There are millions, no, probably billions of websites on the world wide web. Unfortunately, there is a whole lot of bad websites on the internet, along with the good. Some sites might look benign but the user-generated content pushes it into bad territory. These would definitely be websites to block to keep your family safe.
If you don’t have a wifi router with built-in parental controls like the Gryphon, you can also set up a free account with OpenDNS. This will allow you to use any router to block specific categories like pornography or gambling in addition to naming individual websites to block. I actually use BOTH the Gryphon AND OpenDNS for double protection.
As you set up parental controls on an individual device or on your home wifi router, make sure you manually block these specific websites. If you can, you really only need to block them on kid devices, as there could be legitimate reasons for an adult to use the website, like Reddit or Twitter.
As with most of the URL’s on this list, Toomics itself isn’t bad, but they don’t have filters to weed out the inappropriate content. Therefore, toons and comics can feature extremely explicit material. The website sounds harmless enough as a “webtoon platform that hosts a variety of webtoons of various genres!”, but definitely put this on on your block list.
The tagline for this website should give parents and immediate “nope”. The website says “The Internet is full of cool people; Omegle lets you meet them. When you use Omegle, we pick someone else at random so you can have a one-on-one chat.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my kid chatting online with total strangers.
Personally, I LOVE Reddit. I even have my own sub… which reminds me, I need to revive that. However, I know that Reddit is no place for kids. It’s the biggest internet message board on the planet, and there is a lot of yucky stuff to find in there if you are looking for it. Don’t mind me though, I’m happy in my Veronica Mars sub…
Again, user-generated content is here to ruin a good thing. Tumblr is a photo/video/blogging hosting platform. One simple search on the site can open up a whole lot of nasty stuff. It’s best to just block the site entirely since there is zero moderation and posts can be as explicit as they want.
My very first and LAST experience with chatroulette was enough to make sure that stays blocked forever and ever. When it first came out, I checked it out as I do with most things so I can write about them. This was YEARS ago. The first “chat” video that appeared for me was a man pleasuring himself. I was SO shocked I quickly closed my laptop and have never been back to the site again.
When a video chat is able to open up automatically with complete strangers, you are just asking for the dirty people of the world to join up. Fool me once chatroulette… you won’t get a chance to fool me again.
This website is a tricky one, because the site itself isn’t necessarily bad, but the access it gives you to other sites IS. Archive.org is basically a storage facility of all websites ever. So you can look up what a website looked like 10 years ago… 20 years ago. It’s pretty crazy to check out some of the popular sites like Facebook and Google to see how they looked back in the day. The problem is, since it’s all websites, it also gives you access to inappropriate websites. The content filters don’t know to block the site because the main domain that is being accessed is still archive.org, which IS usually allowed. Block this one so your kids don’t get unfiltered access to the rest of the world wide web.
Obviously, I use Twitter, so I only block this for my kids and guest devices on my network. However, many of you don’t know that there is a LOT of pornography on Twitter. Although the platform itself IS moderated, they allow some explicit content with warnings. This isn’t going to prevent someone from clicking if they want to see it.
Along these lines, I’d keep a close eye on Pinterest. There is a LOT of inappropriate content there as well, and a lot of parents don’t even know it’s there.
Claiming to be the #1 Men’s humor website in the world, theChive is somewhat curated and largely focuses on humor. However, there are definitely some very scantily clad women on the site, and girls bouncing around on pogo sticks and similar content. Definitely a nope in my book.
9. Discord & discordapp.com
Discord is a chat site, not too much unlike AOL instant messenger back in the day. They have “servers” which we would think of as “chat rooms” where people can communicate with each other. Originally created for gamers to chat with other people in and out of the actual game, it has become a place where predators groom children and where kids come across some seriously inappropriate chats, images and videos!
Finally, while not inherently bad, flickr suffers from the user-generated content curse. You can find nudity and more on the website, which earns it a block in my book. There is a ton of great art and artists on the platform, so you can open it up on parent devices and if your child wants to look something up they can do it on your device with you watching.
So, make sure you are blocking categories like dating, pornography, gambling, and weapons to cover a broad spectrum of inappropriate sites. Adding these to your list will increase your protection level.
Even blocking these sites isn’t going to save your children from pornography exposure. Please make sure to have FREQUENT conversations with your children about the dangers of pornography, and work out a plan to help your child reject it when they do come across it. Because they will.
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