Is your child watching porn on a cell phone? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

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Is your child watching porn on a cell phone?

May 21, 2007

Albany -- There's a new danger out there for your kids. It's called MAC, which stands for mobile adult content. Pornography is now easily accessible on, of all things, your kids' cell phones.

Cell phone pornography is a half billion dollar industry and watching it is as easy as accessing the internet. "Most new cell phones now are internet accessible," says Dougherty County Sheriff's Lieutenant Craig Dodd. 

That internet access opens up the whole world in the palm of their hands. "It's highly likely that if you have kids, they've seen, or will see, porn in the future," says Bryan Wickens, a consumer watchdog. 

The aggressive porn industry lures, even tricks, your kids into downloading adult content.  "Some of these porn sites are tuned in to these music-type sites and it's so close to the porn site, and whenever you go to access one, you accidentally download the porn site," says Dodd.

And there it is, in the palm of your child's hand. Equally disturbing is that teens often get free porn samples marketed by porn stars on, of all places, MYSPACE.COM. 

"This has now opened a market to teenagers instead of adults and it's pretty dangerous," said Dodd.

Many parents are behind the learning curve when it comes to knowing about cell phone pornography. "So many parents aren't even aware that there's this access out there, that their kids could be receiving and attaining this kind of information," says Wickens.

So how can you keep porn out of your child's hands? Cingular cell phones give adults the option of  blocking adults sites and if your child removes the filter, Cingular e-mails you.

Lt. Dodd says all cell phone providers should offer that protection.  "This needs to be addressed by the major cell phone companies before it gets out of control," he says.

But until they do, what's a parent to do?  "Don't buy your kids cell phones with internet access," said Dodd.

And if your kids complain that they can't download songs or other material to their cell phones without it, know this.

"There's a cord they can plug from their computer into their phone for downloading," said Dodd.

To hopefully prevent children from downloading porn onto the very devices we buy to keep them safe - their cellphones.