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biglou
02-11-2010, 8:17 AM
I tried the search here but nothing came up. Since I got great advice on removing virus I'll ask. What is the best parental control/filter I should use ? I believe my teenage son got my computer infected by free music downloads and porn.

bigmike82
02-11-2010, 9:07 AM
You know what the best parental control is?

The parent. ;)

So beyond that, there's a few things you need to consider.

FIRST off, you can't allow your son administrative access to your computer. If you do, any parental controls you set up on the computer itself (rather than on the network) will be easy to circumvent. Since he has physical access, he can add himself to the administrative group whenever he wants (using some cool easily obtainable tools).

If you're running Vista, there are built in PC features:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/features/parental-controls.aspx

I also stumbled across this, which may be useful:
http://www.parentalcontrolbar.org/

Good luck. Quite honestly, you may be better of buying your son a cheap laptop and saving yourself tons of grief.

sfwdiy
02-11-2010, 11:56 PM
Good luck. Quite honestly, you may be better of buying your son a cheap laptop and saving yourself tons of grief.

This may be true. I had a client's son go to war with me over parental controls and administrator access once. She brought the machine back to me about three or four times asking how he managed to circumvent the latest user access control method I implemented. Teenage boys with time on their hands are quite resourceful.

We got to the point where I told her that I couldn't guarantee keeping him out of anything as long as he had physical access to the computer.

--B

bigmike82
02-12-2010, 8:26 AM
"We got to the point where I told her that I couldn't guarantee keeping him out of anything as long as he had physical access to the computer."
Right! Unless you've got FDE (more accurately, a proper implementation of it), physical access will result in a machine compromise.

And even if you do have FDE, nothing stops the teenager from inserting a key logger into the back of the machine while you're not around.

Lancear15
02-12-2010, 8:40 AM
As a former teenage son, nothing my dad did was ever successful at keeping me from doing what I wanted on the computer.

I'm almost 30 now BTW and I grew up with computers since 1985.

I agree physical access is your only surefire solution.

Farva
02-12-2010, 8:48 AM
By him his own cheappy laptop and let him whack away and destroy his laptop. Its very hard to keep kids out of the computer these days.

bigmike82
02-12-2010, 8:58 AM
"By him his own cheappy laptop and let him whack away and destroy his laptop. Its very hard to keep kids out of the computer these days."
Damn straight. A hundred dollars from ebay will go a long way to helping you keep your sanity. ALSO, this'll be a great opportunity for him to responsible for fixing and maintaing his own system, which, if nothing else, is great future work experience. ;)

Lancear15
02-12-2010, 10:09 AM
By him his own cheappy laptop and let him whack away and destroy his laptop. Its very hard to keep kids out of the computer these days.

I can't agree with this. The internet has way to many pitfalls to let him go hog wild on it. For instance he may end up spending countless hours on calguns instead of doing his homework, making real friends, getting a girl friend, or getting some exercise/doing a sport.

Online games, chatrooms/message boards, porn, etc. can be huge wastes of time, especially for teenagers. If he wants to see naked chicks he should get out there and do it the old fashion way, get a GF.

Online games especially can suck away years of what should be your most physically and socially active time in your life.

World of Warcraft is not your friend.

Rekrab
02-12-2010, 11:30 AM
On the other hand, if you're worried about him knocking up a girl, World of Warcraft is great at enforcing abstinence.

Farva
02-12-2010, 1:07 PM
I can't agree with this. The internet has way to many pitfalls to let him go hog wild on it. For instance he may end up spending countless hours on calguns instead of doing his homework, making real friends, getting a girl friend, or getting some exercise/doing a sport.

Online games, chatrooms/message boards, porn, etc. can be huge wastes of time, especially for teenagers. If he wants to see naked chicks he should get out there and do it the old fashion way, get a GF.

Online games especially can suck away years of what should be your most physically and socially active time in your life.

World of Warcraft is not your friend.

So you are one of those parents that don't let their kids play games or go on the Internet? You'd rather him go 'find a gf' and risk getting her pregnant? If you can't keep your kid off a porn site, what makes me think you can educate them about proper safe sex? Personally I'd rather have my teenage son masturbate to some porn then go around hitting up girls. I mean hell, everyone finds there own versions of porn. The older folk had the playboys, this generation has the internet.

But my original point was, if you aren't going to regulate what he does on the Internet then get him his own pc so he won't ruin yours, plain and simple. If you are are going to regulate his Internet time that doesn't mean he can't ever have his own pc to do his own thing. Its kind of wrong to not allow him to get on the internet AT ALL.

But trust me, boys will find their way on to porn sites and the more you say he can't do something, the more he will do behind your back.

sfwdiy
02-13-2010, 8:36 PM
And even if you do have FDE, nothing stops the teenager from inserting a key logger into the back of the machine while you're not around.

Cheap, fun, and of questionable legality. :p

http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/front/5a05_spy_keylogger.jpg

--B

ETA: PGP WDE (http://www.pgp.com/products/wholediskencryption/index.html) FTW.