How to Protect Your Children From Accessing Explicit Sites on the Internet

girl on computer

Parents always worry about their children accessing explicit sites on the Internet in their absence. There are software’s that can be installed to block children from accessing explicit sites. However, these only work on laptops and not on mobile devices or tablets and when kids become older, they may find ways to circumvent the software.

Another option you may consider is a filtered DNS service. The benefit of using a filtered DNS service is that it applies to all devices in your home, including mobile phones and tablets.

[Okay, this will not stop your kids from accessing these sites on their mobile phone when they’re away from home. And eventually when they are older and start teaching you about technology, then this will definitely not work!]

So how does one use a filtered DNS? And what on earth is a DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name Service. It’s the phone book of the Internet.

When you type in a web address on your desktop, laptop or tablet, say www.yahoo.com, your devices sends the Yahoo address to your home router (also known as the modem – the black device with blinking lights connected to your telephone line) which then looks up the location of the phone book at your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and checks and sees what Yahoo’s IP address is and then goes and fetches data from Yahoo and send its back to your computer. Nearly all ISP’s have a copy of the Internet’s phone book which is usually refreshed every 30 minutes. And their copy of the phone book has nearly all the web address of all the websites in the world. [I say nearly all the addresses since some countries like China and in the Middle East block certain websites from the citizens.]

When you sign up for a filtered DNS service, like the one provided by OpenDNS, you are basically using a phone book which has been filtered for explicit adult sites, phishing sites, scamming sites, gambling sites and other sites deemed not appropriate for minors.

OpenDNS

Setting up a filtered DNS through services like OpenDNS is easy and free. OpenDNS has a family option which is free. And they provide eay setup guidelines for your devices.

As you can see from below, if your children have their own computer, you can setup the filtered DNS on their machine alone. Or if you prefer to have everyone covered, you can setup the filtered DNS on your home router. This protects everyone in your home from accidentally bumping into explicit adult content sites, phishing and scamming sites and online gambling sites.

OpenDNS Setup

There are other sites that also provide similar services, like Comodo Secure DNS, Dyn Internet Guide, FoolDNS, Greenteam DNS and many more.

I believe that filtering DNS at the router level is a more un-obstructive protection mechanism than at the computer level for young children. Children learn how to tinker with computers in school but I have yet to see a school which teaches them how to work their home routers šŸ™‚

Home and Hotel Safety

This news is courtesy of a good friend who travels a lot and stays alone at hotels and at home. She saw this while on her trip to the US.

Police in the US recommends a simple safety device called the Super Grip Lock to be placed on your door lock to prevent someone from breaking in or opening your door even if they have a key.

Here’s a video showing how the device works.

If it’s not available in your local hardware store, its available on Amazon.

Productivity at Work Starts at Home

When I was working in Nigeria, I found it strange in the beginningĀ when my Nigerian colleagues would ask me how my wife was? Until someone else explained to me that a husband is only happy when the wife is happy (oh, don’t we know that) and the wife is happy when the children is happy.

I’ve also seen how the mood and productivity of my colleagues change at work depending on well their lives are getting on. This is a common human behaviour. This was highlighted last night when my wife and I was watching the documentary on the murder of Lloyd Rayney’s wife and the police officer who delivered the news to Mr. Rayney remarked that Mr. Rayney looked calm and composed and was going through his day as usual before he was told that his wife was missing (Mr. Rayney was supposedly the prime suspect in his wife’s murder.) The judge in reading out his judgement noted that if someone actually hurt their spouse, in this case, allegedly murdered his wife during the wee hours of the morning, Mr. Rayney displayed no emotions prior to being informed by the police. And police officers are trained to take note of human facial changes, even when we’re not aware of it.

The first key to productivity in the office – ensure your kingdom at home is at peace.

If it is not, dont deny that nothing is wrong. Acknowledge that there is a conflict. And communicate with your spouse to resolve it. Being silent or moody isnt going to help anyone. You may resort to being silent, thinking everything will be okay but it may have adverse effects on your spouse.

Communicate civilly. Raising voices or throwing tantrums will not resolve the issue. Put yourself in your spouses shoes, how would you want yourself to act? Is what he/she saying hold water?

Never ever think that the relationship is not worth it. Some people think they can easily walk out of a relationship. Always remember that your spouse and you are having a disagreement on something, not a disagreement on each other. Your relationship is more important than your ego, so being “right” can go out the window.

Force yourself to listen to your partner. Really listen to what he/she is trying to say. Pay attention. Grasp their message.

Sometimes the time isn’t right to come up with a solution. It’s all right to agree to hold theĀ solution untilĀ the both of you are in a better frame of mind.

Once a solution has been found, neverĀ bring up this problem again to remind your partner about their weakness. Once a problem has been solved and both parties have learnt their lesson, bury the problem and never speak of it again.

A peaceful life at home makes a wonderfully productive person at work or in business.

Everything in life is connected.

Make the best of it.