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Is It a Good Idea to Block Websites As Parental Control?

Debate Information

Greetings!

In my opinion, parenting has become the toughest job nowadays especially if you are a single or even parent of a teen. Whenever I try to argue with my 13 years son about the use of smartphones, I always found him little aggressive. As I can't have an eye on his activities that's why I decided to block some websites from his devices tablets and smartphones etc. Do you think it is a good idea? As a parent do you also willing to take some precautions about to censor the activities of your kids or teens on smart devices?

Secondly, I am not sure where I will that list of sites that I need to block at my son's phone and I just found these sources in this regard.

https://www.familyorbit.com/blog/list-of-inappropriate-websites-to-block/
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/sites-parents-add-block-list/

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/parental-control-apps

However, when I talked with my friends, they raised a point that what I will do in case, kids find alternates of them? That was a real concern of every teen's parent. I would like you guys to discuss it in a general way instead of only focusing my son because it is a real threat for every parent nowadays and yes, we can't say no about the use of smart devices because his consequences would also be negative. In addition, I also found some parental control routers here https://thewiredshopper.com/best-parental-control-devices-routers-to-buy/ in my Google search. Do you think such devices will help the parents? I never tried and have no knowledge about them so I want to get more information about their pros and cons and uses.

As it is about our future (kids are our future) so I expect this topic would be discussed in a very serious manner here with feasible and worth reading solutions.

Waiting for your responses. 







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  • RS_masterRS_master 400 Pts   -  
    Even though I am a student I believe parental blockage is useful otherwise children might see inappropriate things, pictures or links and might get hacked. It can get a bit annoying sometimes but prevents us to insecure and inappropriate blogs.
  • It's always a good idea to keep a watch on your child's activity. Blocking out websites that is inappropriate for children/teens (pornographic material, for example) is a great start to this. If the device has it, you can even gain access to what your child has seen to see if they've seen anything that they shouldn't have been seeing. This is not only for the safety of your child, but to grow them up to live a healthier way.

    However, getting them out of everything is impossible. There are roughly around 350 MILLION porn pages on the internet, and more are made every day. And anyone can't block that many porn sites. There are probably way more game sites and too, so if some are blocked, there are guarantees that child will get to it. So personally, while blocking websites the child can access can help prevent what the child may see, they're inevitably going to go to where you don't want them to go. Always keep check of the kids' browsing history.
  • @RichardCarter2021

    I think Google should launch its policy for kids or even can launch its App Store Version of kids or search engine like YouTube Kids. 
    RichardCarter2021
  • YeshuaBoughtYeshuaBought 669 Pts   -  
    Yes. If I wanted to parent a child, I would want to block porn sites, for example, as well as Planned Parennnnnnnnthood.
  • RS_masterRS_master 400 Pts   -  
    The only problem I have with parental blocking is that sometimes I get blocked from using google. Google is meant for research. You can sometimes check the history of the childs use. Parents should block children from some websites but definitely not research websites.
    calebsicasmoothiexlJ_dolphin_473
  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1472 Pts   -  
    I believe that parental blocking is a good idea because it gives your children a safer user experience online. It could also prevent children from seeing inappropriate content, eg pornography. Your children will not see any inappropriate content, and they also will be safe from more serious risks like radicalisation. There are problems, though. For example, you can get blocked from research websites, like @RS_master said. Also it can be expensive for a good filter, but I think it's worth it for your kids to be safe.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3827 Pts   -  
    I am of the opinion that kids should not be sheltered from the real world, but exposed to it. My parents have never used parental control; I was free to play any games I wanted and browse any websites I wanted. I had a head on my shoulders, after all, and knew what can traumatise me and what I should not do at where I am at.

    This trend in the modern developed world towards protecting people from all possible sources of discomfort, such as "adult content" or "offensive speech", is not something to celebrate. Kids growing up in sterile environment are not going to suddenly become mature upon starting the adult life; they will have a hard time adjusting to it and will make many mistakes in the process, mistakes easily avoidable by earlier exposure to some of the adult things.
    Ever seen those videos on Youtube, with adults literally crying over losing a video game match? That is the consequence of growing up in a shelter, deprived of all challenges and the incentive to grow a thicker skin.

    My policy, if I ever have children, will be simple: do whatever you want, but understand the consequences. If you want to smoke pot at the age of 10 with your friends, I will not stop you - but I will have a very serious conversation with you about it, tell you what I think, how much I disapprove of it and why you will regret doing it later. But I will not punish you for it. I believe that the role of the parent is to guide the child, not to enslave and control them.
    By the same token, the child is responsible for their mistakes. Took a car loan at the age of 16 you cannot afford? Too bad. Do not expect me to bail you out just because I am your dad. Go through this experience and deal with it, and you will be stronger for it and learn some valuable lessons in the process.

    This, I believe, is where my parents messed up a little bit: they never forced me to face my challenges on my own, and always helped me out. Granted, sometimes helping is reasonable, but it should not be a rule of life. I had a very hard time developing proper work ethics, for example, when turning adult, because I was never pressured into it in my childhood. For some people, extensive coddling can plain make them unable to survive in the adult world on their own, and they end up relying on their parents' help or on governmental welfare programs, falling apart as individuals.
    smoothiexlJ_dolphin_473Thor
  • smoothiesmoothie 420 Pts   -   edited December 2019
    Blocking inappropriate sites makes sense, however it is extremely easy to bypass blocks if a child really wants to get somewhere. VPNs and mac address changing is free and available. In turn, I would rather have a parent talk directly to the child in person about the seriousness of inappropriate sites instead of silently blocking sites.
    why so serious?
  • From a security standpoint, it’s a good idea. It doesn’t matter if he’s browsing porn sites, it matters if he’s browsing porn sites that'll download malware onto his device.
    Not every quote you read on the internet is true- Abraham Lincoln
  • Yes, it is a good idea. FYI, there are ways to prevent kids from getting round the anonymizers, VPN's, etc. Of course, it might be an advantage if you're kind of tech-savvy though.



  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1472 Pts   -  
    @ZeusAres42
    It is relatively easy for kids to get past parental blockage by using the Tor Browser. If there is somewhere that kids really wanted to get for some reason, they could do so provided they had a little bit of technical know-how.
    https://www.torproject.org/
    lj123
  • smoothiesmoothie 420 Pts   -  
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    why so serious?
  • @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.



  • lj123lj123 157 Pts   -  
    My parents have used every blocker, smooth wall and screen time limit I have ever been set. The only way to block things from children is to encryipt them. This is expensive and a waste of time and money, as I say, you live and learn. if I went on an inappropriate site and saw things I should never have seen then the smart child would think well I will remember that website name and never go on it again. The dumb child would have never have got past the block of the smooth wall so they would not have to see that inappropriate thing. People should not have reality sheltered from them it is a bad idea because when they grow up and they see the world for what it really is they will never be brave or independent. they will always be that baby who was scared of their shadow and scared of their foot prints and of bumps in the night that you once knew.
    Think about that.
    xlJ_dolphin_473
    Whatever it is, if you don't agree with me then your wrong.
  • ScienceRulesScienceRules 931 Pts   -  
    I think this is important cause otherwise children might be exposed to many things which might be a bit too much for their age. Once the child has reached a certain age when he or she has got a clear idea about right and wrong and can handle the internet wisely, I think then these restrictions can be withdrawn.
    Your love became a chorus played only by my memory.
  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1472 Pts   -  
    @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.
    @ZeusAres42
    How do you know-how? As far as I am aware, the child could always get past such blockers, by using a virtual machine for instance, or using the Tor Browser.
  • ScienceRulesScienceRules 931 Pts   -  
    @xlJ_dolphin_473
    Yes exactly. Tor can't be blocked as far as I know. If it would be also another browser would take its place.
    Some ways:
    https://blog.torproject.org/breaking-through-censorship-barriers-even-when-tor-blocked
    xlJ_dolphin_473
    Your love became a chorus played only by my memory.
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 Emerald Premium Member 2026 Pts   -   edited June 2020
    @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.
    @ZeusAres42
    How do you know-how? As far as I am aware, the child could always get past such blockers, by using a virtual machine for instance, or using the Tor Browser.
    I've heard this multiple times.


    So, not if you block access to virtual machines and other means of access to anonymisers in the first place.I've also looked at multiple ways of blocking access to anonymisers and then put controls on my computer and then tested to see if these controls could be broken. So the first thing you need to do is think of every single possible way controls could be broken in order to gain access to anonymisers and then mitigate them. After you've done this you can then focus on other parental controls.

    FYI, it's not about blocking the anonymisers or virtual machines; of course you can't do that. But you can block access to those on your own machine and your child's device providing you have full control over those devices. Now, I don't you about in your country but in mine this is exactly what they do in several workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, etc.

    It's really not that a lot of kids are very clever these; it's more that a load of parents are somewhat unaware and /or lazy when it comes to administering their children's computer/mobile devices. A computer system is only as secure as it's administrator. And when it comes to parents and their children's computers more than half of them are literally  allowing their children to be their own Administrators - a complete recipe for disaster.



  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1472 Pts   -  
    @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.
    @ZeusAres42
    How do you know-how? As far as I am aware, the child could always get past such blockers, by using a virtual machine for instance, or using the Tor Browser.
    I've heard this multiple times.


    So, not if you block access to virtual machines and other means of access to anonymisers in the first place.I've also looked at multiple ways of blocking access to anonymisers and then put controls on my computer and then tested to see if these controls could be broken. So the first thing you need to do is think of every single possible way controls could be broken in order to gain access to anonymisers and then mitigate them. After you've done this you can then focus on other parental controls.

    FYI, it's not about blocking the anonymisers or virtual machines; of course you can't do that. But you can block access to those on your own machine and your child's device providing you have full control over those devices. Now, I don't you about in your country but in mine this is exactly what they do in several workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, etc.

    It's really not that a lot of kids are very clever these; it's more that a load of parents are somewhat unaware and /or lazy when it comes to administering their children's computer/mobile devices. A computer system is only as secure as it's administrator. And when it comes to parents and their children's computers more than half of them are literally  allowing their children to be their own Administrators - a complete recipe for disaster.
    You raise some interesting points... but surely allowing children to be their own administrators is the way to go? What would be disastrous about this?
  • @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.
    @ZeusAres42
    How do you know-how? As far as I am aware, the child could always get past such blockers, by using a virtual machine for instance, or using the Tor Browser.
    I've heard this multiple times.


    So, not if you block access to virtual machines and other means of access to anonymisers in the first place.I've also looked at multiple ways of blocking access to anonymisers and then put controls on my computer and then tested to see if these controls could be broken. So the first thing you need to do is think of every single possible way controls could be broken in order to gain access to anonymisers and then mitigate them. After you've done this you can then focus on other parental controls.

    FYI, it's not about blocking the anonymisers or virtual machines; of course you can't do that. But you can block access to those on your own machine and your child's device providing you have full control over those devices. Now, I don't you about in your country but in mine this is exactly what they do in several workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, etc.

    It's really not that a lot of kids are very clever these; it's more that a load of parents are somewhat unaware and /or lazy when it comes to administering their children's computer/mobile devices. A computer system is only as secure as it's administrator. And when it comes to parents and their children's computers more than half of them are literally  allowing their children to be their own Administrators - a complete recipe for disaster.
    You raise some interesting points... but surely allowing children to be their own administrators is the way to go? What would be disastrous about this?
    That bit was a little bit hasty of me. I guess it depends on the age of the child, how mature and responsible they are. The older, more mature, and responsible they are then the more control they can have to the point where they can be their own administrators I guess. 



  • xlJ_dolphin_473xlJ_dolphin_473 1472 Pts   -  
    @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.
    @ZeusAres42
    How do you know-how? As far as I am aware, the child could always get past such blockers, by using a virtual machine for instance, or using the Tor Browser.
    I've heard this multiple times.


    So, not if you block access to virtual machines and other means of access to anonymisers in the first place.I've also looked at multiple ways of blocking access to anonymisers and then put controls on my computer and then tested to see if these controls could be broken. So the first thing you need to do is think of every single possible way controls could be broken in order to gain access to anonymisers and then mitigate them. After you've done this you can then focus on other parental controls.

    FYI, it's not about blocking the anonymisers or virtual machines; of course you can't do that. But you can block access to those on your own machine and your child's device providing you have full control over those devices. Now, I don't you about in your country but in mine this is exactly what they do in several workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, etc.

    It's really not that a lot of kids are very clever these; it's more that a load of parents are somewhat unaware and /or lazy when it comes to administering their children's computer/mobile devices. A computer system is only as secure as it's administrator. And when it comes to parents and their children's computers more than half of them are literally  allowing their children to be their own Administrators - a complete recipe for disaster.
    You raise some interesting points... but surely allowing children to be their own administrators is the way to go? What would be disastrous about this?
    That bit was a little bit hasty of me. I guess it depends on the age of the child, how mature and responsible they are. The older, more mature, and responsible they are then the more control they can have to the point where they can be their own administrators I guess. 
    If your point was that children would not be able to set up their own security, then maybe the parents could set it up on the child's administrator account. I think it's more important for children to understand why security is necessary to be there, than take away the useful privileges that come with being an administrator in order to ensure cybersecurity.
  • ScienceRulesScienceRules 931 Pts   -  
    @smoothie
    smoothie said:
    I got through every single blocker my schools, parents threw at me. I hardly had any tech experience as a 12 year old either. It it incredibly easy to do.

    This style of parenting is ineffective and may just open your child to learn how to bypass them. (which I guess is a learning experience if you want that)

    Talk to the child in person, don't let technology babysit them. If you find they misbehave, turn off the router.
    It's also incredibly easy to make sure no child gets through blockers etc if you know-how. And trust me, I know-how.
    @ZeusAres42
    How do you know-how? As far as I am aware, the child could always get past such blockers, by using a virtual machine for instance, or using the Tor Browser.
    I've heard this multiple times.


    So, not if you block access to virtual machines and other means of access to anonymisers in the first place.I've also looked at multiple ways of blocking access to anonymisers and then put controls on my computer and then tested to see if these controls could be broken. So the first thing you need to do is think of every single possible way controls could be broken in order to gain access to anonymisers and then mitigate them. After you've done this you can then focus on other parental controls.

    FYI, it's not about blocking the anonymisers or virtual machines; of course you can't do that. But you can block access to those on your own machine and your child's device providing you have full control over those devices. Now, I don't you about in your country but in mine this is exactly what they do in several workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, etc.

    It's really not that a lot of kids are very clever these; it's more that a load of parents are somewhat unaware and /or lazy when it comes to administering their children's computer/mobile devices. A computer system is only as secure as it's administrator. And when it comes to parents and their children's computers more than half of them are literally  allowing their children to be their own Administrators - a complete recipe for disaster.
    Well it might work this way. I agree with you saying(in a later post) that age and maturity would be the deciding factor, I also agree with @xLJ_dolphin_473 that cyber security is something about which they ought to gave a clear idea.
    Your love became a chorus played only by my memory.
  • JGXdebatePROJGXdebatePRO 358 Pts   -  
    With these sorts of blocking websites, I believe that although it may be nececarry to block children from inappropriate sites, it can become highly irritating if a child just wants to do some research, and because the website is 'not secure' they get locked out. So be very careful as to what type of blocker you are getting.
    "If there is evil in the world that justice cannot defeat, would you taint your hands with evil itself to defeat evil? Or would you remain steadfast and righteous even if it means defeating evil? I would sully my hands with as much evil as it takes to annihilate the evil in this world"
    -Lelouch Vi Brittania
  • Cringe_TrainCringe_Train 218 Pts   -  
    @BonitaVanhooser


    As a teen, yes you can block some websites, but usually we can find a way around them if we want to. So you may end up just wasting money on stuff.


    As for the list of websites to block, he probably won't be happy if you block social media. And as he is 13, he probably has the sense to not waste a ton of money on shopping sites.

    I wouldn't blame you for blocking the porn sites, those make sense. But again, if he really wants to, he can just bypass it in some way.


    He probably gets aggressive over the use of his phone because there is a sense of freedom that comes with a phone, and he probably wants to keep that. 

    He also probably knows what porn is if he's 13. This doesn't mean he's seen it, but he has probably heard people joke about it at school.


    If he has an Iphone, i'm pretty sure there is a way to block stuff on his phone because my parents have done it before.

    My advice would be to get an app that allows you to pick and choose what websites your kid can access, he won't like it but it's probably the best solution.
  • ThorThor 254 Pts   -   edited April 6

    Is It a Good Idea to Block Websites As Parental Control?...

    No, not at all. I am not a parent but a student, so I know what would be the consequences on doing so. I totally agree with @MayCaeser. First of all, one has to be exposed to outer world, children should be given freedom to see how bad (dark) the world is and at a same time it is also good. Internet is 70% porn. But if child would be suppressed then, do you think that they would never deal with it. It’s not possible. Haha on pressing spring with great force we have to expect spring to rebound again rapidly, by keeping restrictions on children, you are saying oh this is wrong, let them define this, normalising things would be advantageous to them. Don’t restrict anything. They would get interesting science theories on internet and at a same time they would get crazy content. Show them the “real” world.
    anarchist100
    Peace 
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