Parents and enterprises warned of ‘Podporn’ problem

Security experts issued a warning about the fast growing problem of pornography being accessed via devices such the new video-enabled Apple iPod or Sony PSP.

While most parents realize that internet pornography is a danger and have taken steps to protect their children, they are less aware of the ease with which sexually explicit content can be downloaded and viewed on the latest portable digital media players, SurfControl said.

This activity, already being referred to as "PodPorn" or "PornCasting," poses a particularly high risk to children, but can also create problems for companies as staff can use the devices to download unsavory material onto corporate networks.

Patricia Sueltz, SurfControl chief executive officer, said: "Although new emerging technologies, such as the iPod and PSP, have great portable entertainment value, it is vital that parents are made aware of the dangers they pose to an online generation. These internet-based digital media players have rapidly made their way into homes across the globe this season, and industry experts have indicated that adult content providers are poised to capitalize on this new market by developing a raft of adult-content videos aimed squarely at these devices."

Unlike the personal computer, very few internet-based devices have integrated parental controls available to stop the viewing of unsavory content. Because of this, parents are encouraged to practice the same "safe surfing" measures used with their home computer, Sueltz added.

Devices such as the video iPod obtain media directly from a PC. Anyone who can browse the web can download pictures to their computer and upload them onto the iPod. With explicit video clips available free of charge in the form of iPod-friendly downloads, parents are advised to be vigilant in tracking and controlling use of home computers accordingly.

Devices such as the PSP require even more diligent parental involvement, SurfControl warned, because the PSP connects directly to the internet, giving children easy access to the web content of their choosing.

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