Just One-Third Of Australian Parents Use Content-Blocking Software

Just One-Third Of Australian Parents Use Content-Blocking Software

Federal government plans to impose compulsory internet filtering have dropped off the radar somewhat, but here’s more evidence that it’s not exactly top-of-mind for most parents: according to new Telstra-sponsored research, just one-third of Australian parents have installed any kind of blocking software.

Picture by Elliott Brown

The study, based on a survey of 1255 parents, doesn’t suggest that it’s an online free-for-all: 55 per cent of parents set some kind of rules about how their kids can access content. However, with 62 per cent of parents arguing that it is their responsibility to monitor and regulate their children’s online activity, it’s hard to see much justification for the controversial government proposals to impose compulsory censorship. Right now those plans are languishing amidst the broader review of how classification should work, but that’s not to say they won’t rear their ugly head again in the future.



  • I’d guess that the ‘Parental Controls’ integrated into vista/7 have raised that percentage quite a bit. I’ve seen quite a few more people choosing to monitor their children online now they don’t have to install a third-party solution to do it.

    • Parental controls should simply regulate what your children are wanting to access. As far as the internet goes MS has done a good job there, but when it comes to programs the on/off setting acts more like an iron fist.

      MS really need to rethink they’re whole multiple account management system, because it is an absolute horror at the moment.

  • I do the “continually educate, use together, trust most of the time and occasionally check history” method.

    I hate parents who do a big hardline nanny no on everything with no trust or education, and are super surprised when their kids keep getting into trouble and bat crazy when they are let loose naively on the world.

  • The internet is like your front door. The entire world is out there good and bad.

    Treat it the same and nothing can ever substitute for good parental supervision and education. Filters are for the lazy people who can not/will not be bothered to supervise or educate.

    I dare say most kids these days know how to get around filters.

  • Unless your kids are quite techy, just go with using OpenDNS as your DNS servers:, 208.67.220,220.

    Once you sign up you can define what you want to allow access to, define custom error pages, look at access logs etc. It simply tracks the DNS calls from your IP address and either returns the correct IP or returns a (user customizable) blocking page. If you have a dynamic IP then you need to install a bit of software (or set your router) to keep them informed of your IP so they know which queries are coming from your network.

    It’s easier than it sounds and as you should define the DNS servers on your router, it will protect all wifi devices that may come into your home too.

    If you want something a little simpler, they also have a service called FamilyShield which just blocks malware, phishing, proxy adult sites and is less customizable – to use this set your DNS servers to and

    NOTE: some internet providers may start charging for your free bundled content (like unlimited facebook etc) if you move from their DNS servers. Just check with them first. Also some data from CDNs may be slower as they may not determine your true location.

  • Parents need to leave space for children’s Internet use, but they shouldn’t lose control on their online activities. They need to know whether children have leaked family or personal information to the network or whether they have encountered cyber crime. Therefore, it’s better for parents to use Anykeylogger to monitor and manage children’s online activities.

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