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The Ultimate Filter Discussion
By BeClean
8/26/2013 11:17:13 PM
Others have asked about filters before, for example:
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=18940
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=17626
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=16129
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=12706
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=11647
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=1032
http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=2140

And here is a great summary of filter needs for recovering sex addicts: http://www.recoveryranch.com/specialized-programs/mens-sex-addiction-treatment/internet-filtering-recovering-sex-addicts/

Other suggested sites for your review are here:
http://tech.lds.org/wiki/Internet_filtering_(Family_Safety)
http://www.jweb.net/2013/01/09/7-great-web-filters-to-keep-your-family-safe-on-the-internet/

I scanned through everything above (and much more) and recorded most of the suggestions I found below.

My thoughts:

I am not a filter expert. In fact, I have never liked internet filters. When I am really craving my drug of choice, filters are like a game to me--to see if I can figure out how to disable or work around them. In the past, I always have cracked them. So, I gave them up years ago. I believe the best filter for me is in my heart. That's the only filter I've had for several years, and it's actually been working well for me.

But the filter in my heart doesn't protect my kids, and my kids are now at the age where I need to think about protecting them from accidentally discovering porn. Of course they will see it. But I want to decrease the chance that they will see it at home on MY computer using the internet connection I pay for. And if they do see it at home, I want to know about it, so that I can have a loving, understanding conversation with them.

So, I'm looking for good filtering software. I know it won't be perfect. It will block sites I don't want blocked, and it will fail to block some sexually explicit sites--if someone is really looking. It will be breakable, and it won't always work when we're away from home. It won't prevent ME from looking at porn, if I want to. But that's not the point. I have God, 12 steps, myself, and other programs for that. A filter is an important PART of the solution for me and my family--it is not the entire solution.

Still, I expect a good filter WILL help me be more accountable to my wife or accountability partner (by sending a message to them when anyone in the house looks at something inappropriate), and it will prevent me from accidentally stumbling onto porn when I am NOT looking for it.

My employers have always had filters, and those filters haven't seemed to slow down their internet connection. I have personally NEVER tried to look at porn at work. Why not? Probably because I know my boss will know, and I'll lose my job. I mentioned in a post a couple years ago that I obviously have some control over this addiction, because I don't look while I'm at work. Anyway, it's partly the accountability that keeps me from porn at work. It's partly knowing that someone else will immediately know without ME telling them first. So, to me, accountability is a necessary part of any home filtering system.

My family has a default filter that came with our router (run by Norton, and I think it works like OpenDNS - http://www.opendns.com/ ), but we need a better (or another) filter, since the one we have doesn't do accountability.

In my opinion, a good filter should be able to:

*Block known explicit adult content
*Optionally block less explicit content (customizable settings)
*Send emails or texts to an accountability partner when inappropriate sites are accessed
*Work on phones and tablets
*Avoid slowing down the internet unbearably

It would also be nice if the filter could:

*Identify the user who was looking at the inappropriate content
*Allow the accountability partner to "whitelist" a website from a distance
*Keep costs down...But what is too expensive? What is it worth to protect my family? Don't I spend a lot just to bring the filth INTO my home?

Based on what I've read, I think the following can do most of what I just said, but I would love your input on them. First are the five apparently most popular:

Net Nanny http://www.netnanny.com/
Covenant Eyes http://www.covenanteyes.com/
x3watch http://www.x3watch.com/
Safe Eyes (no phone version) http://www.internetsafety.com/
K9 (FREE!! No accountability emails, but an audible bark) http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

And now some others that seem to have good features.

Accountable2you http://www.accountable2you.com/
BSecure http://www.bsecure.com/
WebChaver http://www.webchaver.org/
PureSight (no phone version) http://www.puresight.com/
CyberPatrol (no phone version) http://www.cyberpatrol.com/
Profil http://www.profiltechnology.com/en/home

I have found many more internet filters out there, but they don't appear to have accountability.

What else do you all recommend? Based on the specifications I mentioned above, are any of you using a filter that does ALL of that? Are there any listed above that do NOT have accountability? Which of the filters above have you tried? Which ones worked for you, and which ones didn't?

What is the consensus this year?

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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987