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Break the Lure of Internet Porn – Software for Porn Addiction

Last Updated: August 10, 2021

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Pornography is a global corporate giant. The adult entertainment industry entered the mainstream of capitalism when Playboy magazine hit newsstands in 1953. Today, tens of billions of dollars are generated from the adult industry, and according to the Free Speech Coalition, the fastest growing segment of the adult market in the U.S. is on the Internet. Internet porn is a $3 billion dollar a year business.

There is a rapidly growing segment of the population that is coming to realize the devastating effects that pornography consumption can have on individuals, families and society. This segment isn’t merely made up of the Moral Majority or the Religious Right, but psychologists, marriage therapists, neurobiologists, feminists, politicians, and big business owners.

Is Filtering All There Is?

Various organizations are doing their part to combat the harms that flow from the adult industry’s products: Covenant Eyes is just one of those organizations. Covenant Eyes recognizes that there is an expanding segment of the population that desires self-censorship. Internet filters have their place, especially in protecting families and children, but they often aren’t the best technology for adults. (Even the best filters tend to over-block or not block enough, and at any rate, most adults hold the passwords and overrides to their household filters.) This segment of the population not only understands some of the potentially harmful effects of pornography on an individual, but they also understand the allure of porn. These people desire new tools that can help them stay away from Internet pornography.

Accountability Software

Psychologist Al Cooper believes that the three main factors that draw people into online sexual activity are

(1) Accessibility,

(2) Affordability, and

(3) Anonymity.

He dubbed this the “Triple-A Engine” of Internet porn.

These three factors work like three legs on a stool: remove just one of the legs and the stool will fall (or at least make it awkward to sit on).

Software for Porn Addiction - Killing the Tripe-A Engine of Internet PornCovenant Eyes equips people to take way the ‘A’ of ‘Anonymity’ and replace it with ‘Accountability.’ In other words, Covenant Eyes takes away the secrecy of Internet use by providing a platform by which people give a full and honest account to others about where they go online.

In March of 2000 Covenant Eyes pioneered the concept of “accountability software.” The concept is simple. Download the software to your personal computer. This software will monitor everywhere you go online. It won’t block anything: you can go where you choose to go. The program then assigns a rating to every part of every Web site based on objectionable material. This information is then compiled into easy-to-read reports that are sent to people of the user’s choosing. These people can then become effective accountability partners.

How does this help people?

First, as we’ve already noted, this takes away the anonymity of Internet use. For many the lure of pornography is its secrecy. When you choose to give an account of where you go online—to a trusted friend, counselor, pastor, or spouse—you remove the secrecy, thus, you remove much of the temptation.

Secondly, because the software only monitors without blocking, it preserves your freedom to surf the Web, which helps you build self-control in how you use the Internet.

Thirdly, this is excellent software for porn addiction, giving a great first step for those who need to surround themselves with healthy relationships and others that can help get root of their addiction. Covenant Eyes is a tool used by many pastors and counselors in helping people find freedom from their habitual and compulsive pornography use.

How to Use Covenant Eyes Effectively

In a recent interview, Christian counselor Paul Mavrogeorge talked about how to use the Covenant Eyes program:

“Let’s say Dad has two or three men that he is in accountability with. They get reports on where he goes and what he does on the Internet. In addition he’d get their [reports]. So now when they’re meeting or when they’re in conversation, they can have some conversations about, ‘Where did you go?’ and ‘Why did this happen?’ and ‘What went on?’ It isn’t ‘Oh wow, I gotcha!’ It’s, ‘Hey, let’s talk about this. Did you drift? And if you drifted, let’s talk about it.’”

Covenant Eyes accountability software has very little usefulness outside a community context. The software is a tool to help people who want to bring their Internet use “into the light” and cultivate a healthy, safe, transparent community where others can confess their downfalls and talk openly about the temptations they face.

As one reviewer wrote, Covenant Eyes is about

creating what will ultimately be a network of like-minded people that include parents, family, trusted friends, mentors, coaches, husbands, wives, pastors, clergy, counselors, and other trusted and concerned individuals who are equally committed to helping each other with the same goal of filtering pornography and other undesirable material.”

For More Information

You can download the Covenant Eyes software at covenanteyes.com

Photo credit: sharif
  • Comments on: Break the Lure of Internet Porn – Software for Porn Addiction
    1. Boaly on

      Hey Luke, thanks again for writing this, I’ve had a few text messages & emails from friends who’ve been interested in it.
      Hope that interest motivates toward further action!

      Reply
    2. David on

      Hey Luke,
      I love the accountability software! My accountability partner set a time with some brothers and pointed out several of the sites that I struggled with, and it has had the effect of stopping my Internet porn, after struggling with it for over a decade. I would really like to see Covenant Eyes Accountability Software for SmartPhones like the iPhone. I am waiting to purchase the iPhone until CE, or your competitor, comes up with a working accountability system (not a filter, just accountability software…filters don’t work…they’re more of a game). I’d love your comment on this, and the release date for SmartPhone accountability software. Thanks.

      Reply
    3. Luke Gilkerson on

      David,
      CE for the SmartPhone is a project we’ve been working on for a while now. Be looking forward to a blog post from our VP of Technology some time soon to talk about some of our plans for new technology.

      Reply
    4. Chris on

      I’m really excited to see CE is coming for Windows Mobile! I have a Windows Mobile smartphone now, but just have all internet access blocked to avoid temptation. Will you guys be sending out an email to existing customers when this software is officially announced/available? Thanks!

      Reply
    5. Boaly on

      Was chatting to a guy today who read this post & took a leaflet about covenant eyes and as a result has now got the filter on to protect him & his kids!
      Praise the Lord!

      Reply
    6. Your Silent Sentinel on

      Hmm, I was recently invited on my blog to post here about confession and accountability and the products thereof.
      But I actually want to say this…
      When you’re addicted to porn and you’re searching for it, no amount of filtering is going to stop you from getting it. I’m not saying that filters are useless. On the contrary, they are quite useful. It’s just that there is always a way to get around them. I’ve found that if you are searching for porn without regard as to how you get it, filters only postpone the inevitable.
      Prevention is the best medicine. Teach your kids to abhor porn and pre marital sexuality and to be disgusted by the very thought of arousing those feelings within themselves. It’s better to prepare and prevent than it is to repair and repent. An ounce of discipline is worth a ton of regret.
      Take it from someone who knows from personal experience.

      Your Silent Sentinel

      Reply
    7. Lucinda on

      With covenant eyes am I limited in the search engines or internet browsers that I can use? For example, can I access the internet using internet explorer or firefox or chrome?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @Lucinda – Covenant Eyes monitors all of those browsers and more.

    8. jabob on

      with covenant eyes, if there is more than one account on a computer, does the software send reports from both accounts even though you are only using one of them?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @jabob – No. If you are logged in to Covenant Eyes under one username, all the surfing is recorded under that name, not any other CE user.

    9. Laura on

      what about google chrome, it has a new icognito page, where the sites and viewing do Not show up anywhere else. Does this track that too ?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @Laura – Yes. I wrote a brief post answering this question in late 2008. We monitor not only Incognito Mode for Chrome, but Private Mode in Firefox, InPrivate Browsing in IE, and Private Browsing in Safari.

    10. Flo Visser on

      I am a pastor who has bee asked to do a talk and lead a discussion on the particular pitfalls ministers and their wives face when it comes to marital faithfulness.
      Could you please give me some guidelines in this regard.
      1. What is the minister to do when he finds himself being unfaithful to his marital promises. Who should he tell and what should he tell?
      2. What is the ministers wife to do when she discovers her husband being sexually unfaithful.
      Who should she tell and what shouyld she tell?
      3. What is the minister to do if his wife is unfaithful?Who should he tell and what should he tell?

      I for one am so grateful to God for your great ministry to the body of Christ. May our Lord continue to strenghthen you and use you.

      Reply
    11. Pathy on

      Hi there

      I was wondering that if you went to the task manager and stopped running this programme while the computer is not online and then come online aftwards will my acccountability partner know that I’ve been on the internet?

      Thanks

      Reply
    12. Matt on

      Do you have software for either the iTouch or iPhone?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @Matt – Yes, we have an app that works for both. Go here to get our user guide and information about getting the app. Unlike our service for PCs and Macs, it is an Internet browser.

    13. Jeffrey on

      I fequently or how soon does the accountablity partner get notified of his partners internet site record?

      Reply
      • Michelle on

        What is the best Windows to purchase for your program? I have an old 2002 Windows XP with the service pack 3 but it will not allow me to download your program so I was just gonna go buy a new Windows because i don’t have time to deal with being on the phone trying to trouble shoot the issue.

      • Lisa Eldred on

        @Michelle The 32-bit version (the top one listed on the Downloads page) is designed for XP. If you’re willing to call in, we may be able to have it fully set up for you within 15 minutes…it would save you quite a bit of money, not to mention the time it would take to set up the new version of Windows. The toll-free number is 1.877.479.1119, and representatives will be in the office until midnight (EST) tonight.

    14. zach on

      I was wondering when an app for the android is coming out or if there already is one?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @zach – The app is not out yet. We are presently working on it.

    15. zach on

      Do you have any idea when it will be out?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @zach – Unfortunately no. We’re working on mobile solution that we hope will be usable across multiple platforms. We will let you know when we are closer to launching.

    16. zach on

      okay thank you Luke

      Reply
    17. Peter James on

      This is a very worrying development. We have seen before where this sort of self-imposed suppression / censorship has led. It’s a short-term solution for the symptoms and it does not address the causes.

      In the past people would flagellate themselves to ” cure ” impure thoughts, the psychological damage caused by denying normal God-given desires and feelings was counter-productive and led to other extreme behaviours.

      “How can I teach my children to use the Internet with integrity?”
      “How do I guard my own heart and remain pure online?”
      “How do I serve as an example to my family and church?”

      – There are better ways to achieve these goals than censorship and denial.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @Peter – I have a difficult time seeing how self-imposed accountability measures are forms of “suppression” or “censorship.” I also don’t see how self-imposed accountability can ever be equated to flagellating oneself to suppress desires. Please explain yourself better.

    18. the media nerd on

      I find the whole idea that internet porn of consentimg adults is bad, to just be plain stuped. If you install this on your computer you are a weak human being who will blindly believe anything you are told by the religious right. Porn is not bad, and matsturbation has health benifits, these are facts. So to al of those who think they have a porn addiction I say keep on touching yourself without fear of being judged!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Since you think porn is not bad and masturbation is healthy, please be prepared to give some kind of information that supports these ideas. And since you are convinced people aren’t judged for their involvement in these things, perhaps you could also lend some support to that as well.

    19. Tom Scaffer on

      You can try using a filter, but in the end. The only thing that can save you is prayer to the Lord Almighty. To suggest that you can come up with some human way to overcome the evil of pornography is itself an insult to the power of the Lord.

      Prayer, that is all it takes.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @Tom – I respect the idea that prayer is a powerful medium given by the Lord to give us strength to overcome sin. What I don’t understand is the idea that it is the only medium given by God. There are many means of grace God gives to us, and the community of the church is one major one.

    20. chance hunter on

      unlike you all who are adults i am just a teen.Also i try my hardest to try i might not do it but ever week or every couple of weeks.How i cant….i wont let this take control so i am taking a stand now….making this my life not porn. No matter how hard never give up there is hope that is within……

      Reply
    21. Oscar on

      CE repeadteldy casues my Acer iconia tablet to shut down every time it goes to sleep. So when I go to turn it back on, I have to wait for a complete reboot. It is running android ics, but it was doing this on honeycomb as well. Have any others faced this as well? This is a huge issue because it makes my tablet pretty much uses less, but my wife insists that I have it installed.

      Reply
      • Annelise Hoshal on

        Hey Oscar,

        We are so sorry to hear about your issues with your android tablet and our application. Our customer support team would be more than happy to assist you in resolving your issue. You can contact us at 877.479.1119.

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