Net Nany for iPhone/iPod Touch?
December 5, 2008 4:09 AM   Subscribe

Is there a Net Nanny equivalent for the iPhone/iPod Touch?

Tween boy is dying for iPod Touch... saving up for it in fact. Parents are concerned about unfettered internet access. Are there any adult content filtering options available?
posted by Ike_Arumba to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
There are no official parental controls, no. Surprising, considering how many built-in parent tools Apple does provide on the Mac side of things.

The 'right' way to do this is probably not in the Touch itself, but in the wifi router in your house, or whatever you are using to actually connect to the Internet. Depending on that hardware, there are a number of things you can do w/r/t filtered sites or time-limits or lights-out deadlines.

You can't control what he surfs from, like, Starbucks or a friends house, however.
posted by rokusan at 4:56 AM on December 5, 2008

(I clicked Post too quick. I meant to also say that even if your router does not support something, there's always OpenDNS, which provides "adult filtering" for free if you use their DNS servers. I imagine there are others, too.)
posted by rokusan at 4:58 AM on December 5, 2008

Brandon's got it right; at this point, unfettered internet access is so easy to come by - at friends' houses, etc, that your own filtering will only be a temporary obstacle. God knows a lot of people I know got their first introduction to How the Internet Works in learning how to bypass filtering.

This is, admittedly, a bit of a derail, and the real answer to your question rokusan's got right. But when you try to block junior-high-and-older kids from Forbidden Content, they just get more and more curious, at the expense of learning how to actually handle it. Also, you often end up with a precedent of Mom and Dad having placed a barrier which is trivially easy (eg, go over to Mike's Dad's computer in the study) to bypass.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:54 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

he's looking, your help or hindrance aside, he will see it.

so either he's embarrassed and hiding somewhere with his phone, or he's on the family computer in the living room while you're out running errands

that said, filtering at the router level is the best idea, even the default linksys firmware has blacklist filtering. if you want you can install an entirely different firmware that provides many filtering options.

i turned out normal, despite coming for a very christian household and still being interested in nudity
posted by phritosan at 7:21 AM on December 5, 2008

A lot of the porn video sites use either WMV or Flash which won't run on iPhone/iPod touch. Then again, there are some sites that are optimized for the device (or so I've been told). This doesn't stop jpg and gif images, of course. And not having an iPhone/touch will stop a young man and his quest for pr0n. Kids have sneaking a look at porn since it was etched on cave walls.

As said above, you can lock down your home network's wireless router, but that will mean the lad will just need to find an open hotspot to view the dirty content. It will be a tough job for you to lock down the rest of the internet.

You could reserve the right to seize the device and then take a look at his browser history if you don't trust him. But you'll probably find 99.9% of what he is using it for is stuff like facebook, listening to music, playing games and surfing sites that net nanny wouldn't object to.
posted by birdherder at 7:25 AM on December 5, 2008

Mod note: few comments removed - question in not "hey what do you think about filtering" feel free to take that to metatalk
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2008

If my neice and nephew (9 and 14) are any indication, you don't have to worry much. I think of it a lot like sex or marijuana in junior high: many kids know about it but most simply have no idea how to get it. The kids in my family just go to WebKinz or their email or to Google for whatever pop culture artifact is on their mind. They might Google for "boobies" when you're not around, but that's no different than my finding "The Story of 'O'" in my mom's dresser when I was about that age. And as far as that surreptitiousness goes, frankly I'm pretty sure my girlfriends over the years have appreciated that piece of my curiosity..
posted by rhizome at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2008

I don't have an iPod touch handy, but if it has the same options as the iPhone (I think it does), you can turn off Safari altogether. I realize this is probably not the solution you want, but at last resort, it's there.

Be warned, though, that some third-party apps have their own built-in browsers, but not very many that I've seen.
posted by joshrholloway at 9:34 PM on December 5, 2008

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