For sex, porn, and love addicts, digital devices can be dangerous, providing instant and seemingly endless access to porn, hookup apps, social media flirtations, webcam encounters, prostitutes, virtual reality sex games, and more. For this reason, any person hoping to recover from sex, porn, and/or love addiction absolutely must install a “parental control” software program onto his or her computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other digital devices.

The best products offer both filtering and accountability. In other words, they block problematic content, while also providing useful reports to the addict’s accountability partner(s). At this time, the best products for recovering sex, porn, and love addicts are:

  • Net Nanny. Net Nanny’s Family Protection Pass costs $59.99 per year for up to five devices, $89.99 per year for up to ten devices, and $119.99 for up to fifteen devices. The software is usable on almost all digital devices, including Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. Net Nanny has long been the gold standard in online protection, and the current version is no exception. It offers superb filtering and blocking, excellent time management, and very good monitoring and reporting features – all of which are easily adjustable. This means the product works well for all age groups, including adults.
  • Qustodio Parental Control. Qustodio can be downloaded and used for free, but that version does not have the full set of features. For complete protection, recovering sex, porn, and love addicts definitely want the premium version, which costs $49.95 per year for up to five devices, or $87.95 for up to ten devices, and $125.95 for up to 15 devices. Qustodio works on almost all digital devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The filtering and blocking features are very good. Time management is excellent. Monitoring and reporting is also very good. Pricing is comparable to Net Nanny.
  • WebWatcher. WebWatcher is a good program, mostly on par with Net Nanny and Qustodio, except it’s really expensive at $99.95 per year for each digital device. It is usable on almost all digital devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. WebWatcher is great about capturing the content of emails and IMs, logging keystrokes, and providing actual screenshots. The filtering and blocking features are also good, as are the time management and reporting features. The company’s website brags a lot about stealth and covert monitoring. I’m not a fan of that, as this type of intervention does nothing to further the development of relationship trust. Still, this is a good product, except for the fact that it’s considerably more expensive than comparable offerings.
  • CovenantEyes. CovenantEyes offers online accountability with optional Internet filtering and blocking for a total of $10.99 per month ($131.88 per year) for each user (unlimited devices) or $14.99 per month ($179.88 per year) for the entire family (unlimited devices). CovenantEyes is usable on almost all digital devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Most features are good, though filtering is a notch below the best programs.

It is important to remember that even the best filtering and accountability softwares are not infallible. A tech-savvy addict can nearly always work around these products, and if not, he or she can simply purchase a new digital device to be used in secret, without the encumbrance of the protective software. As such, these products should not be thought of as enforcers of recovery. Instead, they should be looked at as tools of sobriety that can slow an addict down when he or she is tempted, and hold the addict accountable for the choices he or she makes.

Author

Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW is Chief Clinical Officer of Seeking Integrity LLC, a unified group of online and real-world communities helping people to heal from intimacy disorders like compulsive sexual behavior and related drug abuse. As Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Rob led the development and implementation of Seeking Integrity’s residential treatment programming and serves as an integral part of the treatment team. He is the author of ten books on sexuality, technology, and intimate relationships, including Sex Addiction 101, Out of the Doghouse, and Prodependence. His Sex, Love, and Addiction Podcast is currently in the Top 10 of US Addiction-Health Podcasts. Dr. Rob hosts a no-cost weekly Sex and Intimacy Q&A on Seeking Integrity’s self-help website, SexandRelationshipHealing.com (@SexandHealing). The Sex and Relationship Healing website provides free information for addicts, partners of addicts, and therapists dealing with sex addiction, porn addiction, and substance abuse issues. Dr. Rob can be contacted via Seeking Integrity.com and SexandRelationshipHealing.com. All his writing is available on Amazon, while he can also be found on Twitter (@RobWeissMSW), on LinkedIn (Robert Weiss LCSW), and on Facebook (Rob Weiss MSW).

1 Comment

  1. I have not read YABOR (Yet Another Book On Recovery) but still wonder positively if Robert’s book “Out of the Doghouse…” includes how it’s important that any “dog” get comfortable in (his/her) doghouse, before coming back into the main house. hmm?? (Alan)

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