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Old 28th August 2010, 21:54   #1
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Default Parental control for internet usage

Guys, I have a 10 year old devil at home and there are a few more of them in the neighboring flats. I have a BSNL home 500 broad band connection which gives me 1.5 GB of data and 175 calls free. Extra usage is billed @ Re 1.00 per call and Rs 600.00 per GB. Data usage is free from 2.00 AM to 8.00 AM, so my instructions were not to connect to games sites after 8.00 AM. It has never axceeded Rs 600.00 PM for me. Till April, that is!

During April and May, the devils had a daily get together during the vacation at our home and had a blast. I mean a real B L A S T, including watching matches on youtube. The bill for April was Rs 7000.xx and for May Rs 12000.xx. Since I use the auto debit facility and there was a function at home, I saw the damage only after my bank A/C was dented. And last month, the BSNL guys have visited my home and given a free 3G SIM card to encourage our "good usage"!

Changing the connection password is not an option. They say the user name and password are configured in the modem. I have of course changed over to the Rs 900 Plan - unlimited internet and 400 free calls. But I am worried of undesirable sites being thrown up during their sojourn in the virtual world, and want to excecise parental control - without using net nanny kind of software, if possible. I am just a pc literate guy and not very geeky, if you know what I mean.

So, is there any way to password protect Mozilla, my favourite browser? Can I block out certain sites in the browser itself? Or if I must use parental control software, which is the most simple and cost effective? I don't want to spend $ 30 - 40 every year.

Right now I have uninstalled Mozilla and am using Explorer, by enabling content checking. But it asks for password for each page and link opened, very irritating. And Explorer is not my favourite browser either.

Thanks for any advise in advance guys, and also for reading my rant!

I could not find any similar thread for my key word "parental control", so if it already exists, I request the mods to merge the threads.

Last edited by Gansan : 28th August 2010 at 22:06.
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Old 28th August 2010, 22:33   #2
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There are two ways.
1. through software. there are many parental control software available. Google it.

2. If you have a good modem like that made by DLink or Cisco/linksys. They have inbuit option to block the ip of websites that you don't want your kids to visit.
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Old 28th August 2010, 22:53   #3
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1) There are several softwares to block various sites and even in web browser there are a few facilities to block sites IIRC. Visit this :
Parental controls

Also you can set a master password in firefox.

2) If you have modem from BSNL, they do have facility to block sites. I did block a few after my internet connection was misused by friends during project work. My friends would visit unwanted sites while I was working with one computer ( there were more than 5 in one room ). I blocked websites through modem itself. Even in my modem the username and password were set in by me.

3) Set a separate account for kids where in you can restrict their access to net.

4) Setting up login password for PC would also help.
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Old 28th August 2010, 22:59   #4
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Parental Control is not a full proof concept. Parental Influence IS

parents should educate the child about what is right and what is wrong.
Often deprivation and prohibition will lead to more pull towards what is prohibited.

Some of the things what we are doing (in our home) is as below

* We have proactivly been exposing our daughter to internet and its applications viz. e-mails, social networking, gaming, chatting etc etc since she was 4 years of age.
* Time of use are pre-agreed
* one of the parent is always present with child while she on internet
* Going slow/stead and not very fast exposure
* encouraging the child to do more activities viz reading, playing games with other kids, skating, bi-cycling, watching TV / Cartoons etc. More time child is engaged in learning / fun activities, lesser time the child is on internet.
* Passwords are known to all the three of us = all secrets must be known to all three, there is no hidden thing among the three, What is done on internet is known to all three, it must be shared openly, discussed during meals, family time. trying to bring transparency and influence.

Kids are smart enough to overcome prohibition/deprivation/control, they will always be.

Parents to lead and influence rather than follow and try to control is the name of the game.

Again there are no quickfixes here..we are learning too..

Last edited by StarVegabond : 28th August 2010 at 23:11.
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Old 28th August 2010, 23:12   #5
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Gansan,

Check this addon out for Firefox - might be just what you need!

Link: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4351/

Cheers!
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Old 28th August 2010, 23:29   #6
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Oh man. MY humble points here.
Kids go behind playstation/ internet/ cable tv kind of things means it keeps them away from the real world.
Encourage children to get in to real sports/ hobbies/ passions etc.
They get allround development, with limited exposure to anything with a monitor.
So you don't need to monitor them then.

We don't have cable connection at home. Yes. No tv programmes. So my daughter watches her select dvds for a couple of hours totally in a day. We encourage her to run around in the park a lot.
And I don't sit in front of her tapping my laptop. Occasionally I show her logues featuring wildlife and she loves seeing those pics.
Ofcourse, I'm talking of a 1.5 year old and you are talking of a 10 year old.
But then, isn't it true that we were more outdoorsy than the present generation?
Encourage your kids to start on more creative stuff.
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Old 28th August 2010, 23:39   #7
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Gansan sir - Here's a tool to play safe with Firefox - Google Safe Browsing for Firefox

Next option would be is to restrict the internet usage timing with the modem, provided Son doesn't guess the password supplied by BSNL for the modem

Best option would be is to control via software for safe browsing for kids or give access only to use kids browser like - Web Browser for Kids - KidRocket - PC Desktop Protection, Buddy Browser - Children Safe Internet with Free Parental Controls
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Old 28th August 2010, 23:45   #8
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I too face the same problem. First thing for you to do is to get a unlimited data plan for internet. Get 750UL plan from BSNL or one of the high speed UL plans from Airtel.

Second, signup on onlinefamily.norton.com. It helps you to restrict browsing based on site categories, blacklist/whitelist specific sites, time based computer usage including forced logout, time-based site access restriction, restriction on data submitted through forms, restrict programs such as messenger, Gtalk etc. You have to download a client component of the software and set it up for selected user profiles on your computer. It provides you lot of control on what goes on your computer when you are away. All settings are made on the website and lets you control browsing on your PC at home remotely. It can be setup to send you email alerts if the user attempt to access any restricted sites. Best of all, it is free! I had earlier paid and bought some PC software for the same and finally ended up choosing this excellent service from Norton. Give a try and you would love it.

Last edited by vasoo : 28th August 2010 at 23:54.
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Old 29th August 2010, 08:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Parental Control is not a full proof concept. Parental Influence IS
Well said!

Kids these days are smart enough to figure out their way around all the locks you can possibly think of. Guidance rather then control is the right way.
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Old 29th August 2010, 11:44   #10
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if you are using windows vista or windows 7, you can configure a standard user, and we can configure the user; the time slots in which the user can access the internet and websites based on its rating. highly recommended and do not require 3rd part software's. available for home premium/professional version of both. let me know if you need more help on this.
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Old 29th August 2010, 11:58   #11
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Kaspersky Internet Security has a nice feature with which you can allow internet access on different time periods for each weekday. I used to allow access between 5 and 7pm on weekdays and a longer duration during week ends.

But, it did not meet the purpose as my kid started booting the system off a Linux boot CD (which is easy to get) and got away from all the restrictions. The next thing is to enforce a bios password, but then I thought no, as the more you restrict him he comes out with different options to over come it.
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Old 29th August 2010, 12:03   #12
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It's a tricky situation and there are no easy answers. Best thing would be to educate the children on the goods and the bads of WWW.
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Old 29th August 2010, 12:36   #13
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There's a very cool Parental Control Software by Norton.

It's called Norton Online Family. Its free at the moment and you can get it here.

Give it a try. It's going to become paid in a few months , so I would suggest getting it soon and setting it up. It's ridiculously easy to use and work with. And, it suits all your requirements that you have mentioned.
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Old 29th August 2010, 12:48   #14
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Another option-

Setup an account with OpenDNS and point your router to use OpenDNS's DNS servers. It's Free. You can then have lots of filtering options (well categorized) managed online via OpenDNS control panel. You can even whiletlist/blacklist specific sites.

I use the above method to block rogue sites.
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Old 29th August 2010, 13:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Vampire View Post
Another option-

Setup an account with OpenDNS and point your router to use OpenDNS's DNS servers. It's Free. You can then have lots of filtering options (well categorized) managed online via OpenDNS control panel. You can even whiletlist/blacklist specific sites.

I use the above method to block rogue sites.
This can always be bypassed if you have administrative access by entering another public DNS
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