I am a parent and I can honestly say that I have been very concerned with the things that my son can access over the internet. The internet is chock full of valuable information and it does generate a lot doubts and fear on my side as to whether I can keep my son from penetrating the “darker sides” of the internet.
I got worried about all of it when one day, I was looking for the White House’s official website. As I wasn’t sure about the exact URL of the White House and was too lazy to even perform a search, I simply typed the words with dot com on my browser and hit enter. I was surprised when the page loaded because what I saw were a handful of naked women posing for the camera inside a white house. After I regained from my moment of shock, that’s when I realized that I was inside a porn site.
That was when it hit me. The internet gives unrestricted access to everyone who wants to view this profane pictures and my kids, all boys, although very small are very fond of the internet not because of the game but because they love discovering “newer things” online. Any child who has unrestricted access to the internet, just like my kids’, can always access adult porn sites and they will not be blamed for that they did.
It is also worthwhile to not that visiting porn sites will only expose your computer to various viruses and worms which may expose your identity and lead to identity theft. These malicious programs are used often by identity theft criminals and hackers to steal other people’s identity.
I studied further the instances of porn sites and how likely will they be visited by my sons. I soon realized that kids can gain access to porn sites intentionally and unintentionally.
1. Children can access porn sites through unintentional, imprecise and misdirected searches. One of the many methods utilized by porn website owners is to use popular terms. This then increases the likelihood that their porn site will be visited, even by children because when they type the world “Barbie” on the Google bar, what would show up would be several women dressed like Barbie and doing you-know-what in their clearly made up toy house.
2. Stealth sites. A lot of children who may doing a research on the branches of government would like to take a tour of the website even if it’s only done online. However, porn site manufacturers often buy domains with a.com equivalent of popular.gov or.org websites. This would mean that when another person types in the name of the domain but keys in the wrong suffix, they would end up in porn sites and not in official sites, just like what happened to me.
3. Using famous kid’s brand names. A very recent research held in England states that 26 popular children’s characters (like My Little Pony, Action Man and Pokemon, showed that these characters in the site are all contained with some form of malicious software which then destroys any unit that it get its hand into.