By age 18, 90% of boys and 60% of girls are exposed to Internet pornography.
Up to 10% of Internet users in the US have an Internet-related dependency that can be as destructive as alcoholism and drug addiction.
Those are some pretty scary statistics, aren’t they? Luckily there are now more and more programs to help combat these issues.
http://www.covenanteyes.com is a site that offers two services that are ideal for anyone who wants to rid their lives of inappropriate internet content.
The first service is internet accountability. Some of you might be familiar with xxxchurch’s X3 Watch program which keeps a record of the sites you visit and send a report of that content to an accountability partner. The Covenant Eyes program works in much the same way. You pick someone who you trust to help keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to the internet, then sign up for and download the program. It runs in the background at all times, recording what websites you view and rating each site based on its content (including the ads!). Then it sends a weekly report to your accountability partner which you can also both view at any time. You can’t delete anything from this list; once you visit a site, it becomes permanently recorded on this list. The idea is that you will be more discouraged from viewing any site with inappropriate content, or at least you will have someone to call you out on it if you do stumble into temptation. When you bring sin out into the light, it will shrivel up and die.
The second service offered by Covenent Eyes is their internet filtering. This is great for parents who want to limit their child’s/children’s exposure to inappropriate content on the web. It might also be good for the person who doesn’t even want to accidentally stumble upon such content. The program can be installed on up to five computers and each family member can have their own user name. The master account, or “filter guardian,” can set each user with varying levels of sensitivity and strictness with regards to website content. You can also add or remove sites to the list of blocked sites. The other users would need the filter guardian’s password in order to view blocked sites. Additionally, the guardian can set time limits for each user in order to limit their time spent on the internet altogether.
However, both of these services come with a price, but its fortunately not too drastic. The Accountability program costs $8.99 a month and the Filtering program is $4.99 a month but you can purchase them together for $10.49 a month. Those prices get you one user name/account, and for an additional small fee you can add user names based on whether you want them to have filtering, accountability, or both.
Many years ago I used X3 Watch and found it helpful at first but I eventually found ways around it. I could easily change my accountability partner (to… myself) and I could disable the program altogether. What might be more effective is if you not only have an accountability partner but give them or a parent all your account information so that you can’t go in there and change settings yourself in a moment of desperate temptation. Some people might also be a bit turned off by xxxchurch’s prominence in and involvement with the pornography world, no matter how good and pure their intentions might be, so Covenant Eyes is a good alternative.
The Covenant Eyes website also offers support and reading material for those who want to become dedicated to cleaning up their minds and their web browsing content. Their blog Breaking Free is “is about empowering you with knowledge and resources to change the way you use the Internet.” It even has entries to help parents with their children regarding the internet and other forms of media and communication. All in all I would give it two thumbs up!