June 19, 2013: Not long ago parents placed computers in living rooms and common spaces so they could keep an eye on what their kids did online. Today, smartphones, iPods, and tablets ensure the Internet travels with kids wherever they go.
Just a few years ago, when parents worried most about Internet use on computers, 67% of kids said they cleared their history and cache to hide what they did online from their parents. Today, kids may simply flip a switch on their mobile devices for private browsing. If you haven’t guessed already, studies show the No. 1 use of private browsing is for pornography and online sexual content.
“Two boys have visited my home, ages 8 and 10, each with their own iPod touch® in hand, and both devices were soaked in hardcore pornography,” said Sam Black, an Internet Safety Consultant. “These were boys from great families with loving parents. But these parents were unaware of the online dangers facing their boys.”
“Parents today need help to keep up with their kids online and to protect their children from inappropriate content,” said Ron DeHaas, president of Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering.
Today, the company released a new content filter for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to complement its Internet monitoring software for these devices. Covenant Eyes rates pages on the Internet with ratings similar to those for video games and TV shows, such as T for Teen, MT for Mature Teen, M for Mature, and HM for Highly Mature.
These ratings allow parents to easily select a level of filtering that best suits the age and maturity of their child. Parents can also create a custom list of sites they believe should be blocked or allowed.
“Filtering is helpful, but it’s best when used with Accountability software,” DeHaas said. “That allows a parent to receive a report of the sites their child or teen visits, which opens doors to amazing conversations.”
Covenant Eyes Accountability Reports rate each web page, so moms and dads have a good understanding of their children’s interests and the sites they should be most concerned about. Plus, parents can decide what ratings they want to see. For a child a parent may want to see every site rated T for Teen and higher, while the parent of a teen may only want see sites rated Mature Teen and higher. The reports also show the words typed into search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and the titles of videos watched on sites like YouTube.
Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering also is available for Windows and Mac computers. Once a parent sets up filter and reporting settings, their kids are protected on all their family’s devices where Covenant Eyes is installed.
Covenant Eyes offers Internet Accountability services for Android phones and tablets, the Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD. Filtering for these Android devices is not yet provided.