How to Block Pornography on Kids' Devices
In this post, we talk about how to block pornography to protect your children. To learn why porn exposure is dangerous for a young brain, read How Pornography Hijacks a Child’s Brain.
There are 3 main ways to prevent pornography on children’s devices:
- Child-safe devices
Hardware to Block Pornography on Child’s Devices
A WiFi router is the gate to all Internet traffic that enters your home. Most modern routers have at least some parental controls – either included or offered as a premium feature via a monthly subscription. The routers we recommend are built specifically with children’s safety in mind:
If you do not want to change your current router, you can purchase a router plug-in (like Bark Home) that connects to your router and serves as a content filter and screen time manager:
Regardless of the router you have, to block porn from entering your home network, change DNS settings on your existing router:
All parental controls attempt to block explicit content, but be vigilant – kids try to circumvent them all the time.
In addition to blocking content, accountability apps also enlist the help of a trusted ally to help children and adults quit porn.
Covenant Eyes helps to quit porn through transparency (Monitoring and Blocking App) and accountability (companion Victory app):
Fortify uses aspects of behavior activation, narrative psychology, cognitive behavior science, mindfulness, and spiritual-based approaches like the 12 steps. Free for under 18.
Bark filters content and alerts parents to exposure to many online dangers, including pornography:
Canopy is a unique app that can block pornography in real time before it reaches your kids’ eyes. It removes inappropriate images and videos before a child sees them, and replaces them with harmless white rectangles, without blocking entire websites:
When it comes to movies, VidAngel is a movie-filtering app that allows parents to block or skip scenes inappropriate for children, but still watch the movie. Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+:
Child-Safe Devices: Hardware and Software Designed to Prevent Pornography Exposure
I cannot say this enough: DELAY SMARTPHONES! As long as you can. A fully loaded smartphone is porn in their pocket. My teenagers do not have smartphones and they function just fine without them. Instead, they have child-safe phones (one uses Gabb, another Pinwheel) that keep them connected without access to inappropriate content.
Child-safe devices are built to make access to porn impossible on the level of their hardware and operating system. It is a business opportunity foolishly ignored by Big Tech. Safe technology for kids is an exciting new industry, and at least in the US parents have several child-safe phones to choose from:
Even if you filter WiFi at home (see section on Hardware above), children could still get on pornographic sites via free WiFi elsewhere. Powerful parental controls like Bark, Qustodio or Gryphon Homebound installed on a child’s smartphone can help but no parental controls are hack-proof.
Kids find ways to get around parental controls, so a “dumb” phone that only looks like a smartphone that a child uses outside the home, plus a content-filtering WiFi router at home, is the best combination to protect kids from pornography.
Accountability apps monitor device usage remotely to block questionable content, and enlist the help of a trusted ally to help children and adults quit porn for good.
Pricing: $17/month or $184 annually
Up to 10 users and unlimited devices
Free for under 18, $6.95/month for students, $9.99/month for adults