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Billy T
14-11-2006, 08:35 AM
Hi Team

I've got a good friend who wants to restrict her teenage son's forays on the net. It is nothing too drastic but he is heading towards areas that could be a concern (visiting soft porn sites) and rational discussion has failed to produce any improvement, though it hasn't got any worse either.

She knows nothing about this sort of net security, and to be frank, neither do I, so what is the recommended freeware (or commercial) program that will contain his excesses without unduly limiting normal teenage interests.

Any recommendations for easy to configure software? No advice is needed on the parental or philosophical front, that appears to be all in hand.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

SolMiester
14-11-2006, 08:47 AM
Hi Billy, I have only installed a Net Nanny once, and they aren't that easy to configure for the separate users that use the PC.
Funny enough, this one was called Net Nanny, you can download a trial from the web and order your licence key should you wish to continue. From memory about $50 USD

Download from here (http://www.netnanny.com/)

Reviewed here (http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/netnanny-review.html)

Good luck

Safari
14-11-2006, 09:16 AM
http://www.wikihow.com/Restrict-Web-Browsing-Using-Internet-Explorer

TGoddard
14-11-2006, 09:25 AM
I recommend the best long-term cure - a combination of monitoring and strict enforcement. If a parent says 'not on my computer' then they need to make it clear that this must be obeyed. Make it clear to the son that the computer will be monitored for access to pornographic sites - children have privacy rights too.

If her son knows how to clear the browser history you can get the DNS names resolved in the past 24 hours by running cmd through the "Start->Run" menu and typing "ipconfig /displaydns". To save this to a file for easier viewing type "ipconfig /displaydns > my_file.txt". This will be cleared by a reboot so the computer must have been left on for this to work. More advanced usage may require special software.

If her son violates the rules she sets for the use of her computer, it makes sense that the appropriate penalty is to ban access to the computer. Add a password and don't let him on for a week. Repeat a few times and you've both solved the problem and taught a lesson in respect.

Technical restrictions should always be a last resort as they are extremely failure-prone and fail to fix the underlying cause. I seriously recommend avoiding "net nanny" type software as all of these solutions have a high error rate, can be fairly easily bypassed and only create a sense of conflict against 'the authority' in those you restrict with them. It becomes a challenge to see how far the limits can be pushed, which is already a prominent activity of the teenage mind anyway. A quick slap when somebody oversteps a boundary (metaphorically speaking, of course) is more likely to cause people to stay away from the boundary rather than continuously testing it.

SolMiester
14-11-2006, 09:56 AM
Technical restrictions should always be a last resort as they are extremely failure-prone and fail to fix the underlying cause. I seriously recommend avoiding "net nanny" type software as all of these solutions have a high error rate, can be fairly easily bypassed and only create a sense of conflict against 'the authority' in those you restrict with them. It becomes a challenge to see how far the limits can be pushed, which is already a prominent activity of the teenage mind anyway. A quick slap when somebody oversteps a boundary (metaphorically speaking, of course) is more likely to cause people to stay away from the boundary rather than continuously testing it.

Mate, that is bang on! You could swap Technical Restriction for Blackmail/brainwashing and use that for teenage rearing....LOL

Greg
14-11-2006, 10:06 AM
Billy - obviously Goddard's response completely overlooked the question that was asked.

I'd suggest looking at some of the pro versions of firewalls. They often have controlled access to the Internet, and when users visit any sites there's a password protected record of where they've been. Making that point completely transparent should be enough of a deterrent for him to wander.

I mean, society itself works in that way... if you know there's a cop gonna bust your ass for breaking a neighbour's window, then you kinda think twice.

Billy T
14-11-2006, 10:47 AM
Thanks guys.

It is a single-user computer so sharing is not an issue, and as I understand it, the problem is not severe at this stage, but just as I would object to my son bringing porn magazines into our house, I respect the right of this parent to object to and wish to restrict the import of similar material via other media.

The ultimate sanction of course, is the removal of the technical ability to go on-line, which is easy to do on a single user machine and impossible for even the smartest kid to circumvent. If he doesn't have a connection to the net and the ability to use one is physically disabled even if he did, then that is the end of that.

Parents have the right (and the obligation) to set standards and enforce them. This may never go to technical restrictions anyway, but the options are being explored prior to an open but heart to heart discussion about actions and consequences

Personally, I don't wish to be involved beyond giving advice, but this kid is not technically savvy at all, he's just a computer user and knows nothing much beyond keyboard and screen so simple solutions should be effective.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

godfather
14-11-2006, 11:40 AM
Personally, I would recommend this "utility".
http://www.optimafitness.co.uk/ishop/images/1025/Z-RS-BAS-AS32.jpg

AaronM
19-11-2006, 09:31 AM
HI, check out the application "Parental Filter". I have not tried this myself but have seen it reviewed in a magazine, plus it is free.

If you google "Parental filter" (including the quotes) it will pop up a link for downloading and looking at reviews...

Let us know if you try it and its any good.

Cheers.

pctek
19-11-2006, 03:24 PM
Or she could sign up with this ISP:

http://www.watchdog.net.nz/products_family_pricing.html