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  1. #1
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    Parental controls for online safety at home




    INSIDER TRICKS

    Parental controls for online safety at home


    By Katherine Murray

    It's a new era in terms of risk on the Web: from scams to spam to predatory practices, you have more reasons than ever to be proactive about protecting your kids while they're surfing online.

    Fortunately, Windows 7 gives you a robust set of built-in parental controls.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/insider-tricks/parental-controls-for-online-safety-at-home/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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  3. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Thanks for approaching this topic.
    The information given is a start, but is very incomplete and may make parents think they've got the bases covered. Which they don't.
    Windows Parental controls do allow a couple of restrictions (particularly with the logon times and which programs can be used), but do a woeful job at content filtering.

    Using a filtering proxy (such as opendns.org ) allows you to:
    - allows you to block anonymous proxies
    - allows you to block (or allow) specific websites (for example, I block a video sharing, but allow youtube)
    - if done at the router (which is no more difficult), works with any device on the network (all desktops, laptops, and even portable devices such as iTouch/Phone/Pad and mobile phone browsers using the wi-fi network.
    - filters known phishing and other malware sites
    - can log all attempts

    PeterL

  4. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Thank for your review of Microsoft's Parental Controls!

    I am wondering, though, is there an easy (or hard) way to time-restrict "internet access" for my kids? The controls in Windows only seem to control when they can use the PC, but not when they can use the "Internet." I would like to set up Parental Controls to so that my kids can use their PCs for "homework," without internet access, and then have a certain amount of time on the internet. I am currently using Symantec's Norton Online Family (free version), and do not know of a way to do this with their package either. Also, do you know of a way to set up a household network so that my kids cannot use laptops in particular (bed-) rooms?

    Thank you!
    Don Liebman
    San Diego, CA 92115

  5. #4
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    Some of the routers allow you to do this. And, for those that have the capacity, you can specify WHICH computers are affected, and have different setups for different computers. And, just do it; tell the kiddiewinkies that there must be something wrong with the computer/internet/router when they cannot access the interweb.
    [I have been here for years; I had to get things restarted]

  6. #5
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    Wink Parental Controls

    I have found a great program called Child Control that enables me to limit the amount of time my children can log into their Windows 7 PC and also another setting that lets me limit the amount of time they can spend on the internet in addition to the time of day restrictions. I lock them out completely after 9PM weeknights and 10PM on weekends. I can extend their time if they are working on a school project or have completed all of their chores and deserve some video game / internet time. It's costs $40 (US) and has many other features and has a 30 day free trial which I am using now.
    http://www.salfeld.com/software/pare...rol/index.html

    Anyone know of a similar program that is cheaper or even free?

  7. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Thank for your review of Microsoft's Parental Controls!

    I am wondering, though, is there an easy (or hard) way to time-restrict "internet access" for my kids? The controls in Windows only seem to control when they can use the PC, but not when they can use the "Internet." I would like to set up Parental Controls to so that my kids can use their PCs for "homework," without internet access, and then have a certain amount of time on the internet. I am currently using Symantec's Norton Online Family (free version), and do not know of a way to do this with their package either. Also, do you know of a way to set up a household network so that my kids cannot use laptops in particular (bed-) rooms?

    Thank you!
    JohnD1 has the right approach to this issue.

    Check out your router or Modem's settings. Many do allow setting up times when specific computers can use the Internet, without restricting adults in the home. Some ISPs also have these tools. As for blocking WiFi signals in specific rooms of a house, that is not usually possible. Only a wired system without any Wireless components could be set up that way. And then there may be the neighbors' unsecured WiFi signals, which may reach your children's rooms. Education beats restrictions in this case, I think.

    The suggestion of child control software also makes sense, even if it costs a little. But be aware that older children (above the sixth grade) may know how to hack their way out of parental-control "jail". Education and ongoing discussions are a must on top of the restrictions.

    While we are on the subject of privacy, Lounge users should be reminded not to use their email addresses as their user names here. Spammers and bad guys love to collect information like this from online forum user IDs. Ideally, a screen name should also not be your real name, unless (like me) you were asked as part of the forum administration (which I have since quit) to change to your real name.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-05-27 at 13:21.
    -- Bob Primak --

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