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Internet Filtering

SETLinc recommends OpenDNS for internet filtering.*

First, know that basic search websites can be full of undesirable material. Consider using a website that provides Google SafeSearch up front - like Also, avoid image and video search engines altogether - even so-called "safe" versions of these are full of "unsafe" material.

While it has been over 15 years since the commercialization of the internet, keeping the internet clean is still a challenge. The fact is, if you look for something on the internet, you will find it. No matter how disturbing, graphic or dangerous the content might be, it is available on the internet. The same technology that makes useful and beneficial material available and easily found is just as effective in making destructive material available and easily found. What is required is the effective management of internet access so that the useful and beneficial material is allowed, and the destructive material is defended against.

Filtering technology and most technical solutions are not effective on their own. While there are systems that will block some or all of the more common or obvious sources of pornography and other undesireable material on the internet, they do not work 100% of the time. If one looks for something - anything - one will find it eventually in spite of the best filters available.

There are three very effective methods for keeping the internet sourced material coming into your home, and your own mind, clean. It is the authors' assertion that these are the only such effective measures, and they work best when used in combination.

1) Colossians 3:2 "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
If you are not looking for unclean material, you are exponentially less likely to find it.

2) Ephesians 5:12 "For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."
Privacy and internet access are a dangerous combination. Share the experience of using the internet as a family, keeping the screen open and visible just like the living room television.

3) Psalm 33:17 "An horse [is] a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver [any] by his great strength."
There are many technical solutions to limit access to unclean material on the internet, but the only effective one is a whitelist. OpenDNS provides a service that allows one to restrict access to such a list of approved websites, with a 50 site whitelist-only option available for $10 per year. Using a whitelist you can work to build a safe zone for yourself and your family on the internet. It is more work then an automated filtering system, works better, but even it doesn't work 100% of the time. Until you set up the whitelist-only environment, the next best thing is a free, easy-to-implement internet filter, such as the Family Shield available from OpenDNS.

Wireless security is another important factor, as it is important to prevent others from using your wireless internet connection without your knowledge. Use WPA or WPA2 security, as WEP has been shown to be unsecure. All newer WiFi enabled devices support WPA or WPA2 security.

Recommended reading: "Biblical Guidelines for Using the Internet," by Paul Chappell, ISBN 978-1-59894-055-8 (buy for $1.50)

*(OpenDNS is not affiliated with in any way. simply recommends the OpenDNS serivce as the best such option available at this time, in our opinion.)

Updated 12 May 2011