Recommending Internet Filters to Church Members

This forum contains discussions related to keeping families and individuals safe while making use of technology. Acceptable topics would range from how to protect families from Internet predators and online pornography, monitoring and protecting cell phone usage and text messaging, locking unwanted television and movies from various devices, protecting and monitoring computer game usage, and promoting safe Internet and technology use.
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garylm-p40
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Recommending Internet Filters to Church Members

Postby garylm-p40 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:01 pm

The Relief Society president in my old ward once asked me if I would address the sisters on the issue of blocking pornography on home computers during a special meeting. Feeling that I lacked the necessary sensitivity to address the matter, I declined. I suggested that she ask the bishop to address the sisters, and that I would help the bishop if any technical questions came up. This turned out to be the best solution.

At one time I had recommended Net Nanny to friends and neighbors, but after having downloaded an update from their site, and after watching all the filthy names of filtered web pages scroll by as the update was performed, I decided that the filter needed to be outside of my house.

I now recommend to friends and neighbors that the filtering be done at the ISP level. The less you have to think about it, the better off you and your family will be.

Still, I'm not sure how to handle the question if it comes up in a church meeting. Perhaps there's a policy by now, and I think bishops now have a pamphlet to help the members, but how should I respond in Elders Quorum meeting if somebody asks which filter to use?

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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:16 pm

garylm wrote:The Relief Society president in my old ward once asked me if I would address the sisters on the issue of blocking pornography on home computers during a special meeting. Feeling that I lacked the necessary sensitivity to address the matter, I declined. I suggested that she ask the bishop to address the sisters, and that I would help the bishop if any technical questions came up. This turned out to be the best solution.

At one time I had recommended Net Nanny to friends and neighbors, but after having downloaded an update from their site, and after watching all the filthy names of filtered web pages scroll by as the update was performed, I decided that the filter needed to be outside of my house.

I now recommend to friends and neighbors that the filtering be done at the ISP level. The less you have to think about it, the better off you and your family will be.

Still, I'm not sure how to handle the question if it comes up in a church meeting. Perhaps there's a policy by now, and I think bishops now have a pamphlet to help the members, but how should I respond in Elders Quorum meeting if somebody asks which filter to use?


We have had this question come up and we usually teach the members how to go out and decide for themselves. There are several sites that rate filtering software, like http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/, which are fairly comprehensive and helpful in making decisions.

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Postby WelchTC » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:23 pm

bhofmann wrote:We have had this question come up and we usually teach the members how to go out and decide for themselves. There are several sites that rate filtering software, like http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/, which are fairly comprehensive and helpful in making decisions.

This is the best way to handle it. The Church currently does not endorse any specific product but ask members to do their own research and pick which is best for their situation and circumstances.

Tom

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Postby garylm-p40 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:24 pm

bhofmann wrote:...decide for themselves


Most people would say they are installing the filter for their children's sake, but assuming that at least five percent of otherwise good dads have a problem, and even a few moms, I would want to recommend a solution that didn't have an override option.

If filtering software is used, maybe mom and dad could each know half of the admin/override password, requiring them to both be present when the configuration is modified.

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Postby bhofmann-p40 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:47 pm

garylm wrote:Most people would say they are installing the filter for their children's sake, but assuming that at least five percent of otherwise good dads have a problem, and even a few moms, I would want to recommend a solution that didn't have an override option.

If filtering software is used, maybe mom and dad could each know half of the admin/override password, requiring them to both be present when the configuration is modified.


This is true. However, there are many other suggestions for setting up a home environment that encourages righteous behavior. Provident Living has some suggestions here, http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,5302-1-2769-1,00.html and here, http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,6278-1-3240-1,00.html.

Internet filtering is only one part of the protection.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:15 pm

garylm wrote:I would want to recommend a solution that didn't have an override option.


The big problem there is that many times the filters work automatically and end up filtering out valid sites about sensitive subjects such as breast cancer, STD, etc.

Personally I think a two-person override is a bit much. Simply keeping a non-erasable one month log of overrides should take care of the issue.

Don't forget that as portable devices become more powerful, the home computer isn't the only means that can be used to access filth.

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Cell phones

Postby mkmurray » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:45 am

RussellHltn wrote:Don't forget that as portable devices become more powerful, the home computer isn't the only means that can be used to access filth.

My daughter has turned one today, and I am already dreading the whole "I want a cell phone" talk for reasons along this line. Perhaps I'm more worried about any sons I may have in the future. I just hope as cell phones are able to access more and more, they make cell phones that parents can administer/control.

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There's Hope!

Postby margiestroble » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:47 am

mkmurray wrote:My daughter has turned one today, and I am already dreading the whole "I want a cell phone" talk for reasons along this line. Perhaps I'm more worried about any sons I may have in the future. I just hope as cell phones are able to access more and more, they make cell phones that parents can administer/control.


Happy Birthday to your daughter!

I'm not trying to say that this is the only cell phone provider company that has anything like this, as I'm sure most or all of them do now. I just happen to have Verizon and they do have this feature in place today. By the time your daughter is old enough to have a cell phone, I'm sure the technology will be even more advanced. So, there is hope :) Check with your current cell phone company for any features such as this that they may have. You can also see the incoming calls and outgoing calls on your account online. Even if your child deletes the information on their phone, you can still see it online.

I copied this from their webpage so you could see what they say.
ChaperoneSM

Chaperone lets you easily locate your family members handset from your Verizon Wireless phone or PC - in real time, at any time.

Chaperone with Child ZoneSM lets you define a zone - specific area, such as a school or summer camp. When your family member enters or leaves the zone with their handset, Child Zone will automatically send an alert to your phone with the time and location of your family member's handset.

Subscription and airtime required for use; only in National Enhanced Services Coverage Area; accuracy & completeness of information is not guaranteed; not a child management tool or substitute for adult supervision.

© 2007 Verizon Wireless

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:48 pm

margiestroble wrote:Chaperone with Child ZoneSM


So the kid just leaves the phone in the locker when they skip class. :rolleyes: The one advantage of being older - you were once a teenager too, so you know how they think. :D

I'm all for protecting smaller children, but older ones need to know better. There's a school of thought that says the best way to deal with it is to trust the child and then check up from time to time. Let them learn self-restraint. Otherwise you may be setting up a situation that when they leave home then they become the wild child they could never be.

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Postby jeffphil-p40 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:53 pm

tomw wrote:The Church currently does not endorse any specific product but ask members to do their own research and pick which is best for their situation and circumstances.


True, but the church does use a product or system employed in its own filtering for Family History Centers and what not. Is there any way to use this same service or a very close match to it at home? I realize we don't have the Cisco Pix firewall installed at home, but I'm mostly referring to just the same data source as far as which sites should be blocked.

-Jeff


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