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How To Configure Real PC Parental Controls? 618

Orange Crush writes "As the resident computer geek in an office full of accountants, my boss recently asked me how she could reasonably keep her teenage son from using the family computer to 'access inappropriate sites.' I of course responded 'Give up now. There's nothing in this world that can keep a determined teenager from acquiring porn.' Sadly, she was dissatisfied with this answer. I mentioned that there was in fact software available for this purpose, but that all of it was trivially easy to bypass for a clever young mind. I really can't think of another answer. She could password protect the BIOS to prevent booting a different OS, but that's easily defeated with a screwdriver at most. The only solutions I can think of involve upstream firewalls/proxies/etc to which I gleefully redirected her to her ISPs tech support number. As much as I disagree with her reasoning — and ignoring the obvious 'go to a friend's house' loophole — is there really any other way (on a home budget) to netnanny a household computer?"
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How To Configure Real PC Parental Controls?

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  • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekmansworld ( 950281 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:05PM (#20606799) Homepage
    If the son has a decent knowledge of computing, there's really nothing that can be done.

    My opinion is that she should just approach her son and talk to him frankly about any issues that she's concerned about.
    • by cromar ( 1103585 )
      See... I don't think most children or people would really be smart enough. Or at least it would take them a good while to get around whatever blockade. It would be educational for the child, but learning to hack is probably not one of the mother's goals for her child!
      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

        by toleraen ( 831634 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:21PM (#20607105)
        Why not? That's how I learned to format a computer, and arguably why I started tinkering deeper into computers in the first place. Not really for the end result, but just to see if I could get around it. Parental controls + teenage angst = future geek!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jasen666 ( 88727 )
      Even with little knowledge of computers they're easy to get around. New porn sites pop up everyday, the nanny software has to be updated on the ball to keep up.
      And that's not counting porn that gets shared privately via personal ftp and websites, or through filesharing apps.
      I've pretty much determined it will be impossible to stop my kids once they're that age and are actively searching for it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Put a physical lock on the case, password protect the bios and require a password for bootup. Disallow changing the boot device from the primary hard drive without a password.

        If the lock used to lock the case shut was remotely decent, the only way someone else will be able to use the computer is to break either the lock or the case or both.

    • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:49PM (#20607561) Homepage
      Put the computer in a well travelled room, and remove access to the computer when you're not in the house. Lock the case, with a physical lock, and use a hard to guess boot password. Disable booting off removable media. That will probably fix most issues. That's if you want to even bother. What kind of sites are they afraid of the kid accessing, and how much will they really be harmed by accessing the site? I was a kid once, and visited a lot of sites my parents would probably rather I didn't. I don't think I'm that messed up because of it.
      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

        by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:30PM (#20608415) Journal

        It might not stop them seeing porn, but it will bloody well make sure that the kid learns how much his parents trust him and respect his choices.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by suggsjc ( 726146 )
          Children have to earn trust. If you truly practice what you preach, then you should give all children loaded guns to play with...because you can trust them not to harm anyone, right? The GP's method is one way to make it more difficult for the kid to see porn/whatever, but it doesn't eliminate it. Asking others for advice on how to raise your kids is easy, actually parenting (not just when it is convenient for you) is hard.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Anyone who trusts and respects the choices of a teenager has obviously forgotten their own stint as one.
    • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

      by multisync ( 218450 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:17PM (#20608153) Journal

      My opinion is that she should just approach her son and talk to him frankly about any issues that she's concerned about.

      That's what I tell people when I get similar requests. Put the computer in the living room, explain the rules and hope your work as a parent has been effective. All she is doing by attempting to lock out "inappropriate" material is making said material more desirable and at the same time telling her son she really doesn't trust him. It's like asking him to provide a urine sample to prove he isn't using drugs or alcohol, or to take a lie detector test to prove he isn't cheating on his school work. What's she going to do when he starts driving to make sure he doesn't speed? Is she going to accompany him on dates to ensure he doesn't engage in unprotected sex? Is she going to follow him around stores making sure he doesn't shop lift?

      She should tell her son that sex is a natural and healthy part of life for adults but viewing pornography on the family computer is not acceptable. And she should realize it is not the end of the world if his curiosity gets the better of him some times. There is plenty of intolerant, racist, sexist, negative imagery and speech on the Internet. I would be more worried about him being exposed to that, but that's just my opinion.

      And to the person who modded you Redundant, try using your mod points to promote posts you think are Insightful or Interesting. Save the negative mods for those who are truly abusive.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I think if there is one post in this entire discussion that needs to be read, it's yours.

        Oh, and this post telling people to read your post. I think if there are two posts in this entire discussion that need to be, you get the idea.
  • by nategoose ( 1004564 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:05PM (#20606803)
    Take away the video card so Jr can't see the hot action? Or sit there with the computer so Jr can be monitored at all times. Cancel internet access. Encrypt the hard drive so that Jr can't use the computer at all. Put a picture of Jesus over the monitor.
    • by mrjb ( 547783 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:19PM (#20607071)
      I was going to suggest a VT100. Then I remembered aalib.
    • by eln ( 21727 ) * on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:17PM (#20608143)
      This could lead to some very disturbing side effects. Think of the following scenario:

      Your 13 year old son, massive amounts of hormones pumping through his body, is horny as hell. He goes to the computer for a quick bout of self abuse, and can't see anything! But he's 13, so he's still horny, and about ready to go off all over the place. All he needs is even the slightest stimulation. He looks around frantically for anything at all. Unfortunately, you've already taken the precaution of cutting all of the underwear ads out of the newspaper, and parental controls on the TV limit him to TV-G programming. What is he going to do now?!

      Suddenly, he spies the picture of Jesus on top of the monitor. Not exactly what he was looking for, but hey...Jesus has long hair, and if you sort of squint he looks kind of feminine. So, your son says what the hell, and touches himself. He's 13 of course, so that's all it takes. Congratulations, you've just made your son jack off to Jesus. Now you won't even be able to take him to church without getting him going.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by couchslug ( 175151 )
        "Now you won't even be able to take him to church without getting him going."

        Sounds like a good fit (pun intended) for the priesthood!
  • Simple (Score:5, Funny)

    by flu1d ( 664635 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:05PM (#20606805) Homepage
    Poke out his eyes, problem sovled
  • by dj.delorie ( 3368 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:06PM (#20606819) Homepage
    At my house, all outgoing traffic passes through an OpenWRT firewall, which redirects all web traffic to my caching proxy. It logs all accesses. I get reports. If I see something "unusual", I bring my kids in and have them explain it. I TALK TO THEM. It's useless to try to mechanically block their access, but if they know that EVERYTHING they do IS monitored (and they do), they seem to act responsibly.

    Technology is not a substitute for good parenting, but it can be a useful tool for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcspoo ( 933106 )
      So you have the Great Firewall of China in your house?
      • by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) * <> on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:20PM (#20607101) Homepage Journal
        Sounds like the great log of china not a firewall. They can get there, he reviews it, and brings it to their attention.

        So far my kids are 4 and 6. I just use Mac OS X parental controls and they can only visit the sites I book mark for them in Safari. They can't get to to download it, so problem solved for that.

        As my daughter (the oldest) gets older i'll loosen it up a bit for her as they each will have an account on the machine. I'll log IM chats and use it to gauge what's going on but I'm not going to search it obsessively.

        I look at it this way, I'm a guy, I've used porn, I found it without access to the internet in the early 80s. All it takes is one older brother, one parent, one shoplifting experience and that magazine will be passed around the school until some moron either drops it while walking down the hallway in front of a teacher or is a freak and reports you too a teacher. My wife and I are not afraid of porn. As long as the US Government doesn't go insane in the next ten years it's going to be something both of my children will find out about it, right about the 11 - 13 range if history holds true. Admonishing them for that lovely hormonal surge that is going to happen whether I like it or not and their exploration of it isn't helpful and creates the puritanical environment we enjoy today here in the states. I still fight my upbringing of being ashamed of the human body and somehow just the site of it is 'evil'. Little thing called intent that needs to be adjusted more than just existing.

        That being said, there are several tools available to baby sit your kids computer expierence, pick one and recommend it. I thought there was a windows package that would do similar features that Mac OS X does with the parental controls on IE 7 but i can't find it now that I'm looking for it again.
    • Why you did not get modded up for that is beyond me. That is the most reasonable answer to this problem, and puts the onus back on the parent, where it should be. It also relieves the IT guy of having to fix the solution when it is bypassed in less than 3 hours after implementation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rakishi ( 759894 )
      It takes me all of 10 seconds to set up an ssh tunnel, 10 minutes if I need to download cygwin first. Even in high school I had a bunch of friends who had ssh servers I could possibly use for this (which also would have had a convenient game on it in case you questioned why I was on it) I could have also used the internet connection at school or at a friends house or stolen wi-fi from a neighbor. Hell there are even likely web based ssh encrypted proxies. I could have run one off my high school web account
      • In other words if I was being monitored by my parents I'd have simply found a way to make sure they can't see what I'm doing. At worst I'd have told them to f-off and challenged them to do something about it.

        You sound like you were a spoiled brat whose parents needed to give a serious attitude adjustment. I would've taken away your computer for a couple of weeks if you spoke to me like that (or if you bypassed my measures), probably along with your cellphone, your ipod and all your music. And if you still had a bad attitude, I'd take your door off the hinges. If you STILL didn't get it, I'd come to school with you and follow you around, making sure your friends saw you, until you begged for mercy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rakishi ( 759894 )

          You sound like you were a spoiled brat whose parents needed to give a serious attitude adjustment.

          No see I'm the opposite of spoiled, I care little for most things and physical objects. A spoiled brat you can fight by taking away their toys yet I had no toys I wouldn't accept the loss of within a week.

          See that's what my parents tried, all it did was teach me that parents have a limit and all you need to do is be able to survive past it. You apparently are just like them and don't realize that if you keep challenging your child they will learn how little power you really have.

          I would've taken away your computer for a couple of weeks if you spoke to me like that

          And that would have done w

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rizzo420 ( 136707 )
            easy. computer goes in family room with monitor facing people. it gets locked up when you can't be watched. you get no car, you don't get to go visit friends, etc, etc, etc. your life eventually just starts to suck because you've proven you can't be trusted.

            and yes, you do sound like a spoiled brat because you obviously don't know the meaning of the word spoiled... it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with physical objects. it's the non-physical stuff that matters most.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You sound like you were a spoiled brat whose parents needed to give a serious attitude adjustment. I would've taken away your computer for a couple of weeks if you spoke to me like that (or if you bypassed my measures), probably along with your cellphone, your ipod and all your music. And if you still had a bad attitude, I'd take your door off the hinges. If you STILL didn't get it, I'd come to school with you and follow you around, making sure your friends saw you, until you begged for mercy.

          That is a bat

      • by russ1337 ( 938915 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:36PM (#20607329)

        "I had a bunch of friends who had ssh servers... "

        Chances are you needed the pr0n 'cos i get the feeling you weren't hanging out with any chicks...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Chill dude. Your kids have your password already, and use it to get to your porn collection. Furthermore, they've also got root access and all your reports are doctored. No wonder they seem to act responsibly.
  • by datapharmer ( 1099455 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:07PM (#20606833) Homepage
    Put the computer in a public area. Remove the ram everytime you aren't going to be in that public area. Install all the limitations you can on the user account in whatever operating system you are using so settings can't be changed and run everything through a proxy server with a filter list that is also updated from a third party service with a block list. Seriously though - this is rather extreme. How about just having the parent talk to the kid about why they think porn is bad and put the computer in a public place.
    • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:18PM (#20607057)
      Putting the computer in a public place really helps a lot. Knowing that they could be walked in on is a great deterrent. It's not 100% but, it does really limit what they can do. It wouldn't help if the child is home alone, however. If the child is home alone often enough that it is an issue, you have a much bigger family problem on your hands then the computer.

      I've worked at multiple ISP's and it amazes me how surprised parent's are by this answer. They had never considered moving the physical computer an option before I mentioned it.

      I agree with the consensus of the other Slashdot posts that no amount of software is going to solve the problem. If the computer is in their room and they have unlimited time to work on it, any software can and will be circumvented.
  • If you must... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by posterlogo ( 943853 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:07PM (#20606837)
    I don't think anything short of good parenting will help. But, if you must, perhaps blocking in combination with monitoring might help. At the most extreme, this would mean putting in a surveillance tool (software or preferably hardware) that monitors all traffic.
  • K9 Web Protection (Score:2, Informative)

    by Snotboble_ ( 13797 )
    I've been using this for my kids: []

    It's free and it's not (too) easily defeated. Of course the usual applies (if physical access to the machine is available, all measures are null and void in the end), but it's something at least.
  • Is there multiple computers in the household? I imagine it's possible to get a very cheap box and use it as a domain controller then give the kid a user and password to log into the domain then restrict the crap out of them. Of course this doesn't filter websites I guess, but maybe it will help in other areas such as whether they can delete their history files, open certain programs, etc.

    I don't have too much experience in this, but it seems there may be an option here somewhere.

  • Password the BIOS and put a lock on the case. Make the only boot device the hard drive. Disallow boot drive selection (if necessary). Unless he breaks the lock or the case, no way he can get around that.
  • by spribyl ( 175893 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:08PM (#20606859)
    Move the computer to a public location.
    That way you can watch them.

    God forbid you actually raise your own child.

    "It's 10:00 do you know where your children are?"
    • We have a teenage daughter...and the Internet is to her what TV was to me. Fortunately, she is young enough that the internet is not also the equivalent of the damp stack of mags that my friends and I kept in the woods...but that's a story for another day.

      She loves IM...and MySpace and Facebook. She also loves text messaging...and frankly, it is somewhat scary. Unlike when I grew up, parents are often no longer the gatekeepers for communication. When I was a child, friends had to call my
  • by krgallagher ( 743575 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:08PM (#20606861) Homepage
    "The only solutions I can think of involve upstream firewalls/proxies/etc to which I gleefully redirected her to her ISPs tech support number."

    That is about all I can think of that really works. The other thing I would do is to not actually block anything, but to maintain copious logs and review them regularly. I think it makes more sense to have an open frank discussion with your child than to simply block access. There will always be a loophole to blocked access, but there is no way around a parent who is genuinely interested in their child's welfare.

  • Social Control (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lucan Varo ( 974578 )
    Put the PC in the living room.

    Can't look at porn when mum can walk bye at any moment.
  • Training (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaguar777 ( 189036 ) * on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:09PM (#20606887) Journal
    How do you keep your children away from drugs, cursing, promiscuous activity, and other undesirable things?

    You can't be with your children 24/7, and they will leave the house someday (no basement jokes needed). You need to train them to think for themselves, and how to recognize good and bad decisions before they learn the hard way.

    A measure of character is how you act when nobody is watching. Do you want a child that knows he shouldn't be looking at midgets with horses porn, and keeps his own activity in check? Or do you want a child that you have to keep in check using technological measures?

    I wonder if people once had the same discussion about chastity belts.....
  • by bigtangringo ( 800328 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:09PM (#20606889) Homepage
    When you said "Give up". If the kid is going to have access to the internet, he'll have access to pr0n, period.

    Any sufficiently motivated teen will circumvent even the best system. You can try to fight human nature, but in the end you will lose.

    I'd put my money on the kid ending up even more depraved as a result of such a tight parental grip.
  • BSAFEONLINE (Score:2, Informative)

    by hurting now ( 967633 )
    My mother is a full time baby sitter. She has some kids (ages 7 - 10) who want to use the computer.

    To make matters worse, she hates the "damn machines" and doesn't know anything about them.

    In comes bsafeonline http://http// [http]

    This products locks down damn near everything. You can customize almost everything, and its a bitch to bypass. Time restrictions are firm, co-ordinated to the bsafeonline clock, so changing the local time on the machine doesn't do anything.

    As a service, if disabled it wil
  • Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

    Put it in a high traffic area where it is easily viewed and monitored.

    How hard was that?

    (and if you plan to respond with why this won't work, don't bother, I have no desire to read excuses from lazy parents)
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:11PM (#20606923)
    PC in a common room of the house, screen facing out into the room. Knowing at any time a parent or sibling may walk past does wonders.

    Next step is NoFun(tm). Kid gets caught doing someting mommy doesn't want him to, mommy takes away some priveledge.

    You can't fix this with technology. Not on a home budget, anyway.
  • I'm not familiar with most 'parental' tools for computers, and I assume most slashdotters, with their similar disdain for such tools, won't know much about them either.

    A tool that my mom used for controlling video game time for my younger sister was controlling the power cord. Hand it out when it is game time, remove it when it is time to do homework.

    You could probably do something similar with the computer or modem power cable as well. Limit their time on the computer to times when you are actually arou
  • k9 windows filter (Score:2, Informative)

    by whtmarker ( 1060730 ) [] is a great windows based filter. It installs as a service. If you disable the process you disable the internet (a quick reboot to fix). You can even block all internet access from, say, 10pm to 7am. It has filter over-rides, and complete logging. Best of all its free. While you could pay $30/year for contentwatch or netnanny, k9 web protection is the most fully featured freeware filter out there. Its not about free speech. The parent who is paying for the computer, and intern
  • by Frater 219 ( 1455 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:12PM (#20606941) Journal

    As a computer technician I'm sure you've encountered cases before where a user asks you, "How do I do thus-and-so?" when really they're looking to accomplish some goal only tangentially related to what they're asking. Maybe this is best treated as the same sort of problem.

    What is the user actually trying to accomplish? Is she worried that her son will become some kind of sex fiend? It's too late -- to paraphrase a line from Buffy, even linoleum makes teenage boys think about sex. Is she concerned that he'll get bad ideas about sex from Internet porn? Maybe some sex education is needed: "Son, just so you know, real women don't like bukkake gang-bangs. They like hugs. And clitoral stimulation too, but hugs first." Does she just have moral or ethical objections to porn in general? Maybe she should be talking about her values with her son a little more.

    No matter what the problem is, it's almost certainly a social and educational one, not a technical one. Deploying a technical solution is probably not the answer.

  • by ( 919185 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:12PM (#20606943)
    Have the only computer in the house hooked up to a 50" plasma or LCD screen in front of a window facing the street.
  • Parenting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:13PM (#20606959) Journal
    Seriously, this is a teenager, not a six year old. Her concern should be revolving around what her kid is actually motivated to view, because it ain't being pushed to him against his control.

    But this is your boss, and not someone you want to give this lecture to. Just throw the names of some filters and/or logging spyware for corporate intranets at her, and let it go. Do not fight her battles.
  • The best there is! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lazypete ( 863757 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:14PM (#20606983)
    The absolute solution to this, easy Put the computer in the living room or somewhere where he can't hide what the kids doing. There's no way the teen can get around that. Thats the most effective and costless solution.
  • by visualight ( 468005 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:18PM (#20607049) Homepage
    Clone the desktop to the tv in the living room. There's plenty holes in that strategy I know, but maybe access can be physically disabled when he's alone at home? Like take the modem to work or something.

    Anyway a friend did this with his daughter, drove her crazy cause she could only use the internet when he was able to flip the remote to video and see what she was looking at whenever he wanted. Once in a while he would get a black screen (screen saver) and he'd be straight to the stairs to see why.

    She did once change clone to second desktop, that fooled him for about a week, but then she got grounded.

  • by GroundBounce ( 20126 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:19PM (#20607059)
    This may not be what she wants to hear, but the solution that has worked for us has been a slow process of education, not technical restrictions. Different kids have different issues that need to be addressed. Our son (now on his own at college) mainly had issues with too much non-productive web surfing and to some degree, too much gaming, but not porn. Basically, he wasn't getting his homework done. I could have blocked internet access to his machine, but we decided not to do that. Over time, with constant support from us, he began to realize that doing his homework and getting good grades in school was his ticket to bigger and better things. He eventually learned to balance his time better and had no problem getting into UC Berkeley.

    Our daughter (in 8'th grade) is similar but different. Her issue is also spending too much time surfing sites like myspace and deviantart, and IM'ing with friends. Educating her has been a little harder, but instead of blocking her machine, we moved it out of her room where it is easier for us to keep an eye on how she's spending her time. Since doing that, she is gradually learning to balance her time better.

    Ultimately, your kids are going to be out on there own, and it is better if they can learn to balance their time (with your help) before they're gone than just block everything and have them leave with no time management skills.
  • by DragonTHC ( 208439 ) <Dragon.gamerslastwill@com> on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:23PM (#20607137) Homepage Journal
    squid is only part of a solution. The real solution is sending your child to a psychologist to understand what motivates a teenage boy to want to look at naked women in the first place! If porn is wrong, then most of us, including you closeted christian freaks, are wrong.

    I can't fathom not allowing my teenage son to view porn. It's the one great teenage pursuit. It's more productive than knocking up some 16 year old girl. That would be great parenting!
  • Pricvacy (Score:3, Informative)

    by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:40PM (#20607415)
    Just put the computer in an open place, like the living room. Check on it once and a while. Getting caught watching porn (and presumably masturbating) is on of the most embarrassing experiences a young man can encounter.
  • What I Did (Score:4, Insightful)

    by YetAnotherBob ( 988800 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:41PM (#20607447)
    Any bright kid can find a way around the automatic nanny systems. There is only one solution that works. Here's what I did. Move the computer to the Family Room, with the screen facing the door. Our family room has one wall open to the Kitchen (the most used room in the house.) Now, when either his Mother or I were there, we could see what was on the screen.

    I also took to checking the computer for where he had been. I only had to point out 2 times that his attempts to delete all traces of his 2AM trips to the porn sites had missed a few traces (deleted photos. Windows never really erases a deleted file.) He stopped using the family computer for that kind of thing completely. Of course, I still checked from time to time, till he moved out on his own.

    A history list that is blank is the first warning sign. A simple search for temp HTML or JPEG's will often turn up the evidence. An undelete utility is handy too. A tool that reports locations where files have been zero'd will let you know quickly if there has been an effort to tamper. It's not too hard to keep a step ahead.

    For those times when one of the children try to cover up the screen, I just killed the power to the machine. Worst case, I might have to re-install the software. Lots better than losing a kid to some online pedophile.I had to let the children know that there is no privacy when safety is involved. after a couple of kills, they stopped trying to keep us out.

    Watch out for Myspace (and its clones) with young girls, they trust everybody and question nothing (except the parents). The boys are marginally better. Especially after 16 or 17. My favorite news story of the last year was where the 35 year old pedophile masquerading as a 15 year old boy onnline went to the mall to pick up the 13 year old girl he had arranged a 'date' with and found out that she was really a 45 year old cop who was working with the guys probation officer.

    Sometimes there is justice.

    You see, there is no substitute for parental presence. There never will be. If your boss wants to really protect her children, she needs to be there with them. Not out bossing you. Sorry, that is just reality. She can't have it both ways. None of us can. She will have to pick the one that is important, and let the other one go.
  • opendns (Score:3, Informative)

    by _14k4 ( 5085 ) <sullivan DOT t AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:42PM (#20607459)
    In your internet router, force the dns to use the opendns [] information...

    Works, somewhat well. Doesn't stop you from using google images, though.
  • by Anonymous Meoward ( 665631 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @03:55PM (#20607695)

    This very topic came up on Dan Savage's advice column, "Savage Love" (see the Onion's AV club site for more details). The best suggestion I saw was from a guy who was hiding porn mags under his mattress as a teenager. Mom found out, and simply replaced them with copies of Good Housekeeping. Best non-lecture ever imparted, no?

    The same writer extended this approach to Web browsing. Basically, chances are Johnny hasn't been deleting his Web browser's history, so a proactive parent can check it, and then try visiting bogus sites that are similarly spelled. For example, if appears in Johnny's history or cache, you visit .

    The next time Johnny types in the URL with auto-complete turned on, he'll know his folks disapprove, and that his surfing is being monitored.

    It would also help if Mom talks with Johnny later, but active parenting techniques are beyond the scope of this post.

    • by mcmonkey ( 96054 )

      This very topic came up on Dan Savage's advice column, "Savage Love" (see the Onion's AV club site for more details). The best suggestion I saw was from a guy who was hiding porn mags under his mattress as a teenager. Mom found out, and simply replaced them with copies of Good Housekeeping. Best non-lecture ever imparted, no?

      Says you. Now whenever I overhear someone talking about having their kitchen redone I leave a wet spot.

  • by oldzoot ( 60984 ) <morton.james@comc[ ].net ['ast' in gap]> on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:23PM (#20609373)
    I use driftnet [] running on a computer attached to an Ethernet hub (not switch) between my ISP port and the public side of my home firewall/router/switch. Driftnet displays all GIF and JPEG images going by on the wire. Whenever my kids come into my office to talk with me, they see the monitor sitting there splashing whatever is going by on the network for all to see. Another window is often open displaying any IM on the wire. When they ask why I monitor, I explain that I am probably not the only one monitoring, and that they need to be very careful about any expectation of privacy they may think they can have on the net. I also explain that I care about them and what they do on the net, and that I watch them playing at a park, why would I not watch them playing on the Internet.


The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford