Pornography. Sexual fantasy. Paedophiles. Sex toys. Wild sex. Striptease. Sex with animals. These are some of the websites available at the press of a few buttons. What blocks these sites from our young, innocent charges? Admittedly there are many controls and softwares that filter these pleasure places in our computer, but are they bullet-proof and sex-proof? A techno whizz-kid can easily go round these blocks and have access to illicit sexual material or content available free from the Internet.

Controls available in the market include software costing on average US$50 per annum. Major service providers including Microsoft Windows and Windows Vista have filters built in their systems for free. Safe Eyes – rated number one by PC Magazine 2006 – can log Internet activity, limit time spent on the computer, alert parents for improper browsing, and read details of chats, yet does not interfere with real research activities.

While installing controls such as filters or monitoring children and teenagers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, nothing beats teaching them the importance of taking responsibility for their own safety and life. Sometimes, the best gift a parent can give his/her child is how to live without them. We don’t want to play cat and mouse games with young people but teach them to look out for themselves in this dangerous world full of temptations and vice. Controls only limit their judgment and thinking abilities more than empower them. The more we block, the more curious and savvy they become at penetrating our net; furthermore, the more inept and immature they become at monitoring themselves.