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Child Protection on the Internet

bombardierbombardier Moderator mod
edited September 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm looking for some information/links/experience advice on keeping kids out of the big shit holes on the Internet and also getting your computer infected/borked. Stuff like programs, schedulers, firewalls. I know about the obvious stuff like 'unplug the Internet' or 'it's the parent's responsibility to monitor their children online', so let's stay away from that.

bombardier on

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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    1) can't be done. Black-list programs are always a step behind and scanners don't catch everything.

    2) Simple would be the IE content advisor turned on. Google it.

    3) If I had to do it, and block shit 100%, i'd probably set up a whitelist. A free option would be to remove DNS from the PC and add the few sites you want them to access to the local hosts file.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
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    IreneDAdlerIreneDAdler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I think the most effective way is just to teach your kids about the bad stuff, how to identify it, and how to avoid it; then just trust them to not fuck up. Tell them basic things like, "Never click on a pop-up/banner ad" and "Don't Google goatse." I started using the internet when I was about... oh, 10ish? 11? I never stumbled on to any porn\phishing sites, and I never went looking for them. You won't be able to shelter your kids forever, you just have to have faith that you raised them well and gave them the necesary tools to protect themselves.

    IreneDAdler on
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    flatlinegraphicsflatlinegraphics Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    if you are worried about total borking of the computer, you can always run live linux distros. nothing really effects them to begin with, and if it locks up completely a reboot will fix everything.

    but on to real solutions.
    a) use firefox.
    1) adblockPlus extension
    2) flashblock extension
    b) thunderbird email client

    these two things negate the major vectors of infection: emailed virii and activeX malware. the two extensions will kill most pop ups, while replacing flash content with a play button. this cuts down drastically the amount of crap out there.

    as for keeping their wee little minds clean of goatse, well... there is nothing short of unplugging the internet that will truely work. if they want it, they can find it. filters are stopgap measures at best. cause the first thing they come across as blocked is going to make them google at way around it. better to put the computer in a common area, and educate them on acceptable use.

    flatlinegraphics on
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    embrikembrik Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Build a Linux-based firewall and load up DansGuardian. Some Firewall apps come with it built-in.

    You could also try something like CyberPatrol, which admittedly does work pretty well, but you have to pay for a subscription to keep things up to date (daily list/definition downloads, etc)

    embrik on
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    Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    On a side note, a friend with a young kid that uses the computer keeps her kids computer in the same room as her own so she can easily keep an eye on things . . . and power off the kid's system in case of extreme giggling or other signs that something's not right.

    Anyway, we've had a few threads about effective anti-virus programs, especially the free ones, that you may want to check out too. Having whatever you use from that on your own machine would be a good idea too. Just because it doesn't infect the kid's machine doesn't mean it won't bork another machine if the kid decides to pass on the "neat link/file" they found.

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    saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I think the most effective way is just to teach your kids about the bad stuff, how to identify it, and how to avoid it; then just trust them to not fuck up. Tell them basic things like, "Never click on a pop-up/banner ad" and "Don't Google goatse." I started using the internet when I was about... oh, 10ish? 11? I never stumbled on to any porn\phishing sites, and I never went looking for them. You won't be able to shelter your kids forever, you just have to have faith that you raised them well and gave them the necesary tools to protect themselves.

    Telling a kid not to google a certain thing is probably the surest way to get them to that site/content.

    saltiness on
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    IreneDAdlerIreneDAdler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    saltiness wrote: »
    I think the most effective way is just to teach your kids about the bad stuff, how to identify it, and how to avoid it; then just trust them to not fuck up. Tell them basic things like, "Never click on a pop-up/banner ad" and "Don't Google goatse." I started using the internet when I was about... oh, 10ish? 11? I never stumbled on to any porn\phishing sites, and I never went looking for them. You won't be able to shelter your kids forever, you just have to have faith that you raised them well and gave them the necesary tools to protect themselves.

    Telling a kid not to google a certain thing is probably the surest way to get them to that site/content.

    Ok, I can see that. Frankly, my parents never warned me about anything or told me to stay away from stuff, and I never went looking for trouble (I remember when www.whitehouse.com* was on the news during Monica-gate, and I didn't care enough to go to that site). Maybe it's because that was the early-ish days of the internet, when insidious stuff was less pervasive. I dunno. Even these days, I have to either be completely retarded and download random shit off sketchy websites, or go looking for porn to really expose myself to anything disgusting or malicious. Some torrent or warez sites have porn pop-up or banner ads, but that's pretty much all I've seen. I still think that the most important factor is the kid himself, because you can't really block out every possible objectionable content.

    *Apparently, that site is still up, just not featuring "hot interns" anymore.

    IreneDAdler on
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    bombardierbombardier Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    I'm not a huge fan of the software solutions. I agree that the best way is to monitor and teach and just build the trust relationship. If they can't do something at home, there's nothing stopping them from looking at whatever at a friend's house/school/library/wherever and that just defeats the purpose.

    Although, to keep stuff clean, I do like the idea of using Linux or some non-Windows environment. Definitely wouldn't be using IE/OE in any way shape or form. Ditched them years ago and have not looked back.

    Whitelists seem like a good idea for younger children though who just want to play games and not accidently stumble onto some shit.

    bombardier on
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    VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    On a side note, a friend with a young kid that uses the computer keeps her kids computer in the same room as her own so she can easily keep an eye on things . . . and power off the kid's system in case of extreme giggling or other signs that something's not right.

    Thats probably the best, but instead of powering off the computer install a VNC server on the kids computer so the parent can tap in and see whatever the kid sees.

    Or do the non-lazy thing and get up and look over the kids shoulder.

    Veevee on
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    NerissaNerissa Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    If you're concerned about messing up the computer, set up a user account for them, and lock it down. Specifically, disable installation, the Menu Run command, etc.

    My game computer has 3 accounts on it: Mine, a "guestadmin" account with a password my husband knows, and "anyone" that has no password and is to be used by anyone other than me who is not explicitly installing something.

    The kid, or any guests we may have over, can go on-line and whatever they're doing isn't going to be able to install shit. Not a perfect solution, but it's a step in the right direction.

    Also, Firefox rather than IE.

    I also run spybot resident, and have it scan on a daily basis. For the most part, I just catch ad cookies, but keeping them cleaned up makes it easier to find the real problems.

    Nerissa on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Veevee wrote: »
    On a side note, a friend with a young kid that uses the computer keeps her kids computer in the same room as her own so she can easily keep an eye on things . . . and power off the kid's system in case of extreme giggling or other signs that something's not right.

    Thats probably the best, but instead of powering off the computer install a VNC server on the kids computer so the parent can tap in and see whatever the kid sees.

    Or do the non-lazy thing and get up and look over the kids shoulder.

    UltraVNC is a good free one, btw.

    You can also do stuff in your home Router if you have one, like limit the times when the computer they use can get to the internet.

    Ruckus on
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