Concerns about kids and internet access.

Discussion in 'PC and I.T support/Advice posts' started by gaz_l, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. gaz_l

    gaz_l Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Greetings, citizens.

    This is not for my benefit, but rather for one of my colleagues who asked me a question to which I didn't have an answer. As you are such a knowledgeable lot, I thought you might be able to help.

    His dilemma concerns allowing his kids access to the internet (Girl 12 and boy 10). He wants then to be able to use the internet to research homework etc. but obviously wants to a) protect them from the nasties out there and b) log what they've done so that he can catch them out when they try and circumvent whatever controls he puts on. He can't stand over them every minute they're online.

    Not being a parent, I obviously don't have this problem, but I would imagine lots of people have so there must be a solution out there somewhere. I would imagine a piece of software on the kids PCs, or better still on a web server on his home network that they have no physical access to would be the answer.

    I've just a quick google to see if anything obvious came up - the number 1 result initially looked likely, until a pop-up page appeared telling me that my PC was being scanned, showing a "My Computer" type window. All well and good, except my Drive C is actually labelled "Macintosh HD", thank you very much ;). I think I'll be giving that site a miss.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions? Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Gaz
     
  2. recycled

    recycled Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    net nanny
     
  3. stevesey

    stevesey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    OpenDNS should do the trick for a bit (although the 12 year old may be able to find their way around it before too long if they are the geeky type).
     
  4. recycled

    recycled Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    if he opens and account for them and gives them guest access, he can always go back to history and check what they have looked that as they cannot modify any folder with guest access,(or can they?)
     
  5. TomTanderson

    TomTanderson Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Education is always better than control in my opinion - and that doesn't just apply to the internet.

    I don't claim any great wisdom but I do have three kids and work in IT so I have some experience.
     
  6. pammy

    pammy MB Club Veteran

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    At that age I would be monitoring their access! You can use things like net nanny - but kids can still come across stuff inadvertantly. There's no match for close supervision. And that doesn't mean sitting over their shoulder - but kee the PC in the same room you're in - then just keep a watch out of the corner of your eye ;)

    At 15 Josh now has free internet access. Megs was probably a similar age. Before then they were very limited with what they had. You can monitor using Internet history etc which gives you a good idea of what they're up to if anything. But if they are inquisitive then they can easily get to nasty stuff via fairly innocent and normal means. I'd use something like net nanny and also set all the controls to the highest levels within IE etc .
     
  7. Beetnik

    Beetnik Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's no good relying on net nanny and the like - it took my eldest about 20 minutes to work out a way round whatever its equivalent was a few years ago (I set him the challenge as we were thinking of investing in the company - we didn't!)

    For me it's about being a family - having useful conversations and good interaction whilst having some privacy along the way. If you've got a good enough relationship to be able to 'knock and enter' other people's private space when appropriate then it's less likely to be a problem.

    Make sure, as a parent, that you're net savvy so the little darlings are aware you can check up on them.
     
  8. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    we bought ours the latest Encylopedia Brittanica DVD (£20 on offer at PC World) which gives them pretty much all the info they need for research as it's far more up to date than their text books and it's 100% safe

    We also allow net access to school homework sites, the rest, well they can ask us and we'll supervise it.

    Strictly NO online games, MSN or other messengers.

    so far we have no problems apart from the usual "all my friends have got MSN" rubbish from our 12 year old
     
  9. gbjeppm

    gbjeppm Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Another vote for openDNS here. Works well and is free.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    gaz_l

    gaz_l Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the replies. They are a close and loving family and I'm sure that the kids are well versed in the dangers of t'internet, so it's not a question of control over education. Still, kids have inquiring minds (I was one myself, many years ago) and my colleague would like to keep a watchful eye over their online activities.

    I will forward your suggestions, many thanks!

    Cheers,

    Gaz
     
  11. davidjpowell

    davidjpowell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Controls that come with CA Internet Security Suite Plus have to date beaten our 12 year olds best efforts - just have to choose a good password!

    David
     
  12. Frank O' Phile

    Frank O' Phile Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Our 14yo has his own account set up and I have set it up to log off at a reasonable hour on a school night and longer at weekends.
     
  13. boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    i agree, educating and putting computers in living room and not in the bedrooms.

    if that does not work you can implement a firewall like sonicwall and purchase the web filter that comes with it, which works okay but it is a bit pricey at £250 for the sonicwall and then you pay annual licenses for additional filters etc.
     
  14. stevesey

    stevesey Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    £250 ouch - I'm using Winproxy (Ositis) - which is sadly no longer supported/available otherwise I'd recommend (but still running fine here). That was only £59 for three user licence and £20 or so per-annum for site filtering, did the job really well - the e-mail alerts were particularly fun. Once e-mailed son from the office telling him to stop trying to go places be shouldn't.:D
     
  15. G-Force

    G-Force Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Like many others, we llet the kids use the desktop PC in the familt room, we occasionaly check what they are up to and i have set up MSN messanger to record all chat logs wich i randomly check.....last year their was a bit of internet bullying going on...be cautious but let them learn and experience the joys!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  16. HughJarse

    HughJarse Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I sorta work in this field. Put it this way my colleague is in charge of schools county access and safety. without trying to be negative, he runs a server in the house and records and then checks logs, as well as only having pc in family room.

    I have some teenagers that can circumvent very stringent rules and software - its more of a game to them than actually wanting to view certain media.

    I mean have you thought that you can get round most pc measures by simply using a linux boot disc to boot from the disc into linux.
     
  17. fuzzer

    fuzzer MB Club Veteran

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  18. boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    one more thing, most mobile phones (iphone, google, phone, bberry, all symbian os based phones - nokia, sony ericsson etc) now have internet access and you can run IM applications on them, now how do you monitor that :), i don't believe there are any good ways to keep track of that
     

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