A Voice in the
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November 12, 1997

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Q/A -Found Out: cybersmut

Topics:


Technical tips:

Comment:
I read with interest your account of Junior's excursion into Cybersmut. You correctly mentioned about checking out the cache file directories, but parents can also check out the contents of the "Temporary Internet Files" directory in Windows, and the "History" directory, also in Windows. I regularly purge the files from each, and it's amazing how quickly these directories can get cluttered up. Junior's Mom should also look into one of those programs which block out Cybersmut URL's.

A.
I presume these directories exist if you have a "full" Windows 95 installation and use its internet facilities...? Which would include Internet Explorer. For those using Netscape (which at latest count is still twice those using I-Explorer), the \cache will be a subdirectory to where Netscape is installed.

Comment:
There are utilities that allow you to lock out sites containing content that you feel to be unsuitable. NetNanny is probably the best of the breed.

http://www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/articles/tele1096.htm ...for more info.

Kids today are awfully savvy when it comes to computers and a lot of them will probably know to delete the cache. If you want to see exactly where your browser's been type "about:global" in the URL location box and hit enter. You will see a history list of sites that have been visited. This list is kept in the history file (netscape.hst) in your program directory.

Also...any URLs typed directly into the URL location box are kept in the registry and will show when you click on the down arrow of the URL location box.

A.
Thanks for these tips. I went and had a look at NetNanny, and apparently a person is able to configure things just about any way that is desired by keywords that are entered. When the keys are encountered, it can be programmed to 1) shut the computer down, 2) to give a warning and/or shut down the internet connection, 3) create a "silent" record of the visit for the parent to check out later, etc. A lot of different learning/training possibilities. Either a direct block, or learning in honesty and self-control; with accompanying accountability and/or consequences.

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Consequences:

Q.
We had a similar experience with our son. He asked that I hide our password so that he can not have access to the internet unless I am here. It's just too much temptation. I would be interested to know how you handle this in the future, and maybe an article or two, especially for boys who really struggle in this area. We've home schooled the boys, don't have t.v., monitored the movies, taught the scripture at home, and pray for him. The two older boys are able to steer clear of this stuff, but for my youngest, he has a sensual nature, and it's a battle. I'm sure he'll be encouraged to read your letter.

A.
Hi mother...

In the case described, I am a "family friend." If I were the "dad" there are some things I would do.

One thing that has already happened is that the computer is "sitting" for a couple of weeks before Windows 95 and programs are restored. Even once everything is restored to useable form, he (personally) will still be banned from the computer for another couple of months.

In addition, I've entered a password into the computer's bootup sequence for the mother. If anybody is going to use the computer, she will have to be around to enter the password. In addition, once Windows is restored, I am recommending to her that Windows, itself...and Window's screen saver be password-protected. That way, when the computer is left "on" for periods of time, the temptation to "sneak in there" to do "???" will be alleviated. Because that, too, will require "mom's" password.

Also, "mom" has decided that internet access isn't all that essential to the kids. If research is needed for school, they've got the Britannica on CD, and a few other tools. Anything else, they can accomplish in the same manner anybody else without a computer would do the "old fashioned way"....go to the library. So, the "winsock" is going to be disabled so that "dial-up" is not possible.

Also, "mom's" computer is going to become password protected, so they can't sneak onto it.

(See...below...the segment of the letter to the son...)

Yes...in the case of computers and the internet, it is good for there to be parental supervision. I suppose parents could cop-out and simply get filtering software. But that will not do anything to build up that self-control. Parents are instructed to "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." (Prov 22:6) The "password" concept certainly seems like a good one. It ensures continual communication between parent and child over what is happening each time the child gets on that computer.

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Note to a young man:

A.
Hi son...

Yes...the desire to see "girlie" pictures is a "guy thing." The male gender tends to like the "visual" stimulation. Girls, on the other hand, tend to read their "romance" novels. It's all the same thing.

To be strongly "driven" is not wrong or sinful. It's the way God created us. He also created women/girls to be "beautiful" and "pretty." (Gen29:17) And when He had finished creating man and woman and took a look at His creation, the Bible says that "God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was [very] good."(Gen1:31) It is part of God's design for mankind to be "fruitful and multiply and fill the earth."(Gen1:28) The desire for a man to be with a woman is one way God insured that they would, in fact, come together and create babies, for the human race to continue.

But, we must practise "self-control." (1Tm2:15) When it is the proper time, a man is to have "his own wife."(1Cor7:2) Now, if a person is spending his time looking at "many" women, Jesus said that to look at a woman "to lust after her" was just the same as "doing the act." (Mt5:28) When the time is right, a man is to "leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife...and the two shall become one flesh."(Eph5:31) This is holy, beautiful, and wonderful. (Heb 13:4) "...but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."

Paul wrote, "..do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For 'the two' He says, 'shall become one flesh'."(1Cor6:16) If a person is going to lust after pornography, he might as well pay the $$$ down at prostitute row. It's the same thing. And he goes on to say, "every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body."(vs18) So..."flee sexual immorality."

Perhaps it seems "impossible" to control. God commanded it. If He commanded it, He also knows that it IS "possible" to control. But Paul did recognize that each person is unique in these things...with different "gifts" (1Cor7:7) So, for some it's going to be harder than for others.

"How can a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!" (Ps119:9-10)

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Note to parents:

While we adults can wring our hands over the ease with which children can access smut on the internet, let us realize that God has given "parents" the responsibility to raise their children. To guide them in the "training and admonition of the Lord."(Eph6:4) The Laws of God are to be taught "diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up."(Deut6:7) "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little." (Isa 28:10)

Now, let me briefly "leave off preachin' and go to meddlin'."

Fathers, if you have that stash of "Playboy" under the workbench in the shop, don't be surprised when your son comes up with a \cache full of pornographic files.

Mothers, if you are constantly reading your romance novels, don't be surprised when you daughter comes home one day, announcing that she's pregnant.

It does no good to "preach" to the kiddos, if your own lives are not what they should be. Do you have a personal homepage of your favorite things...does it contain "cute" little action Gif's of supermodels? You might as well give your son and nephews the URLs to the "real stuff."

It's like the TV commercial/PSA that was running a year-or-so ago. The young man was caught possessing drugs. His father is earnestly, vehemently interrogating the son as to "where" he got them. "Who taught you" to use them? And the son retorts back..."You did!" The father, of course, had his beer can and cigarettes.

That lesson was from the "world." Are not "Christians" several notches above that? The apostle Paul could say, "You yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you...to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us."(2Ths3:7,9) To Timothy he exhorted, "...be an EXAMPLE to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim 4:12) Teachers are most effective when they lead, by example, "..this is the way, walk in it.."(Isa30:21)

Remember how "Johnny" once said, "when I grow up I wanna be JUST LIKE DADDY." Be assured....he will.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6)

Amen!

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