How can I block porn access son's phone?

(20 Posts)
mamas12 Sat 08-May-10 13:59:23

Help, it says it all in the title. He is 13 and have had conversations etc. but I now want to actually block any porn that gets sent to him because he has uploaded a tune or something.
He has locked his phone so I really need someone to 'talk' me through how to do it step by step.
Or is it poss to go through T Mobile with his number and they would do it.Online or at a shop?
As you can tell I know nothing.

ptiger Sat 08-May-10 18:20:01

You don't say what phone your son has but your best bet is to go into a T-mobile shop and talk to them, but if he gets to the porn through a site he downloads from, if you block it he will just find another. You can't put on all the filters you can on a pc.

mamas12 Sat 08-May-10 20:02:33

thanks ptiger it's not the pc I'm worried I have that covered, but his phone.
I'll try to take it in to a shop then.

What a sad world we live in sometimes.

NetworkGuy Sat 08-May-10 20:31:49

Perhaps a (dull) option would be to switch away from one of the flashier phones to something basic which can only handle voice and text.

It does mean he'd be unable to view pictures or do much with the internet - consider a PAYG phone under 30 quid that can at least play MP3s or has radio.

Of course, his "mates" will take the mickey about it being a basic phone. However, it's perhaps the only way to reduce what his phone gives access to.

After the Channel 4 "alternative" election show, they had a couple of TV shows on UK attitudes towards sex. One rather shocking aspect was what teenage lads had seen (which their parents found incredibly shocking, as did the {female} programme presenter).

Unless you take the phone off him, it would be quite easy for a friend to transfer films and photos via bluetooth, for example. So even if the internet access was disabled, it would be a minor inconvenience.

Sorry, it's rather challenging and the porn described on TV by one of the lads was something I'd find disgusting (one mum looked as if she was going to be sick). They didn't show viewers, but one lad described what two girls had done... yuk... worse was the fact that news of the most shocking goes around a school by word of mouth (and presumably transfers from phone to phone, too).

mamas12 Sat 08-May-10 23:11:03

networkguy
That is horrible and exactly what I'm trying not to happen and have my son exposed to. But I think it has already happened and I want to stop it.
Unfortunately his phone was not bought by me as I would have done something at source so if I now take it away it would be, well, bleugh!
I really don't want him to be exposed to this anymore hence the call for help,
Thanks for your input I see now that I will have to get his phone from him somehow and then replace it as you say.
He will still see it at school though
Bloody hell what a load of shite to have deal with!

NetworkGuy Sun 09-May-10 15:41:47

I suppose it depends a lot on the influences of peer group, and what your (and your partner's) attitude is to sex ed.

I don't know what they teach these days, nor at what age, but will see if I can post links to the programmes that were on after the C4 election stuff.

One covered the way images of "ideal" people (male and female) had been skewed by the porn seen by many teens.

NetworkGuy Sun 09-May-10 15:42:34

I know of nothing to block porn getting onto mobiles - it comes down to personal morality levels - so depending on what has been going on, and what you're wanting to discourage, it may be that having a talk (perhaps with the C4 clips as subject matter) might be a worthwhile approach.

Ahhh - http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/ http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/teen-sex-survey - the stats - might prove quite shocking for many parents

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-sex-education-show/4od

MNHubbie Sun 09-May-10 16:27:45

TBH most mobile devices don't connect properly to the 3 or 4 major free porn video sites (those ones whose names sound a bit like Youtube) and instead divert only to softporn options instead.

Alternatively several of the different networks offer systems to block porn from the internet and prevent adult content from loading (T-Mobile I know used to have it as the default setting) so it is worth looking at that.

In terms of file sharing until we get some sort of Big Brother image recognition there is nothing I know of.

It really depends on how you want to parent I suppose, one method would just be to check his phone regularly but that wouldn't be my method TBH but it depends on how seriously you view porn to be.

NetworkGuy Sun 09-May-10 16:57:50

Series 1, Episode 1 - about teens watching porn, and how they get skewed ideas, about "normal" bodies.

I couldn't work out how to play it, until I went back to the programme listings for Thursday/Friday :-

http://www.channel4.com/tv-listings/daily/2010/05/06

move the slider (on right hand side) down so you see shows after midnight and at 01:55 on Channel 4 there's "The Sex Education Show" and you can then see the list of shows (each with a "Play" button).

NetworkGuy Sun 09-May-10 17:51:14

"one method would just be to check his phone regularly but that wouldn't be my method"

Yes, was thinking about options like that, but with storage cards being so small, it would be quite easy to save up for a spare 2 GB or 8 GB card - micro-SD cards are tiny - and take it out when coming home... no evidence of anything in the phone... easy to swap with one filled with music or innocent content.

Thanks for the info on the mobile networks.

Although I've seen two or three "YouTube" -like names posted here on MN, have heard of some others with very different names - xhamster is one - and while most seem to make cash from displaying ads and getting commission if people join sites, there are others which have no credit card checks, and only use e-mail address for membership (and some accept free e-mail addresses like Yahoo or Google Mail, too).

There are only those warning screens as "protection", and probably too many new ones each day for mobile networks to ever catch up with blocking. Since millions of domains expire each year, there are bound to be new sites which were plain (business / charity / personal / unused) last month and next month could be porn, with nondescript names. So much money involved it's not going to go away anytime soon.

MNHubbie Sun 09-May-10 18:02:49

In terms of the IPs on the web etc. The porn, adult entertainment and adult relations industries all pulled together to call for a simple piece of regulation and legislation a few years back in the form of the .xxx domain name but in my understanding the Bush administration decided to block it and brush everything under the carpet rather than bringing in a very simple system that could have made parental controls a lot easier.

NetworkGuy Sun 09-May-10 19:52:14

Agreed it would make it easier to control, but that would depend on some guarantee that the businesses would switch to .xxx and so far as I could tell, too many vested interests (like whoever owned porn.com) would make it unlikely to happen.

I suppose if ICANN made regulations that barred porn sites from using .com, .org, etc and that domains would be confiscated if found to be holding porn, it could work, (and while it costs something like 500K dollars, just 10 dollars per porn site would probably be enough to get .xxx set up).

I suppose there's still a chance of it happening sometime in the next few years, as it is back on the agenda for June 2010, though religious groups are trying to block it - not sure why - it seems to be an ideal way to try to make restricting access a lot easier, though perhaps the objection is to allowing porn at all...

Certainly the credit card firms would lose business if they decided to reject porn sites. PayPal presumably gets enough cash from Ebay users to have placed the ban, as it might make their life easier (than dealing with disputes between customers and the businesses taking accepting their cash).

Just found a news item about .xxx - seems the 2007 decision was flawed, but the body reviewing doesn't have strong enough teeth to simply overrule ICANN. Must admit I hadn't known the proposal was actually 10 years old for getting .xxx set up.

mamas12 Mon 10-May-10 22:31:31

Certainly a lot to think about here. Thanks for all your input and the links.
I will look at those programmes then sit him down to watch it too.
It's all down to money isn't it and I think you're right about not regulating it as then it actually exists. ( Like contraception and the catholic church)

NetworkGuy Mon 10-May-10 23:17:45

Sorry for the sidetrack re domains but hope the Channel 4 links prove useful.

mamas12 Mon 10-May-10 23:21:54

Thanks they are.
What eyeopeners.
Quite depressing, but hope I can get the message accross.

NetworkGuy Tue 11-May-10 07:48:21

I think they showed how "uptight" we are in the UK, but I'm glad C4 and C5 have been showing programmes which uncover many of the myths which young (and old) have learned from friends rather than parents, either because the parents never knew either, or never spoke candidly.

I have not watched all of them yet but have found them eyeopeners too. Only depressing aspects from what I've seen is lack of concern about STIs/accidental pregnancy. At least my grounding was never to put myself or anyone else "at risk".

My upbringing was almost entirely by my widowed Mum (Dad died when I was young) but even she probably had some areas where she was less than knowledgeable (though she was pretty direct about most matters, including birth, death, and sex). Oh, and at school!

I feel I had a good education, fortunate to study biology, too, but aspects covered by these TV programmes are more "in our time" (had my Mum been alive, she'd have been 90 this year, with a 20 year gap between first child and last [me]).

When I was an early teenager I went on a cruise (lucky me!) from London to the Canaries, but because of a dock strike in London and it being a passenger + cargo vessel, we went via Rotterdam to unload the tomatoes before they started to go off and rot.

My Mum and I were able to get off the ship and take a stroll and quickly found ourselves in a red light district. XXX magazines on the shelves in the post office, and all the ladies of the night were sitting in their windows, filing their nails. Mum was a bit shocked but I had twigged immediately! We laughed about my "education" both that trip and on another, to the Far East (where the lady-boys in Singapore were stunning lookers) some years later.

I think it's easy for people to be a bit prudish (this is the UK after all) and try to deny porn has any place. But whatever we do in society, make anything "bad" (or "illegal") and it becomes more attractive. It's here, it's something which can only partially be blocked (and short of keeping teenagers under lock and key, going out with acquaintances is likely to expose them to things parents may not know about themselves). I'm glad I was brought up in an atmosphere were I could have asked practically anything and had a straight answer.

While porn was banned at home, that doesn't mean it wasn't seen (I think I saw Mayfair or Fiesta before 1970 while away at a junior boarding school), and then later, found that where I worked, on the late shifts, both genders enjoyed Mayfair!

mamas12 Tue 11-May-10 22:34:27

Your mum sounds great.
I hope I have that ability for mine to be able to talk to me about 'anything' but you never know.
Thank you for your thoughtful posts. I agree you can't really excape porn but like your mums house it's banned in mine.

Tell me, I might be too personal here, but what else cna he look at/read (ha) instead of porn to um, satisfy his curiosity shall we say. Don't tell Next catalogue et al.

NetworkGuy Wed 12-May-10 10:07:39

I don't think there's anything which doesn't fall into the category of porn - even 'soft' porn - like the cars/'babes' website www.maxpower.co.uk - that would be accepted by all mums. It's just a few steps away...

I can think of none where women are treated on a par with men (too many use dialogue which shows contempt - I hate the use of words like "tart" and worse).

However, even acknowledging he could look at MaxPower is one or two steps away from porn such as could be found on xhamster.com so it is a real problem to suggest anything.

What do you think of the MaxPower.co.uk site ?
If I told you it used to have a series of questions on the profiles of the 'babes' - things like "What pisses you off about boyfriends?" "Which football player would you shag?" - would you have disliked it (more) ?

MaxPower photos are closer to Page 3, with some 'courtesy of Zoo' etc, but MaxPower makes a point of hiding nipples [but looks like someone with a biro was doodling really - just looks silly]). At least MP has toned down the profiles a bit to remove 'favourite position' 'spit or swallow' and other TMI stuff, perhaps because other sites (agencies and studios) would have vetoed submissions otherwise.

I'm not a cars fan (don't drive) but came across MaxPower when a client's son's PC had various viruses on it (downloaded from some Spanish website giving 'cheat info' for computer games, but also carrying ads for straight and gay porn sites, ringtones, etc)

5 years ago it might have been one to be on the 'ban' list but is pretty 'innocent' now. Never had full frontal, and I doubt you'd see anything more than some naked bottoms (though cannot guarantee it, as I've not studied the site in great detail). I think a change of ownership caused this (Bauer Media seems to have bought it from EMAP).

The ones which satisfy education are generally not going to be that enthusiastically received, and then there's also the legal issue.

Whereas your son's friend telling a lie about being over 18 to gain access to some website is for your son's friend's parents to deal with, I could not suggest buying one of the "Lovers' Guide" DVDs at Poundland for a quid, because you would be breaking the law, if it ever came out.

Incidentally, I have not bought any of the DVDs to know if they are good / bad but it was just to point out there may be items available locally, though in any case, he could not (legally) buy one himself, and you could not (legally) buy one for him. Of course he might 'find it lying about in the house' and be curious...

IMO something like one of those might well be erotic whilst educational. 'Ben Dover' later went on to do his own series of mucky films, but from memory was in one of the Lovers Guide sections as he is, um, well endowed, shall we say...

NetworkGuy Wed 12-May-10 14:53:08

If the ultimate sanction of removing his phone is the one you decide on, have just seen in Asda Living a Nokia 5030 Xpress Radio (has limited storage for texts / MMS, has no MP3 facility, no bluetooth, no storage cards, only FM radio and general text/voice call functions).

It's under 30 quid and unlocked, so worth considering for any network except Three (sorry, I don't know if the Three SIMs work with the other phones, or whether it's only the 3G functions that need a Three phone).

NetworkGuy Wed 12-May-10 14:54:05

PS I nearly went into Poundland today, just to check out the range of DVDs (!)

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