While the rest of XXXchurch.com will be covering Confessions this month (be sure to check out the other blog sections for their great content!), over here in the Parent’s section of the site, we’ll be focusing on the type of questions we get all the time from parents, which often start like this: “When Should I…?”

Today, I wanted to cover the common question: When Should I Start Using a Filter?

My simple answer is: START USING A FILTER TODAY on ALL Internet-enabled devices.  A strong filter and parental controls can effectively block your child from accessing sexual and pornographic content. 

We receive so many letters and emails from parents who learned this lesson the hard way; they wait to use Internet filters until their children have already been exposed to pornography.  Time and time again, parents are shocked by how easily their young children can come across pornography (both accidentally and intentionally).  Just last week, I was talking with a mom who found her four-year-old looking at a pornographic video on YouTube.  She doesn’t know how he ended up there, and she only left him alone in the room with the computer for about ten minutes while she was in the kitchen, but he was absolutely fascinated, and all week, he has wanted to go back.

Parents: You must understand, pornography is extremely pervasive online.  Kids can come across pornographic content through a misspelled word, a celebrity-linked webpage, a link in an email or on Facebook, on Twitter or through a simple image search.  Pornography sites use a variety of marketing tactics to reel users deeper into their sites—very few sites have any legitimate age-verification/restriction to block your five, ten or fourteen-year-old from accessing hardcore, explicit X-rated content.  Often, when a young child enters a porn site, they will find a wide catalogue of images and videos of every type of fetish along with mainstream pornography.  Some of these sites will send countless popup images to the screen—sometimes the only way to get away from these images is to turn the computer off.

It’s also critical to understand that both boys AND girls struggle with pornography addiction and access to pornography.  Boys AND girls are curious about sex, and when they look online for sexual content, it’s highly likely that if you aren’t using a filter, that your little son or daughter will come across pornographic content.  So regardless of whether you have a son or a daughter, and regardless of their age, the time to start using a filter is TODAY.

Finally, it’s important to use filters and parental controls on ALL interned connected devices.  This includes your child’s laptop, cell phone, smart phone, music player, gaming console, desktop, etc.  Kids can easily access pornographic content through your smart phone if you aren’t using a filter and parental controls.  We have also seen an increase in the amount of gaming-fueled pornography addictions in youth, so be sure to check out the available parental controls and filtering options in all of these devices.

It’s much easier to prevent exposure to pornography than it is to try to address and deal with pornography exposure and possible addictive access.  Don’t wait until it is to late.  Your child’s purity and innocence are worth investing in a solid filtering system (like our X3watchPRO) and parental control system (like SafeEyes).