Protecting Children from Pornography Online

Parents can help to protect their children from the dangers of living in a sexualized culture, something which can become particularly apparent when viewing websites online.  Family restoration can happen when parents get involved with protecting their children.

The executive director of Parenting at Focus on the Family, Leon Wirth, recently hosted a webinar for Net Nanny, a software program company dedicated to keeping families safe online.  The program, entitled, "What If My Child Viewed Porn and How Do I Handle This?" was the result of collaboration between Focus and Net Nanny to produce a series of webinars on pornography, online predators, and cyber-bullying.  Wirth is a co-author of the book "One Year Father-Daughter Devotions" for Tyndale House Publishers. Read the entire article here

Some helpful advice for parents includes:

1. Know the shows, know the movies, know the books in pop culture today.

2. Don’t assume the best or the worst, but get into your child’s world. Spend time with your kids.

3. Don’t be afraid to set some standards for your family and explain those standards to your family.

4.  Know the devices in your home. A lot of parents make the mistake of thinking, “Well, it’s just an iPod; it’s just an MP3 player; it’s just a TV; it’s just a DVD player.” There are so many devices now where outbound or inbound content can be reached. TV’s have YouTube access and Web browsers on them now.  Video game systems, for a long time, have had Web browsers on them. Get to know those devices.

5. Find the parental controls on devices and wrestle with how to work them. Contact the manufacturer online or by phone if you need help.

6.  Be lovingly vigilant about the fact that there are way more access points than there used to be.  If it’s electronic, you need to understand how it works. 

Watch Leon Wirth’s Net Nanny webinar, “What If My Child Viewed Porn?”

View other Focus webinars on Net Nanny.


  1. I think this is a great starting point, but in today's society, its not just pornography that one has to worry about with children. As evidenced by Miley Cyrus's recent endeavor on MTV, children can get their sexual norms and values from a variety of sources. It is good to be open and honest with children about what is expected so they know how to follow the right path and receive correct information.

  2. There also needs to be a heightened concern that children do not become the subjects of child pornography or other forms of exploitation. Recent developments in technology and children's increased familiarity with it have provided predators with easier access to children. On webcam chat sites, predators can convince children to expose themselves to the camera. These images can them be used for the sexual gratification of predators or can be dissemination to others. Worse yet, these images can be used to shame and extort children to continue to provide images to them. Children will comply in order to prevent these images from being exposed to friends, family or those in their school. This crime, sextortion, is becoming more frequent. Predators use Facebook communications and photos to gain private information and entice children. Parents need to monitor their children's computer use so that their naiveté and underdeveloped decision making ability is not taken advantage of.

  3. Don't forget that children can still be exposed to these norms at houses of friends or relatives. Many parents simply become more controlling with their children's activities, but that response only makes children rebel in more significant ways when they have the chance to. The correct balance comes from being wise about who children stay with and visit, but also in being open with children and in listening to warning signs--whether a still, small voice from God, a gut feeling, or something your child says.