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.
As I mentioned previously with the apps I won’t let my kids use, I block Roblox much to my children’s chagrin. I have heard story after story of children being chatted with from online predators on the platform. Even with the chat locked down, the platform itself allows user-generated games, which can often contain malware and viruses.
If you just block it completely, you WILL get complaints from your kids, but nothing they won’t get over in about 10 minutes when they’ve moved onto something else. Trust me. My kids don’t even ask for it anymore.
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.
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.
Hi, I’m Troy McClure, you may remember 4Chan from such breaches as tons of celebrity nude pictures leaked online. The site is a photo message board, much like Reddit. There is no filtering, and no moderating really, so anything goes. Definitely a hard pass for my kids.
Finally, while note inherently bad, DeviantArt 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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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com