Recently, while listening to a Breakpoint episode, I heard a frightening statistic that children are now being exposed to porn at younger and younger ages. The average of first exposure is now seven years old.
I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and do what I could to protect my kids from viewing porn. I have a five-year-old, a four-year-old, and a two-year-old, and I am not giving any of them tablets or smartphones. They are way too young for that, but my five-year-old does get my phone from time to time to watch youtube videos without permission. It would be so easy for him to run across something he shouldn’t see.
The 2 things I did:
- The first thing I did was look into how to block porn through our wifi by using a cleanbrowsing system. Cleanbrowsing is free to use, and we should all be blocking porn from our wifi. This can keep anyone who enters our home from accessing porn, on their own devices while they are visiting as well as accessing porn on our own devices. This article from Protect Young Eyes teaches you how to do this on any device.
2. Unfortunately this is not enough. It doesen’t protect from content on youtube and social media apps like snapchat and instagram. I was happy to find Canopy a new technology that helps block porn even on social media, by filtering out pornographic images and videos within websites.
Another thing that I personally love is that this app can also block other apps, so not only does it act as a porn blocker, it can also help manage how your kids use a phone. So it is a great two-for-one app for parents.
More Info on how Canopy works:
In his newsletter The Weekend Reader, Maxwell Anderson, outlines the great ways that Canopy works to help protect your kids. Here is an exerpt of what he had to say on the subject:
It is an app you can install on your phone, tablet, or PC to control your internet experience. Canopy does a few things that no one else does:
1. It filters out images within websites
2. It filters video as well as still images
3. It works in the background
4. It analyzes content in real time.
5. It can prevent sexting.
1. Only Canopy Allows Users to Filter Content within websites.
Canopy will allow you to view appropriate content on those sites, while filtering out what’s inappropriate, because it uses computer vision to analyze images on your screen as they are being loaded, and filters out inappropriate content real-time. With Canopy, you get the good without the bad and avoid all of those fights with your kids. No other technology does this.
2. Filters video not just still images
Canopy can work like that because it recognizes inappropriate content in video in addition to still images. This is also unique in the world of filters available to consumers and super-important since video is making up a greater and greater share of online content.
3. It works in the background
Internet filters offered today work one of two ways. Wifi filters block websites you deem inappropriate when you are attached to a particular network – but they don’t work when you leave that network. Browser filters block sites when you use that browser – but don’t prevent you or your kid from using a different browser. Canopy works in the background of your device, regardless of the browser you use and regardless of what network you are on.
4. It can prevent sexting
Canopy doesn’t just work on your browser, it works on your device. So when your kid receives a text message with sexual image, Canopy can filter it out. If your kid tries to snap an inappropriate photo of him or herself, Canopy will lock the image and send the parent a warning. Once locked, the image can’t be edited or shared.
Another thing that I personally love is that this app can also block other apps, so not only does it act as a porn blocker, it can also help manage how your kids use a phone. So it is a great two for one app for parents.
Further information that Max Anderson did not provide is that this app works through a Virtual Private Network. I found since testing this app out that the VPN does seem to slow down my wifi a bit, but after further research, it seems that this is because I am using an old android that does not have much free space. People with newer model phones and plenty of space on their phones shouldn’t notice a slower wifi connection.
You can access Canopy at Canopy.us for a 30 day free trial of their product.
They have 3 plans
Basic for $7.99 (protects 3 devices)
Family for $9.99 (protects 5 devices)
Full House for $15.99 (protects 10 devices)
I have teamed up with them as an affiliate, and they will give you 10% off for life after your 30-day free trial ends if you use the code JessicaInman at checkout. If you Canopy and love it please share this info with others because we want to protect as many people as possible.
As an affiliate of Canopy, I may receive a commission on any purchases made by you at no additional cost to you. This is the first affiliate partnership I have ever made because I believe in the work they do so much and I want to help spread the word.