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8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

Thank you all for the great submission this past week!

I encourage all of you to read through not only Al?s great answer, but the honorable mentions as well as the categories of recommendations following this post here. And if you have more advice, questions, or would just like to touch upon this subject with an opinion or two, by all means free to express them and post below in this thread. This way, us parents and parents to-be, can get a better understanding of how to manage our computers and get a head start as to what to expect when your children are exposed to the cyber world.

Thanks again everyone!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community


Question:

I was wondering if someone could help me set my computer up so that my kids can use it but cannot download or install anything without my permission. I have caught my son installing Kazaa (with viruses coming with it!), using it, then uninstalling it before I got home. I hate to punish my other children by having to leave my computer off all day.

Submitted by: Debbie B.



Answer:

The easiest and most straightforward answer to PC Security is to install Windows XP and use the NTFS option for your file system. This gives you the potential of industrial-strength security. Most earlier versions of Windows for the home simply did not have the notion of security built into them except for screensaver passwords and the ability to segregate users in Outlook Express. They assumed that if the user had access to the PC, the user was entitled to do anything at all.

Security is so central to Windows XP that what you want to accomplish comes built in. Once you have added each member of the family as a limited user, they won't be able to do anything you don't want them to. Out of the box, they will be able to browse the Web, read and create e-mail, and run programs that you have installed, but not much more.

There are advanced features that control downloading from the Web. You can prevent kids from going to Web sites you want to restrict, such as the infamous whitehouse.com. Note that even if they download programs, they will not be able to install them. Nor will they be able to remove programs. I'm not discussing the advanced features, because they are nice to have but not essential to your goal. Study Internet Options in the Control Panel to access many of these advanced features. Implementing others is beyond the scope of a short response.

When you install Windows XP, you will go through the process of setting up an administrator. (Use a password you can remember, but not one that anyone will be able to guess. And don't write it down.) The administrator will have entire control over the PC and will be the only person who can install programs and make other security-related changes.

You then set up each member of the household as a "limited user." When you set up the account give each a password and ask them to change it when they first log on. All this is done in the Control Panel in group labelled User Accounts. There is a wizard that will take you through the steps. You will enter a name on the first screen. On the second you will have a choice between administrator and limited user. Pick limited user and read what it allows the individual to do. Then work your way through the rest of the screens. Repeat for each family member except the hamster.

Having the users change their passwords is a good learning experience because they will be generating and remembering passwords into the indefinite future. You might teach them to generate good passwords by taking the first letter of every word in a sentence containing a number or number homonym. "Mom makes great soup for me, and Sis does too." converts to "Mmgs4m,aSd2." That is a password most security admins would accept because it has upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters. It is also long and not in the dictionary. Just make sure they try typing it a time or two, so that they don't choose one that is hard to type.

Set a good example by having your own user account. Log on as administrator only when you need to install programs or make other changes requiring that power. (If you use the friendly Welcome screen, the administrator is not listed. Do a Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence twice quickly in this screen, and you will get a dialog you can use to log on.)

Each user has their own separate My Documents so that they can keep their affairs private. If you ever need to go snooping you can log on as the administrator and see everything. The existence of the separate areas protected by the log on password will help keep peace in the family.

Also show your users how to use the Display Properties on the control panel to set up a screen saver with the password.

All this, except the actual installation of Windows XP, will take far less time to do than to read about. After you have set up one user, the rest will be trivial. Just make sure that you have logged on with your user id and tried it all out before you show the rest of the family.

Finally, there are these days lots of other security and safety related issues. You should make sure that you have an up to date anti-virus program and set it up so that it up dates its files very regularly. You should have a fire wall. You should check regularly for Windows and other updates.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse,

Regards,

Submitted by: Al C.

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Honorable mentions

In reply to: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

****** HONORABLE MENTIONS**********

Answer:

If you have Windows XP, this procedure is quite simple.

Go into the Control Panel, and select User Accounts. If you only have one user, click Create a new account. Give it a name, and in the next screen, select ?Limited Account?, and Create Account. Then, click on your user, and click Create a password. Give yourself a password your kids would not ever guess. When all is done, your kids will not be able to install anything or do any major system modifications, unless you log in and do it.

If you have Windows 2000, this takes longer.

Right-Click My Computer, and hit Manage. In the new window that opens, hit Local Users and Groups. Right-click on Users and hit New Users. Fill out the form, but in the Permissions tab, select ?Users? as the account?s type. Now, when you are done, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and a window with many options opens. Click Change Password, and set a password for yourself. This works the same as a Windows XP Limited Account. REMEMBER your username AND password, or you are not getting back in!

If you have Windows 95/98/Me (9X), there is little that can be done.

The Windows 9X series were not meant to be multi-user Operating Systems. It has limited multi-user capabilities, and there is no way to lock out your kids without downloading third-party software. Even then, there are many loopholes in 9X, and they will most likely find them before you do.


Submitted by: Mike

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Answer:

That's easy -- and should be done by ANYONE with children, even if they're well behaved, if for no other reason than the increased privacy. Assuming you are using Windows 2000 or XP, just set up users for each member of your house -- or just one for adults and one for kids -- or any set or subset that you like. I like one for each person, because then you have individualized file storage in an easy location -- "My Documents", which is separate for each account.

(This is for Windows 2000, which is what I run, but it's a similar setup for XP.)

Go to the Start -> Control Panel, open up Users and Passwords.

Make sure the box "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" is checked.

Also make sure you know the Administrator password ... but you should know that anyway. (If not, you'll be setting up an administrator, so it'll be ok, but it's safer to know it.)

Add a user by clicking on "Add". Enter in the User name for yourself, and the other stuff (Description) as you desire (it doesn't affect anything.) Type in a password and retype it to confirm. DON'T FORGET THIS.

Now select "Other" for "What level of access do you want to grant this user", and select "Administrators". You want to give yourself permission to install and run programs, uninstall, perform user maintenance, etc.

Then select "Finish". You are now created. Next time you start your computer up, a log on screen will appear as Windows begins to start. You will type the user name and password combination in to do anything on the computer.

Then comes the part where you limit access to your kids. For each kid (or for the kids as a group, if you prefer) create a new account. Follow the same steps as above -- but when you get to the question "What level of access do you want to grant this user", select "Restricted User" (User). This is the part that prevents them from installing any programs. (Power User, the other major option, would still allow them to install programs -- you can't limit specific programs, unfortunately, so it's all or none. Each they need to install something, you'll need to enter the Administrator Password to continue -- which is what you wanted, right? But, if you have older or more well-behaved children that you trust to install programs, make them Power Users.)

Now -- don't give your kids the administrative password (and if they had it before, CHANGE IT from the logon screen or from this screen under "Set Password"), but give them their own password only. Now they can't install programs, but can run them and can save documents to their own folders!

You can also create your own kind of group, from the Administrative Tools->Computer Management->Local Users and Groups part of the control panel -- but that's not necessary for this purpose. (In fact, all of the above can be done from here, if you like that interface better.)

That's it! You spent 5 minutes setting up accounts, and saved yourself HOURS and HOURS of maintenance re-installing Windows, uninstalling programs, removing Spybots and Adware, not to mention viruses.

Submitted by: Joe M.

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Answer:

Debbie -

Assuming you're using Windows XP (or 2000), not Windows ME or 98:

Assign each of your kids a unique user ID with limited privileges.
Change the password on the Administrator account to something only you know, and then tell the kids that everyone will need to use their own ID when logging on to the computer.

In XP, you can display the users on your system via Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts. To create a new account, click on "Add...".
In the Add New User dialog, type the user name you want to assign, leaving the domain blank (it will default to the name of your computer). Click Next. Select the "Restricted user (Users Group)"
option, and click Finish. Repeat for any other accounts you need to create. Each kid will need to select a password the next time they log in.

Next, in the User Accounts dialog, look for a checkbox labeled "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer", and make sure it's checked. It may not be there on XP machines.

Finally (assuming you're logged in as Administrator), hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, select Change Password, and update your password to a value that only you know.

Keep in mind that you now must be logged in as Administrator to install software. Also keep in mind that your kids may have some trouble using some of the programs on the computer, due to the fact that they don't have permission to see the files. You will definitely want to test the applications that they use.

If you find a program they need that they can't run, I have been able to resolve many problems with permissions by exploring the program's subdirectory (as the Administrator user) under C:\Program Files (replace C:\ with whatever drive the program is loaded on). Once you find the program's subdirectory, right-click on the folder, and select Properties. Click on the Security tab, and the Advanced button.
Select the Users group, and click on Edit. Click on Full Control in the Allow column, and click OK. Finally, check the box next to "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects". Click OK.

Hope it helps.


Submitted by: George R.

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Answer:

Greetings. If your computer is running Windows XP (and most newer computers are,) here is your best bet to allow your kids to access the Internet but not download or install anything. (Note: this will also work on Windows 2000.)

First, make sure that your login has full rights and administrative access.
Next, go to Control Panel and select the Users option. Password-protect your account with a password that only you will know and remember - do not make it easy for them to guess: kids are relentless when they want their way!

Next, create a second user account JUST for them, and give it standard user access. It will severely limit them from downloading and installing programs. You may also need to change the Local Policy settings under the Administrative Tools area (you will need to enable "Classic View" on the Control Panel to be able to see the Administrative Tools options. In Local Policy, you can change security settings to allow only Administrator-level users to download, install, and modify programs and settings.

Finally, if you are using high-speed access (such as DSL or Broadband
Cable,) check with your service provider. For instance, Comcast offers a new product called "Security Manager" (available for Win98SE, WinME, Win2000, and WinXP) which has a built-in pop-up blocker, firewall, spyware protection, and parental control software that will allow you to easily set restrictions on what your kids can and can't do online. It is also password-protected and allows you to block access to vital areas of Windows such as Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and Internet Options, areas which kids can use to change things around and gain access to things you don't want them to access. Just make sure that you change your password (it works using the primary email account username and password) to something the kids will never figure out.

Hope this helps!

Submitted by: Pete

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Answer:

Hello,

This is an attempt to answer this week's question by Debbie B. on how to prevent her children from downloading and installing things she doesn't want on her computer.

I'd say she's in luck if she has either of two operating systems:
Windows XP or Windows 2000. Both of these operating systems have provisions for user logons and each can establish "administrative" or normal user defined logons. The administrator (Debbie B.) would set up the user accounts with passwords, and set their degree of usability with their logons. In Debbie's case, she should set her older children with "administrative" rights and the younger ones with normal user rights.
To accomplish this task, she should go to the Control Panel and click on User Accounts and then setup each user as she sees fit. By doing this she allows the older children rights to download and install, but restricts the younger ones of these rights. If the younger children should try to download or install things on the computer, they will be prompted to see their local administrator in a dialogue popup box.

Best of luck.

Submitted by: Chuck F. of Boston, MA

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Answer:

That's actually very simple:

If you are running W2K or XP, you probably made one default profile that gave all of you "administrator" rights. You need to set up accounts for the each of the kids limiting them to "user" access (In W2K, the path is Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Local Users and Groups>Users>Right-click to create new users). YOU set the names and the passwords and make them unchangeable by the kids. Then you need to set up a proper Administrator account for yourself that you only use for maintenance and DO NOT SHARE THE PASSWORD! After all that, change the password of your original default profile (if you want to keep it-likely if you have been using it a while and have a lot of material there) so that the kids can't get in that way. The added benefit of setting up separate profiles is that each family member can have their own customized desktop and personal folders that can't be tampered with by anyone but you (the administrator). You would also be able to see what your child is doing on the 'net based on their personal history folders. I know-not exactly cool, but if your son is playing with KaZaa (no matter what the excuse), it might be a way to open a dialog about computer safety.

Thanks much!
~~~~~AAAAAAAA< Beth
^ ^

Submitted by: Elizabeth P. of Las Vegas, Nevada

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Answer:

These instructions for Windows XP (as I do not have any other version)

Setting restricted accounts is easy. Your children will be able to use the currently installed programs, but will not be able to install additional programs.
It can be done from the User Accounts control panel. To get there: click the Start button, and click on Control Panel, and open the User Accounts control panel.
1. First you have to create a new limited account, so click on "Create a new account"
2. Type a name for the account and click on "Next >"
3. From here make the account a limited account by choosing the "Limited" option and click on "Create Account".

Now you have to create a password for the account you're using.

1. First click on the "Home" button on top of the User Accounts window.
2. Click on your current account.
3. Click on "Create a Password"
4. From here put the password you would like to protect your current account with (so your kids won't be able to access it) and confirm by typing it in again and choose a hint for if you forget what it is.
5. Click on "Create Password"
6. Now choose if you want this accounts files and folders to be accessible by other accounts.

Now you're done.

Just to make sure all the changes were right click on the Start button > Log Off > Switch User

Click on the account you were just using, if it is asking for a password then it was right, if it didn't, try going over the instructions again to see where you went wrong.

Now tell your kids to logon to the computer using the account you just created. If they pick the current account you're using, they will be asked for a password, which you picked.

Submitted by: Daniel F.

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Answer:

While this may be off topic, the first thing I would suggest is actually talking to your son and finding out what he gets out of intentionally disobeying you, because trying to prevent the installation of software is practically the same as trying to block write access (or the permission to write something) to your hard drive. It just isn't practical, though it may be possible.

Now, excuse me while I put my soapbox away and go on to address your question more directly. If you are running Windows 95/98/ME, it may be possible but I don't think the effort involved would be worth it. If, however, you are running Windows NT/2000/XP, you have a shot.

Under those Windows versions, you can set up a Group Policy and make your own allowances and restrictions about what runs (study your help file for more information) or you can also try giving your kids a Guest account, which automatically puts some tight restrictions on what your kids can run without a password. Be careful with this option because it can actually be too restrictive. I once tried to run Quicken using a guest account and I couldn't.


Submitted by: Daniel L. of Tucson, AZ


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Answer:

I had a similar problem and struggled with it for several years before coming to the conclusion that it was a hardware problem rather than a software or operating system problem. In simplest terms, just provide a separate hard drive for each of the computer's users. Since it is virtually impossible to prevent another user from accessing problematic sites, even by accident, it stands to reason that limiting the problems that ensue from that user's behavior to only their files and operating system is the most effective way to keep the viruses and adware and application bloat from infecting everyone else's files.

Here's how I did it. I purchased a drive rack that is installed into an open drive bay of the computer. I then purchased a separate drive for each of the users and installed the operating system on one of the drives followed by all the application software that would be used by all users. I then cloned that drive to each of the other drives so that I then had as many fully functional drives as I had users. When I use the computer, I simply insert my drive into the bay and turn on the computer. The only files on my drive are my files. No one has used it since I last did and so nothing is out of place, nothing is contaminated and I can just go to work. I have since installed additional applications that do not exist on the other users' drives and that has no effect on their ability to use the computer and nothing that they have done has any effect on my ability to use it either.

One surprising benefit that occurred resulted because I have a second computer in another location. I purchased both computers at the same time and had them configured identically. By putting a rack in the second computer, I can just unplug my drive from the one computer, carry it to the other and plug it in. This way I can take my work with me anytime I need it at the other location. Because transporting the drive gave me cause for concern, I subsequently added a second drive rack in my home office machine and now I clone the drive before I leave for the other location. That way, I have a perfect duplicate of my data and operating system so that, in the unlikely event something happens to my drive, I do not lose any of my data. In fact, I have become so paranoid that I now have an additional clone of the drive in a safe location (in fact, a fireproof safe) and I can rest easy.


Submitted by: Bruce P. of New Port Richey, Florida USA

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Answer:

The best way to protect important data is to have a slot with a frame for exchangeable Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Then you can take out your own system disk and provide other system disks for your kids. It is a good education that kids learn how to keep there own system disk (HDD) clean. Also kids should get basic lessons what they allowed to do and what not. Therefore tell them about what is legal and what could cause trouble. You can not limit the access to the Internet but you can educate kids how to surf save and to be responsible for there actions. You will see that you kids need your help and they will have a lot of questions how to make there system disk operational again after they mess up there own operation system.

Submitted by: Werner

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Software application and other recommendations

In reply to: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

(Note to our readers: Many user submissions this week included their recommendation for software. This program recommendation is solely based from our member?s submission to last week?s question and have NOT been validated by us, so please use caution and your best judgment when downloading and using these programs. Use at your own risk. Thank you.)


Software recommendations by our users

Answer:

I?ve recently been told of a fabulous piece of software which will allow your kids to make any changes to your computer but after it is restarted it will return completely to a pre-set state i.e. which includes the deletion of any installed software, viruses, recovery of deleted files. If the changes made are to be permanent then the software can be disabled by using a password. This software is called DEEPFREEZE. I found and ordered it via the web at www.faronics.com



Submitted by: Mary S.

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Answer:

To keep the kids from downloading things without your permission they should not have access to administrator rights on the computer. If you have Windows XP you can set up the computer to have separate settings for each family member and put a password on the administrator account. It also helps to have some kind of software like Cyberpatrol or Net Nanny. You can configure them to block certain sites and put a timer on the kids' computer usage. I am still working on making the software block things I don't want and still have access to things I want. The kids have to ask me to adjust the settings when Cyberpatrol blocks things that are O.K. for them to access. Parental controls on MSN or AOL or whatever other ISP has them can also help control what the kids can see and do on the computer. You can limit or block access to certain programs with the software too...for example, to keep the kids out of your financial data. If you have a firewall I imagine sites like Kazaa can be blocked with the firewall too. I hope this helps.



Submitted by: Jenn L.

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Answer:

Hello ,

This message is for (B. Debbie) if any is in your family is using the Internet for wrong doing, then you need to go and buy (parental Control Filter) which is a program that stop any and all miss use. Think like download xxxxsex, programs and more, if you are with SBC YAHOO, they have a Parental Filter that will help you with this issue, if not then you will need to go to http://www.Bsafe.com and buy the software for your computer.

I hope this will help you with your problem.

Submitted by: Kc04


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Answer:

Hello,

My name is Johnny K. I live in Chattanooga, TN. As the father of an 8 year old girl, I too, am concerned with the information that my daughter is exposed to.

There is a program that I recently read about in The Wallstreet Journal regarding safeguarding computer for children of all ages.

The company's name is FILTERLOGIX WWW.Filterlogixathome.com the cost is $39.95.

Attached is the article from The Wall Street Journal.

I hope this will help you and all of the other concerned parents, and teachers.

Best of Wishes!

Submitted by: Johnny K.


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Answer:

www.clubmoms.com has a great program called child surfer which is free if you subscribe. This site has a lot of other great things for moms also.

Submitted by: Lenny M.


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Answer:

For parents who want to control the little pewter users without fear of viruses, simply install "kiddesk."
This program allows parents to choose age appropriate software for their kids to use while preventing access to inappropriate titles and the control panels, or system software.

This software is similar to apple's at ease software and can allow parents freedom from fear of violent games reaching the 4 year old which are meant for the crazy 16 year old. The use of individual icons for each software program is very user friendly for younger users and can even speak the title for non-readers.

The best part is parents have their own password and when activated they can access all features of the computer without cramping thier "big person"
style.

Darlene B.
25 kids later

Submitted by: Darlene B.



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Answer:

ok..my answer is to put norton antivirus and norton secutity on your pc/laptop..or if you have some sort of good ativirus software why not download cyber centinal.this program lets you controll what is downloaded onto your pc and what can be visited on the web and you can set this program to send you an e mail to inapropriate things that he/should not be seeing...failing that you can disable your download manager in windows xp...but the cyber program allso sets time limits your kids can be on the net for.....our other pc that the kids use has this program instaled dut to it being a social services supplied pc so it is well tested and we find it easy to use...hope this may help you..and it allso has a predator word list and you can ad your own words..like kazza..and it will stop them going to and downloading from that site ..it will even record the image on the screen when a person is using the pc/laptop and you can set the program to warn the user and capture the screen for you to look at later of as i said the program can e mail you. or cyber can just shut the pc down....

Submitted by: Jeff M.


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Answer:

Norton Internet Security application has a function in it called parental control.
It categorizes web sites by topic, newsgroups by text string, and Internet programs by type. It blocks incoming information from restricted sites and outgoing information from restricted programs.


Submitted by: RMC


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One solution to your problem is to install "pc security" a program that asks for permission protected with password to enable instalations or any other activities on your pc.You tune your pc what actions are permitted. If you don't have the password you can't do any of the actions that the owner of the pc has set not to be carried out. The other solution that comes to my mind is "winrollback" a program that is protected by password too and lets operate your pc and do whatever you like but when you restart it it goes to the state it was before your changes unless you unlock its security and make these changesand lock it again after completing your changes of your choice.
Submitted by: Stavros I.
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Misc parenting recommendations and experiences

In reply to: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

Answer:

Hi,

Certainly with todays availability of internet access, children can unknowingly do a considerable amount of unassisted damage. Be prepared, know the curring of spyware etc. get eg. Ad-Aware, antivirus get AVG antivirus, hackers/or unwelcome callers at the front door get ZoneAlarms, for uninstall garbage get regcleaner. All these are freeware for noncomercial use and excellent to stop or dump garbage from
your computer as well as improve performance. Oh by the way these programs
come with updates that help reduce new threats(keeping you up to date).
Your diligence is also required!!!!

Now for P2P.... there are safe programs with no adverts/spyware, Kazaa lite but you will have to hunt for it, winmx and emule have their abilities which are not to shabby I personally would say Most excellent.

These items mentioned only start to cover security/privacy problems.

Don't forget Google.ca can be a tremendous resource search tool as can Ask Jeeves; use them.

Winmx has chat abilities where forums can be contacted for even more unbiased live alternatives/help to most problems that you could come up with.

One last comment, I use to have Royal Dalton figurines down on our side tables to be enjoyed by everyone. I had two small children at the time, you can gess what comes next, but I decided to take a positive step and so sat my littleones down when they wanted to play with these figurines on the rug.
I explaned the fragility of these things as well as indicating that if they wanted to play then talk to me and I would give these to them. My children did play with them without damaging them and eventually grew out of wanting to play with these pretty things and came to know the fragility of statuettes.

Moral of that true life experience... TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN TELL THEM WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR GUIDE THEM DON'T PUSH THEM AWAY BECAUSE THEY WILL FIND OUT, WITHOUT YOU BEING AROUND!!! AND THATS A FACT YOU CAN COUNT ON...!!!

Submitted by: Dan C.

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Answer:

As a parent, you should have control over your child and forbid him/her to use your PC without affecting the other children's ability to do so. If the offending child does not abide by your restrictions, you should mete out appropriate punishment. First things first, you be the parent!

Submitted by: Gloria W. of Milwaukee, WI; USA

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Answer:


Are your children home alone with a computer during the day? If so, you should be locking them out of the computer while you are gone. Kazaa (and it's viruses) should be the least of your worries. Being a parent means controlling what your children are watching whether it is TV, DVDs or the internet. Don't feel bad that it is not available to your children when you are not at home.

=====

Submitted by: Sara B.

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Answer:

There are many ways to lock down a computer. Some are free like setting up profiles with passwords and restricting Internet downloads or at a cost like a Cyber Nanny Product. Let's take a step back and look at this in a non technology related way. The Internet is the Super Information Highway. Now in real life we don't let our kids play in the street or go into bars/adult establishments. The computer connected to the Internet is just too open and easily accessible. Children are at the most risk here. Parents, I encourage you to make browsing the internet a family event. The Internet is not a babysitter. Often the Internet, TV and other actvities are presented to a young precocius unsupervised child. So let's set a bios password on the computer so that the kids can't get on it unless a parent is available to supervise. For those us that are technically challenged, it is not an excuse for our children to teach us this new technology. That is our responsibilit! y as parents. For the sake of all children and parents, lets make Internet browsing fun and safe.
Submitted by: -David G..

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Answer:

How to "CONTROL" the access of your computer.

The answer to this problem is really, very simple. You, as the parent have the responsibility to teach your children the responsibilities of life, therefore if they are given the rules of the house and family, they are expected to follow those rules, just as you the parent are expected to follow the rules of the road, NO speeding, NO illegal passing, etc., wearing a seat belt at all times.

If the children, young men and women, fail to abide by the family rules, then the computer is not to be turned on, used in any manner until a parent is home to monitor their activities.

It all comes down to one simple value in life, "INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY"...........


Submitted by: Don G.

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Answer:

I though I had a answer 6 years ago but I was wrong. I had a 15 year old son who's harmones kicked in and was downloading prono off the net and selling it at school. I had everything (I though) installed to protect me, and keep this from happening but I was wrong. As a single parent (father) in a custody battle, next thing I know the police are at my door with a FBI specialist looking at my computer. I didn't have any idea what they were talking about or what they were looking for but they seized my computer and later I was to report to the police to answer some questions. It seems my son told the school he downloaded the pictures off my computer. I personally never looked at or downloaded anything from prono sites. At that point I hired a attorney and he went with me to the police. After our meeting my attorney told me I was looking at 15 years to life in prison if foung guilty
of the charges. My kids were taken away from me, and I wasn't allowed to see them, or have any contact with a minor without being in the presents of a court appointed person. At this point I asked my attorney what was going to happen to me. He said it didn't look good, as a parent were responsable for what our kids do at home and were to keep our homes safe place for them.
I asked what I should do, and was told to eather take my chances with the court system or leave to country. I chose the later as I didn't want to take that chance and spend the rest of my life in prison for something I had no control over, except removing the computer from our home. Now I'm in hiding and have been for 6 years with a $5,000 warrent on my head, living in another country. My Xwife says I'm innocent but won't say a word as she was the one that filed the charges and could be charged for giving the police false statements. As for a answer to the question, DO NOT ALLOW THE KIDS on the computer except in the presents of yourself or another adult. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO HAVE A COMPUTER IN THEIR BEDROOM. Install one of the programs that tracks what's happening on the computer. DO NOT assume that safe sites and programs well protect you or your children from places you don't want them to be.The kids are very smart these days and know more than most adults do about computers. Look at the age of most of the hackers. Myself I have a problem hacking a head of cabbage.

Submitted by: Albert

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Answer:

Answer: Install a good antivirus and let your children do what they want, they will be more intelligent and creative that way.



Submitted by: Luciano R.

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Answer:

Spank the little bastard!!

Submitted by: David C.

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Answer:

Ever try discipline??

Submitted by: Fred M.
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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In case you don't have XP or 2K, there is a free utility called we-blocker. It's an internet filter thaqt works well. I used it for my children prior to the release of 2K and finally XP. It allows you to block web-sites not for children. The data base is kept up by a national regiostry and you can add your own custom filters. To prevent installs, you can block webiste with .exe and .zip files in them. Although this may cause an undesirable web surfing experience for you children, it may help solve the issue until you can upgrade your OS.

And don't forget about spuware utilities.... I am now dealing with that on thier computers...

Lenny

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

I forgot to mention, this method will not stop them from installing things but will make it very difficult for them to find anything to download. for win9.x and ME.

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

If you don`t have WinXP or Win2k you can get Linux. It`s free, it`s way more secure than even WinXP and Win2k, it doesn`t get screwed up by viruses or spyware and it have built-in parental controls and firewall so you can control what your kids visit on the internet and since Linux doesn`t run Windows apps (eg Kazaa) your kids won`t be able to install and run those programs even if they mannge to download them. Just install Linux and set yourself as the administrator and give your children restricted user acounts (user acounts under Linux are 100% secure while the massive amount of security flaws in Winows allows even kids to gain access to the XP administrator user acount).

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

I have XP Home, SP2, where is the Power User option for User accounts?

The only draw back w/my son logging on as a User (w/limited access) is that he can not update virus definitions and I do not see the globe in the System Tray informing us of new Windows updates. I only see this when in the Administrator account.

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

Sethm - just log on as Administrator once a week (or whenever you read about a nasty virus). Most good virus programs (Norton ie) have pretty good virus hunting abilities even beyond specific virusses in the definition files, and will keep you fairly safe.

That, and the fact that a "User" account will be fairly safe since it protects most of the files that a virus would hit. You'd still be vulnerable to some email virusses, but it wouldn't harm your computer, just be annoying. (And teaching your kids how to avoid this is pretty key, too.) That, you can avoid by setting up the mail program to not run attachments, and/or letting the kids only use Web Mail (ie Yahoo or Hotmail or GMail).

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

KEYLOGGER!! You can install a totally stealthy program called a keylogger. It sits in the background, completely hidden from the Task Manager, Add/Remove Software window and Start Menu. The little brute records every single key typed, mouse clicked, webpage visited and chat chatted. It can take periodic screen shots, and all the results can be automatically e-mailed to you. I personally use one called XPCSpy Pro, available from http://www.x-pcsoft.com/index.html . It's pricey, but it works very well, particularly for interfacing with various chat programs. (hint: Astalavista.com). Otherwise, Google searh for "keylogger" and you'll find a plethora of programs that basically all do the same thing: record a user's activities without their knowing it. I have it installed on numerous computers on our work network, and my wife, God bless her, can't type a thing without my knowing. The kids are 10, 8 and 6 - haven't gotten into mischief, yet. But, unless they outgrow my 'puter know-how, I'll know when they start. The trick is, never tip your hand - don't reveal how you know, or ignore the mild infractions altogether. Once the cat's out of the bag, your mystical, all-knowing patriarchical (matri?) image will be blown. Good Luck.

pms: that story by the guy who had to leave the county because of his smut-peddling brat blew me away! Pretty scary....

***

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

Only problem with this is the time it takes to read the output ... A good program will format this for you in a fairly readable summary, but those cost money, as you say.

That, and the big argument you'll have when they're 15 and able to figure out that it's running for themselves. If you don't limit their access in the above manner, i'd be surprised if they hit 12 without figuring out how to run adaware or whatnot -- any of those programs would catch the keylogger in action easily (not to mention a good look at the registry or the task manager) and the kids would either think you're spying, or think someone else is ... Happy

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Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

In reply to: Re: 8/27/04 How to keep my kid out of cyber-based trouble

That is so wickedly backhanded. If I were my child, and I found out that my Dad was spying on me, my trust in him would be shot. It just seems so wrong. =/

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