Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yikes

Folks, I need a little a little technical support.

You know I try to be vigilant about protecting privacy in my blog posts, right? So, without revealing too much, I'll just say that recent views of the history tab of the shared laptop indicate that:

1) Someone in my household has developed some healthy curiosity, and

2) Said person is a master of the art of the Google.

I need software that will block that which should be blocked, but will allow for reasonable surfing without the accompanying clarion call of "Can you enter a password for me?"

Any suggestions?

19 comments:

jess said...

I'm techogically inept, so um handing the phone to my husband ...

Most browsers have a filtering option that allows for choices of strict/moderate/none choices. I think other than that, you'd have to switch on the the parental control feature which unfortunately does ask for a password if someone tries to go to an unauthorized site. Back to Jess...

Hope that helps. Feel free to email me if you need more specifics on the browser option.

MOM-NOS said...

Thanks, Jess (and Jess's husband). Yes, I have the parental control feature activated on the desktop, but it blocks everything. EVERYTHING. I can't even find a work-around to authorize flash video on the Sesame Street site - not even with the password. I literally have to turn off the parental controls so he can watch Grover. And he's no dummy. As soon as I'm distracted for more than a minute...

I'm hoping there's some software out there with more flexibility that allows for more targeted screening.

MOM-NOS said...

P.S. Thanks for the tip on the browser filter as well. I will certainly try that once I get the laptop back from having the virus removed from the hard drive (seems someone deactivated the antivirus...) Of course, the Google Master has met my "No Googling" admonitions by surfing over to Bing. Maybe I just always need to be one search engine ahead of him.

Heather B said...

I have Network Magic for my laptop. I get a weekly report from them regarding the usage of my laptop. I can set up personal settings for each user of the laptop. So, while I don't have to put in a lot of passwords I could make it harder for someone else. I am also able to block websites specifically or based on content. Hope this helps:)

Niksmom said...

Erm, I'm trying hard not to giggle at the development. I suggest you email someone like Kev Leitch or Dave Seidel for tips?

Ange said...

maybe this will help?

http://www.icra.org/parents/

pdw said...

I like opendns

Anonymous said...

OK going out on a limb here:

What does it matter if your son sees the blog entries? There is nothing to hide, you are at all times respectful of your son in the blog so why hide the blog from him?

The truth wins out. Shouldn't Mom be ahead of the news not on the "you weren't supposed to see that" end?

Linda

MOM-NOS said...

Sorry that my vague writing created confusion, Linda.

Bud knows all about my blog. He's not interested in reading it, but if he were, he would certainly be welcome. When he does look at it, it's to see the pictures of his books in my sidebar.

When I refer to protecting privacy, what I mean is that I am not going to tell you what he was Googling that has led me to want to install some parental control software, because it's... well... private.

Club 166 said...

We only had old Playboy magazines that someone had gotten from an older brother's friend. Had to use our imagination a lot more. Life was so much simpler then...

I have no words of wisdom, as I am sure that I will soon also have to figure this out.

Just stopping by to say that curiosity regarding all things biological is natural.

Joe

Anonymous said...

We have had the same problem here with our own NOS 10 year old. Wow, you can learn a lot from the history button. Sorry, no advice other than we had to ban Google images and Google if he's surfing alone.

Christy

Fairlington Blade said...

We had a funny early incident. Primo, who is preternaturally adept with the computer, was allowed to play on his own. He always goes for a few game sites (pbskids is a favorite). Well, he innocently searched for something and… I'll let Keen tell the story:

If you start typing letters in the search window in the upper right-hand corner of my browser, Google will helpfully suggest search phrases that begin with those letters for you.

If you type in the letters S and E, for example, one of the options is Sesame Street. Another is sexual intercourse.

If your computer-obsessed (and remarkably computer-literate) preschooler types in both of those letters for whatever reason, guess which option he will pick?

[Time for parental controls. I wouldn't have been so freaked out about it, except the kid can read and I didn't want him repeating that at preschool. Also, he'd clicked on the Google Images tab. I supervise him when he's on the computer, but he was fast.]


We feel your pain.

Cheers!

amandahdah said...

Firefox has an app called Kidzui...it's basically a browser for kids that only allows them to search certain approved sites...it also lets you add a list of your favorites if they're not already on the page.
There may be other such apps out there, this is the best one I've found as far as being easy to use & parent friendly...they also send you an email update of all the activity on the account.
Good luck!

Ina Pickle said...

Try "K9." I believe it permits you to block based on key word and a few other things. Their website also has links to other software you might use. It's open source. Good luck!

h.rivas said...

My almost 4 yr old autistic son actually bid on something on Ebay. 2 days later - he figured out the Buy It Now feature. Had to explain to both sellers and apologize profusely. Be careful - they're smart. Just last nite - he handed me the Itouch to type in my password so he could buy an app. Yikes! I said no, and we entered yet another rage cycle. ugh....

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

We use net nanny. When a page is blocked it doesn't say so , it just goes to another site we've deemed appropriate. you can get a package that works on multiple computers too. On my husbands laptop it goes to Slate.com, his favorite site. On the kids computer it goes to plain old Google.com.

feebeeglee said...

Firefox has a nice little add-on called Procon Latte that is free and can be set to allow only specific sites or to block sites with specific words. I set ours to block the f-word. It's kind of amazing how that single word covers nearly all the bases. Occasionally some callow commenter leaves an f-bomb in an otherwise innocent youtube vid's comment thread, which is unfortunate, but hasn't happened much.

Anonymous said...

There are some pretty spicy things online. He might misspell the name of a favorite movie and wind up watching clips from Chitty Chitty Gang Bang.

Justin said...

I am a bivocational pastor, and I work in IT to support my ministry habit (http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_2190388.html). :) I would recommend NetNanny (http://www.netnanny.com/) over most other software of that nature. I have even used it in some work sites for "public" computers. It is easy to install and easy to manipulate what your browser can and cannot see. It consistently rates as number 1 in most reviews of that technology.

I would have responded sooner, but I just found your blog though a facebook post today. I have spent the morning crying while my co-workers pass my cube giving me "that look". o_O

Blessings,

Justin