protect our children and students?” More and more, schools and educators are turning to Untangle to help win the fight against pornography and illicit adult material.
- Best-of-breed performance from the leading web filtering technology
- Block lists updated in realtime based on sites that users actually browse to
- DIA architecture ensures blocklists are updated in realtime with the latest sites before your users even know about them
- Supports Youtube™ for Schools
- 450+ million website database categorized by content
- Prevent users from accessing encrypted sites using HTTPS
- Over 140 content categories and almost 200 languages supported
- Database maintained by professionally trained multi-lingual web analysts
- Pass, Block, and Log options for all categories, such as porn, gambling, social networking, proxy, webmail, shopping and more
- Add your own URLs, file and MIME types to block, log, or pass
- No proxy settings required
- Reporting and event logs help monitor web browsing behavior
- Set time- and user-based policies, such as allow shopping during lunch and outside business hours (Requires Policy Manager)
- Easily see the usernames of users who are trying to access blocked or flagged sites (requires Directory Connector)
Untangle’s Web Filter was originally built to combat online security threats where rapid reaction to emerging threats was paramount. Untangle’s new web filter is designed around Zvelo’s Distributed Intelligence Architecture that leverages the power of its wide implementation by verifying and classifying every new website and webpage that protected users browse to with algorithmic triggers and a team of 70 professionally trained multilingual web analysts. While 99.9% of users browse sites that are already classified within the 450M+ database, new sites that users find are classified and updated to the hosted database in realtime so that all customers benefit instantly.
Nexgen Appliances believes in protecting our children from internet pron and provides discounted hardware and Untangle subscription software to our education partners world wide. If you are a concerned parent or educator, please talk to your local board of education about leveraging Untangle at your schools to protect your children from internet pornography and illicit adult material.
By Jim Martin