The number one guideline for using technology today is filters. There is no heter to have any device without a very good filter which blocks all מראות אסורות and anything that a person shouldn’t see. This applies no matter the age, and no matter what kind of device it is (computer or phone). And it should be a good filter that was made with frum yidden in mind (examples: Gentech, Netspark, NativUSA) and not a filter made by goyim that isn’t worth much.
The michshol of having open internet is so big that it’s embarrassing that we even need to mention the importance of filters. But this inyan needs constant chizuk for two reasons:
1) It’s easy not to find the time to “get around to it” or we just upgraded our device and didn’t put it back on yet (and then we forget to). Some people say they are sure they won’t be nichshal, so they push off putting on a filter.
2) No filters are perfect and have everything we want open, open, and everything we want closed, closed. Filters can be bothersome and are never foolproof (although they are getting better all the time). So yes, it may be a bother, it may cost money, and they won’t be perfect. But consider the hefsed against the s'char. Filters are a fence against שאול תחתית ממש!
Practical help with filters.
1) TAG (Technology Awareness Group)
This organization assists people with filters in their offices around the world. TAG’s Main Hotline: 718-CALL-TAG (718-225-5824). You can also visit: venishmartem.com for a list of all TAG offices around the world.
This website is an excellent resource for filtering advice: They have a “Filter-Wizard” on their homepage that makes it easy to find the best solutions for any device. Venishmartem also lists information on all TAG offices around the world. It is preferable to go to a TAG office rather than relying on Venishmartem for advice, so they can help you setup the filter to suit your precise needs, and also hold the passwords or control the account for you if necessary.
3) Filtering Help in Eretz Yisrael:
a) היעוץ המקצועי שעל ידי ועידת הרבנים לביצור חומת הדת - Technology Advice Hotline: A country-wide hotline which specializes in finding filtering solutions in Israel. Tel: 1599-550-330 (Press 8 for English)
b) OutNet: A country-wide organization with trained technicians to help you block or limit internet access, free of charge. Call their hotline 0722-613-613 and choose the options relevant to you, or visit www.out-net.org. This will lead you a technician in your area that will assist you. If the technician does not answer, you can leave him a message and he will get back to you.