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Sandmannd

Internet Parental Control - Some help please

19 posts in this topic

So my wife and I just had an eleven year old move in with us. I'm going from a three year old to eleven and learning as I go, it's a huge step. Yesterday I got home from fishing and she was on the computer, when I walked in the door she quick shut her IE and opened a new one so I knew something was up. Later I went to the history folder and looked at Saturday's history. Lets just say she was at sites that would make a grown man (namely me) want to hurl. I locked down the PC so she can't get to anything unless one of us authorize it first. I've been looking at Parental Control software and some are pretty cool where they will record all keystrokes and we can look at her chats, emails and what she's doing online. Does anyone have any experience with these programs and what's a good one to get? What do other parents do?

We are going to limit her online time to two hours a day on weekends and one hour on the weekday but she's banned from it for now. Also doing the same with talking on the phone. Is this about right? Just looking for some help from other parents.

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Not a parent, but your ISP may provide a free software package that lets you control parental access such as internet on/off time and blocking of internet sites by keywords and other criteria. Usually, it's part of a free internet security suite provided with your account.

Also, if you have a router in the system, you can often do the same thing through that.

One quick step is to put the computer in a common area where the use of it can be monitored at all times.

Keyloggers will definitely let you keep track of things.

Often, I look at places like download dot com to read the editor and user ranking and reviews of various softwares.

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Kill computer access all together. Get back to the good old days. There is nothing for kids on the internet anyway.

Play a game, read a good chapter book with her, play tag outside, go walk in the woods, take them hunting, watch a good movie together, go bowling, take them ice fishing, make cookies, make cameral rolls and freeze them for a nice Sunday morning breakfast, color with them in a coloring book, do a 300 piece puzzle, just sit and chat. There are sooo many other activities you can do that remove them from being plugged in.

Good luck!

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I usually was fairly lenient on the 1st offense and less the 2nd or 3rd time. They are kids and will make mistakes and or push the limit. Considering she is new in your household it may take some time for the trust and honesty relationship to build.

You could probably get some URL filtering software off the web pretty cheap or maybe free, like it was mentioned your ISP may provides some as part of their services.

Limiting time on the internet and in front of the TV is a good thing. Kids need to experience more than just instant entertainment.

Hang in there and be patient with her and yourself, this is going to be a learning process for both of you.

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Btw, I am a parent, but the kids are 5,3,and 2, so I don't know what to say about punishment.

My sisters 13 year old was sneaking into their basement where their computer is and playing on Runescape, some nights at 3 or 4 in the morning- even on school nights. I think what they eventually did was they took the AC cord off the tower and hid it.

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Tools, internet options, content then content advisor.

Yep, set that all up, was just looking for other options. I'm not really looking at a punishment for her. She said she was just going to Myspace, but some of these sites were hit a few times. It's restricted now so all websites she wants to go to have to be opened up by me so I get to preview and approve them. I agree with getting her outside and doing things together. It's a good option but we can't just jump into it. You have to remember that she didn't grow up with us and isn't used to how we do things. Trying to make an easy transaction for her but she can't get away with everything. Just looking to see what others use out there.

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sell her to the circus:) At least thats what I always told my kids would happen if i caught them surfing in rough waters...

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What i did with my daughters is give them 1 stern warning.I told them strike one...your out.I also told them at the same time that i would be monitoring what they do on the computer.I then purchased a $40 monitoring program that logged everything and monitored them.I never once caught them doing anything wrong and after 2 years i showed them the program i used to monitor them.After 2 years i felt comfortable not watching their actions but let them beleive they were still being monitored.It was my responsibility as a parent to protect them.

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My first reaction would be to not put my faith in an outside third party. Not because they aren't available or won't keep her off the sites but because I think this is a learning opportunity. She needs to know where the boundaries are and who is in charge.

So far my kids haven't been getting into places they don't belong and they know where they can and cannot go. They also know that using the computer is a privilege that I can take away rather quickly.

However, if you feel you need to pursue a third party software, check out Microsoft Live OneCare Family Safety. This is a free parental control software. I have installed it just in case I felt the necessity but I haven't looked real close at it yet and I haven't needed it. Primarily because if my kids neglected to follow the rules it would become a moot point once I took away their veiwing privilege. From what I recall, you can configure a user for your child and you can allow or block websites, domains, etc. I don't know to what degree of control it offers but maybe it'll meet your needs.

The unfortunate part is that Microsoft can't legally allow their software to restrict children 16 and over. That means that after age 16 you can't configure the software for that child anymore. Can you believe it? Same is true when it comes to medical records by the way but that's another thread for discussion.

As far as I'm concerned though, the privilege is still in my control in my home and I don't care if my kids are 30.

Bob

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Kids know how easy it is to get what they want on a PC. Its like beer. If you eliminate it at your house, they will just go find it somewhere else. Better to talk with the kid so they understand why its good/bad and leave it at that IN MY OPINION.

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My wife and I have been through this and I feel your pain. It's very hard to image some of the web sites that kids are 1 or 2 clicks away from while on Myspace or even Facebook. Anyhow, I decided to go with Trend Micro antivirus and spyware software. It has some great features for locking out internet content and also can lockout internet access based on a scheule. So far it seems to be working quite well.

Another software we tried was PCtattletale. It too, was a great tool for internet control. However, My 17 year old son was able to somehow (probably through his internet contacts) screw up the software on it and made it unusable. We ended up not using this software anymore. I know there are many other companies that have developed software for internet control but be aware, there are many individuals out there that are advising others on how to disable or make the software unusable. Just my experience in a nutshell. Good Luck!

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I hear ya CAB. There is one called PC Pandora that runs invisible so the kids don't know it's on there.

I'm not trying to let this stuff parent for me, but it looks like a good too as you can't be with them forever. We had a talk and she knows that stuff is not acceptable to be viewing on the computer.

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OpenDNS (google it)

This works on a network level. You can use this in conjunction with any other software you are using.

Set up the DNS servers in your router to use the OpenDNS servers. Create an account on OpenDNS. Set the filter areas you want to filter - there are like 40 categories you can set. I think they say they have a couple million websites categorized. You can also block access or allow access to specific URLs.

One thing you'll probably have to do is install a small software to update your IP address if you have a dynamic IP (most home users do). They have instructions on the site how to set this up.

Even if you don't use the filtering part of OpenDNS, their servers are probably faster than your ISP's dns servers, so it makes sense to use them anyway, plus they block Phishing and Adware/Spyware sites, which might keep you out of trouble too.

This is what I use at work to block access to Myspace/Facebook/Internet Radio sites, amongst other things...

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Tools, internet options, content then content advisor.
This is a good solution for IE, but what if the kid then install Mozilla Firefox, or Apple's Safari?

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You have to let them to the site. Plus the easiest way to thwart that maneuver is to setup a separate profile for the kids and don't give them the rights to install software.

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Minor but easy thing, keep the computer in a public area of the house, and don't let her use it when you are not there. Also let her know that you are monitoring it (you needn't say how) so that there is no miscommunication about you snooping on her. That happened years ago between my Mom and sister (waaaay before internet, BTW) and that caused problems that took a long time to heal.

I had a great conversation with a friend I had not seen in a long time - he is now a teacher and a great guy. One thing that he brought up is that "kids are still kids" just like the old days, and we have to remember that - regardless of internet or bullying or whatever, it is no different than when we were kids... for better or worse smile So we should protect them like we would Monday morning quaterback if we were our parents, looking back at the stupid stuff we did. Not all of it was malicious, but alot of it could have hurt us.

Good luck Sandman, you you just jumped a couple grades on the "need to learn fast" scale! ha! When I got married I went from no kids to teenagers... and let me tell you, even when they are in their 30's it still isn't over, ha!!!

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