Welcome to the Online Safety resource! The goal of this site is to provide easy-to-follow instructions and tips that will help you and your family stay safe online. The content is categorized into the following sections:

Overcoming Pornography Addiction: The Healing Power of Jesus Christ

How to Child-Proof the Web on a Mac

Tuts+ published an awesome video for Mac users who want to setup a safe computing environment for children.

Naaman Project: Healing for Pornography Addiction

Author, educator, speaker, and Licensed Professional Counselor, Kevin Hinckley has created an LDS-based pornography addiction program called the Naaman Project. It can be of assistance to any who are seeking healing from porn addiction referred to here as "spiritual leprosy," which afflicted the great Naaman in the Old Testament.

Qustodio: Free Parental Control Software

MakeUseOf featured a free parental control application for Windows called Qustodio. The program is installed on all Windows machines, and settings are controlled from a central web site, which simplifies administration. The central control panel allows parents to restrict access to web sites based on various categories, and also allows restrictions on web browsing time. If your family uses Windows computers, and you're looking for a quick, easy, free way to implement parental controls on multiple devices, you might want to take a look at Qustodio.

Microsoft already offers Windows Live Family Safety, which is essentially the same thing as Qustodio, and is also free, and integrates nicely with Windows. We have used Windows Live Family Safety on our main family computer (running Windows 7) for a few years now and have had great success.


  • Yoursphere for Parents: Family social networking and Internet safety information. Great tutorials about keeping your family safe online.
  • LDS Addiction Recovery Program: Support for those who struggle with addiction and family and friends of addicts. Use the meeting locator to find an Addiction Recovery meeting in your area.
  • Naaman Project: Healing for Pornography Addiction. An LDS-based addiction recovery program by Kevin Hinckley.
  • Overcoming Pornography: Resources from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Candeo: For anyone struggling with porn addiction and masturbation addiciton, Candeo provides a powerful, anonymous online training program that helps individuals understand the brain science of addiction and how to successfully overcome its powerful grip
  • GetNetWise: GetNetWise is a public service brought to you by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences.
  • Internet Safety Podcast: The Internet Safety Podcast is a non-profit weekly program to educate parents, teachers, and teens about the benefits and risks of technology
  • Family Resource Center: Tips and important information regarding internet safety for kids and parents provided by Symantec
  • NetSmartzKids: NetSmartz is an Internet safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that uses the latest technology to create high-impact educational activities for even the most tech-savvy kids of any age group
  • Tips for Online Safety: Helpful principles and practices for staying safe online provided by Google and Common Sense Media.
  • Microsoft Online Safety: Consumer online safety education from Microsoft
  • BeSafe: Information about BYU-recommended safety resources, guidelines, and external resources you might find useful in your efforts to be safe.
  • Stay Safe Online: Safety resources from the National Cyber Security Alliance.
  • OnGuard Online: OnGuard Online provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information.

Yoursphere for Parents provides great Internet safety information

Yoursphere is a social network built for kids with a special focus on family safety. The Yoursphere for Parents site is a great resource for parents who are looking for additional information about family safety on the Internet. They feature a great tutorials section that teaches basic computer security and safety principles, including how to add protections to mobile devices.

Disinfecting a Windows Machine

I recently received a spam email from a family member with an unfamiliar, suspicious link. This prompted me to reach out to try to help clean up their computer. I recommended changing the email password from a clean, uninfected machine, but after a few attempts at that, the spam email continued. My next conclusion was that there must still be some malware on the machine. Following are some steps that I provided which may be useful to others who are trying to disinfect a Windows computer from a virus, rootkit, or other malware:
  1. Go to Add/Remove programs and uninstall any "extraneous debris," or any software that you simply don't need. Additional software only increases the attack vector for hackers seeking to leverage known vulnerabilities in software.
  2. Download the Windows Defender Offline tool and create a bootable CD or USB drive from a cleanuninfected computer. You will boot to this tool on the infected machine, which will run before Windows ever loads. What happens is that the malware is so sophisticated that it is able to hide itself from the antivirus scanners using what are called rootkits. The Windows Defender Offline tool should overcome that by booting first and rooting out the problem.
  3. Consider running an additional offline scan using the Kaspersky Rescue Disk. Remember to create a bootable USB or CD from an uninfected computer. Follow the instructions to run an offline scan (meaning that you boot to the rescue disk before Windows loads).
  4. If the above two steps are able to uncover any malware and clean it, then boot the machine as you would normally, and launch the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (online). This requires Java, which I normally recommend uninstalling unless you specifically need it for something, since many of the exploits in recent weeks have leveraged an un-patched flaw in the Java run-time environment. This will scan your computer for any vulnerable or outdated software. Apply the updates as recommended, and ensure that Windows Update is configured to automatically download and install any new updates from Microsoft. You should even launch Windows Update to make sure that there aren't any pending security patches.
  5. If steps 2 and 3 fail to find any malware, consider backing up all of your important files to an external USB drive, then reformatting the computer with your system restore disk (Windows install disk). Sometimes, rather than spend hours and days trying to weed out malware, it is better to start with a clean slate. When you re-install Windows, make sure to load Microsoft Security Essentials before doing anything else.
  6. Going forward, make sure to not click on any unfamiliar links in email or open any email attachments, unless it is something you are expecting--even then, open with extreme caution. Be careful about what software you install--is it something you really need, or are you just installing it for fun? Make sure to run files you download through VirusTotal, which scans the file using a large database of antivirus programs.