Until recently, signs of internet pornography activity were obvious to people who knew what they were looking for.  You simply needed a basic understanding of how your computer tracked Internet history to be able to evidence of porn.  Either you would find the pornography itself logged in the history or the entire history would be wiped clean.

Thanks to an Internet Explorer update, meant to protect the privacy of users on public computers, clearing your history is no longer needed to view pornography.  All that is needed now is an activation of “In Private Browsing.”

Is it an option on your computer?  One easy way to find out.  Go up to the menu bar in an Internet Explorer window and click on “Tools.”  In the drop down menu will be an option for In-Private Browsing.

What is “In-Private Browsing?”

Well, IPB was intended to protect our identities on public use computers.  For example, in the past if you visited your bank account on a library computer, the person who used the computer after you would be able to see your history and possibly access your bank account.  Obviously that’s a bad idea, so IPB was created to protect us. 

Essentially, if you use IPB the entire time you use a public computer, the person who uses it after you will have no clue you were ever there.  No history is logged.  No cookies are saved.  It’s as if you never used the computer at all.

This creates an obvious problem for those who know someone struggling with pornography, because now there is ‘secret’ access to pornography and no worries about having to clean up afterwards.  There is no longer any worrying about clearing the history.  IPB protects everything from bank account information to porn.

So what can you do?

1.  Computer on Lock Down.   For starters, if you are a parent, your child’s computer account should not be the same as yours.  Create their own account and by all means, keep the password a secret. 

2.  Create Parental Accountability.  Search to see if your computer has a parental control option.  Parental controls keep track of the last time a user logged in and all of the recent activity.

3.  Disable the Clear History Option.  Right now, clearing Internet History is as easy as clicking a few buttons.  Search for a guide to disabling the ability to clear history.  One of the reasons to separate the administrator count is that no other users will be able to undo these changes.  There are still online ways of doing this (porn is the only addiction I know that comes with a backup plan.  It would be like selling breath mints with cigarettes) but if the history is cleared when you have disabled the option, then you have significant reason to be suspicious.

4.  Disable In-Private Browsing.  For those who aren’t as computer savvy, this is going to take time and patience, but there are great walk-through guides.  The specific one you need will depend on the Operating System of your computer. 

http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-xp/blocking-in-private-browsing/176242.html

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/62135-internet-explorer-inprivate-browsing-enable-disable.html

Please note, that versions of this feature are becoming available in other internet browsers as well.  Firefox has a feature called “Private Browsing.”  Safari also has one.  Here are websites with more information:

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/2010/11/disabling_private_browsing.html

http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-175238.html

The only private browser that cannot be disabled is Google Chrome.  If you utilize this browser I highly suggest getting some sort of internet accountability software.

I recommend Covenant Eyes Accountability Software.

It may seem tedious or expensive, but accountability is so helpful in keeping sin at bay.  Is the innoncence of your children worth a little extra programming?  The answer, of course, is yes.

Please share this with those you know.  Sometimes things that seem so great (protecting our identity online) open up loopholes for sin.

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