There are three types of adult Web sites on the Internet.
How to Stop the Porn Predators
Fight Fire with Wisdom
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"Site spamming" is similar to email spamming but instead of bombarding your child's email box, these sinister sites use trickery and deception to lure your children and then bombard their monitors with filth. Once a child is in their Web site trap, there appears to be no escape because closing one window only opens another with even more graphic images.
- The first type of adult site tries to operate in a responsible manner, by rating its pages and doing its best to make the site filterable by child protection software. They are dedicated providing their material ONLY to adults.
- The second category of adult sites doesn't know any better. They either have not been informed of the ways to operate responsibly or are too lazy to do anything about it. They need to be educated.
- The third type is the most dangerous. These adult sites are run by "porn predators", people who have no ethics and would gladly use any means possible to "site spam" your children.
This third type of adult site is the topic of this newsletter.
We hope to answer three of your questions.
How Porn Predators Operate
Let's begin with the first question. These sites are after bulk viewership, just like the email spammers. They hope that by getting ten million viewers, one of them will be foolish enough to submit his credit card.
However, in their mad rush to lure eyeballs, they have abandoned all connection to the truth. They want people to think that their site is anything other than a porn site, until it is too late. They use the Internet's version of the classic "bait and switch" swindle once used by dishonest car dealers.
Back then, unscrupulous auto dealers would advertise a certain car for a ridiculously low price as the "bait", all the time knowing that it was not really available. When the buyer would show up, the dealer would "switch" them into buying another car. So many innocent car buyers were cheated that this evil publicity tactic was outlawed.
Even though this "con-job" is now illegal in selling cars, it's become the favorite tactic of porn predators to sell porn. SafeSurf was alerted that a child innocently searching for "American Doll Furniture" brought up several of these porn predators.
By misleading the public, the porn predators hurt everyone. The legitimate doll furniture sites loose traffic to liars, people waste time going to sites where they do not want to be, but worst of all, the simple act of searching for Barbie accessories can now put a child at harms door.
Another practice of unscrupulous porn sites is to purchase the domain names of child-oriented Web sites that have gone out of business in an effort to skim the traffic from links that have not been updated. For example, someone puts up a page filled with links of great places for a child to visit. As does sometimes happen, one of the places closes down and loses its domain name. Immediately, a porn predator snatches it up. However, the owner of the page of child links is still unaware that anything has happened. Only after scores of innocent children have been ensnared, by the newly redirected porn link, is the problem discovered.
In either case, the adult site is set up like a spider trap for the unwary. Closing one browser window only causes another browser window to open up. Sometimes, this is designed to continue forever. This results in a state of panic in the child who is aware of no remedy other than shutting off the computer.
How to Stop Porn Predators
Now that we are aware of the problem, how do we deal with porn predators?
First, by realizing that they are liars and con-artists. They are not who the first amendment was created to protect. In fact, their actions have nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with child endangerment.
The first amendment gives someone the right to publish any book, but not the right to smack a child with it.
Secondly, we must take united action. Every time you encounter a link that should lead to a child's site but leads to a porn site, contact the owner of the search engine or Web page where you saw it.
Here is an example letter that we used to encourage a library to update a bad link.
This email is to warn you that an outdated children's page is being used to point to pornography (explicit sex) sites.
Please remove the page or update it. The page is http://www.nameofsite.ca/tis/main.html
The link reads:
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It now points to a pornography site. The previous site may have moved or gone out of business.
Thank you for taking the time to protect children.
SafeSurfing to you,
Google.com has instituted an excellent feature called SafeSearch Filtering. It can be activated through the preferences link located right next to the Google Search button. Always take the time to turn on "Strict filtering" before letting children search the web. Teach your kids to check that this feature is turned on.
THIS IS YOUR INTERNET!
SafeSurf is here to unite and help you, not do everything for you. We have been at the center of this battle since 1995, but without your active help, families everywhere will lose the right to be secure in their homes. Your individual deeds will make the difference.
Email owners of all the search engines and encourage them to set up a Web page to report deceptive porn sites. Email every site, good or bad, and encourage them to obtain a SafeSurf rating for their site. Email your congressional representatives and tell them that instead of focusing on censorship that they should focus on regulating adult sites that lure people with "bait and switch" tactics and do not rate themselves so that they can be seen by filtering software.
If you do this, you will discover that a well-worded email can have a greater effect than a thousand signature petition.
SafeSurf Tools: The Special Command to Escape the Porn Window Trap
Porn predators depend upon both the apathy of parents and on the fact that most people only know a little about operating their computers. Overcoming apathy is up to you, but SafeSurf's mission is to provide you with the tools and knowledge to fight back.
With this in mind, here's an important trick to break the cycle of never ending browser windows on PCs. Whenever you want to close a browser window, get in the habit of pressing the CONTROL key and the W key together. The CONTROL key is the one which reads "CTRL". It is located at the bottom corner of your keyboard.
If you happen into a porn trap, hold down the CTRL key and quickly tap the W key several times. You should be free of the invading windows in a few seconds.
|IMPORTANT UPDATE: Predators Growing More Cunning
As the result of the original column, SafeSurfers were able to effectively escape the porn window trap. Yet, many predators have now discovered a new way to lock you in. So, you may encounter Web sites that generate windows that won't close with the CTRL/W command. Worry not, because as the porn predators grow more clever, SafeSurf allows you to keep up.
We now introduce the Super Close Command. This feature can do more than just zap relentless pop-up windows; it can be used to close programs and even shutdown Windows. It is triggered by holding the Alternate key and tapping the Function 4 key. The Alternate key is located near the CTRL key and reads "ALT" and the Function 4 can be found in the group of keys across the top of your keyboard and reads "F4".
This powerful command may activate the Shutdown Windows process.
If this happens, just click the CANCEL button on the Shutdown Windows dialog box to continue using Windows. Then, click on the browser window to zap before using the Super Close Command again.
Check back often. In future newsletters, SafeSurf will be bringing you more on how to win the battle for a safe Internet without censorship.