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Kids, Smartphones, & Porn

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Did you know 90% of kids ages 8 to 16 have seen online porn? Find out 11 ways to protect your child from porn.

Q: What is the right age to get your child a smartphone?

A: Whenever you feel comfortable with your child WATCHING PORN.

- Author Tom Kirsting in Disconnected: How to Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids

Think your kids are safe from porn on their smartphones? Think again! According to ChildGuard and Netnanny:

  • 90% of children ages 8 to 16 have seen online porn.

  • 70% of children ages 7 to 10 years old have accidentally encountered online porn, often through a web search while doing homework.

  • The average child is viewing porn by age 11.

  • 10% of 7th graders believe they are addicted to porn and can’t stop viewing it.

  • 44% of teens admitted they’ve watched something online their parents wouldn’t approve of.

  • 1 in 5 youth ages 12 to 17 received a sexual solicitation or were approached online.

  • 86% of girls claimed they could chat online without their parent’s knowledge, and 54% could conduct online cyber relationship.

  • 69% of teens regularly receive online communications from strangers and don’t tell a parent or caretaker.

  • 22% of teenage girls say they have posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves online.

Even if you have parental controls, they’re not foolproof. Tech-savvy kids know all kinds of ways to circumvent parental controls, and they pass that knowledge around. (Plus, a quick Google search will teach kids dozens of ways to bypass parental controls—even if they don’t know your passcode!)

That’s why it’s important not only to have the best parental controls, but also good old-fashioned supervision. Here are 10 things you can do to protect your kids from porn:

  1. Create media-free zones and times, such as no devices in a child’s bedroom or during mealtime.

  2. Only allow devices to be used in shared family areas, such as the living room or kitchen.

  3. Establish a technology curfew. Have your kids put all of their portable tech devices in the parent’s bedroom an hour before bedtime.

  4. Get the best parental controls you can afford on each and every device. And don’t forget gaming systems are connected to the internet.

  5. Set up notifications on your mobile device to get all of their online activities.

  6. Physically check your child’s device at least once a week to make sure no parental controls have been altered or dismantled.

  7. Check all folders for hidden apps.

  8. Set up parental controls to require permission for any new apps.

  9. Talk to your kids about the consequences of viewing porn.

  10. Be careful who you let your kids hang out with. Lots of porn is viewed on the school bus or hanging out with friends who have no parental controls.

  11. Consider getting your child a basic phone that doesn’t text or have a data plan. You’ll be able to get in touch with your child, but you’ll avoid a host of problems.


To learn how to protect your kids from the harmful effects of technology, read Parenting with Focus by Katie Ely. There are 3 chapters specifically dedicated to responsible digital parenting.

Want to make new friends and connect with other Christian parents? Host a small group parenting class. It’s easy with The Parenting with Focus Video Course. Just watch the video and discuss the group discussion questions. Easy—and fun!


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