Online at Home: Location & Control

Online at Home: Where do you keep your computer?
Does Parental Control software really work?

The idea behind this topic was inspired by something that happened to me a while ago - I was asked to set up a family computer for a relative. I instantly thought sure no problem I’ll just set it up in the most used area of the house where the parents can keep an eye on when their children’s use of the computer or the Internet. But…boy was I wrong!

It’s a big house, the location of the computer was going to be in a room that was rarely used, sort of a spare room really… I wasn’t keen on this idea so I brought it up as soon as I got there - unfortunately the children won with their cries of wanting privacy etc and alas the computer was indeed set up in the spare room. I put parental control software on the computer but over time the children repeatedly tried to delete it and basically I was asked to come fix the computer over and over because they kept deleting files they shouldn’t have plus in turn nothing was working properly for them… I grew tired of this and said sorry no more…so I left it…

Now…when I first started online I used the family computer which was located in our kitchen (it was the main living area) It’s a large kitchen so the family computer was off to the side, just off the kitchen/dining area… The computer was always visible by my parents and they always knew what we were doing online. To me this was responsible parenting and safe - this method I too would implement when I have my own children!

So I guess my experience just makes me wonder, where do you keep your computer? Is it in a familly room? Even if you don’t have children, what would you do in the circumstance I described above? Should I have done something differently? Perhaps I shouldn’t have done the job at all when I knew how potentially dangerous it could be? I have to admit I did feel a bit responsible for setting it up in the first place, but I figured if not by me then someone else would set it up! :confused2

So, I welcome your thoughts guys! Thanks :slight_smile:

Heh, I don’t really know anything about parental management software. I’ve never used any and I’ve never had any used on myself either. I don’t intend to use any in the future either as I’m confident that my kids will be knowledgeable about the amazing and wonderful things they can do on the Internet…As well as the dangers and hazards that can happen whilst browsing the Web.

Oh don’t worry - I thoroughly intend to :slight_smile: (I mean I thoroughly intend to educate my kids, not keep them in the dark!)

Andrew Cooper

let me see, where do i keep my computer?

well, I have 3 workstations in the livingroom. one main workstation where programming and ideas are unwinded. the two other ones is at another desk and is producing and testing workstations + one in my bedroom :shifty:.

then the kid has two laptops at his room, and a stationary at the first floor.

there is two workstations in my homestudio on the first floor, and also a server for backup and storage there in another room.

I also have a laptop for quick-coding and ideas.

Every computer is connected to the internet.

A computer is not a furniture, so i have no problem understanding why people don’t want them in a livingroom. there are also a lot of filters and parental control one can set up, to help keeping children away from certain types of places on the internet.

But it is also important to talk to the children, to discuss and explain what is happening out on the net, and warn them of different types of dangers that exist out there.
Parents has to be able to do this.

As for deleting files one shouldn’t delete - everybody does it :stuck_out_tongue:

wow crazy, sounds like you’re actually living in a computer with a few odd pieces of furniture around the place :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree with sitting down and educating your children about the www! But in this circumstance the parents were not bothered as long as the kids stopped having tantrums…obviously this approach is wrong but there was no talking to them or making them see sense! :rolleyes:

The parental control software I put on the computer was ok for about 2 months, then they couldn’t access social networking sites when they started getting into them and they complained so I had to grant access to them - over time they started getting annoyed with not being able to access content they shouldn’t be accessing so they started sabotaging the protection program and deleting system files that they thought were part of it - in the end they kept getting BSOD all the time so I had to fix it but that was the end of it, I wasn’t going to be playing a part in that whole scenario anymore - the youngest was 8, then 12, then 16 :nono: In the end I told them why I wouldn’t do it anymore, I had no problem with the 16 yr old accessing the social network sites but the other 2 girls I had a problem with plus being exposed to content that would not be suitable to them - the parents weren’t bothered, “is it fixed”? is all I got, I said yeah but I’m through with it, you’ll have to get someone else to do it when they break it again…so they did and to be honest they are all hooked on social networking sites now and phone/message people from those sites 24/7, you never see them without their mobile, can’t have a conversation without them checking their phones every 10 seconds! :confused2

It’s just disheartening to see that level of ignorance really with regard to the parents and it’s unnecessary in this day and age when there are so many great things you can do online and learn from but some people just still want to remain oblivious to it all!

Well, I think it’s impossible for parents to watch over the shoulder at all times, regardless of where the computer is. So it might as well be in a private space. Actually I would advocate it should be in a private space. Having tried working with a computer in a setting where someone is watching over your shoulder I can tell you it’s not a nice way to use a computer.

It’s not about kids using social networks, it’s about making them aware of what to watch out for. I can’t believe you actually want kids not to use them. Going back to the example of crossing the street in the other thread, you would not forbid them going to the street, you would teach them how to cross it safely.

Try not letting them to use social networks and you’re just gonna be that uncool old aunt who spoils all the fun :stuck_out_tongue: And they will still do it.

This analogy is flawed imho. Children can see the dangers of crossing the street, as they know they could get hit by a car.
On the other hand, whats the harm in talking to this nice 16 year old boy?
I have no kids on my own, so I can’t be sure, but I think it would be rather hard to convince children it might actually be 47 year old man.
Children are innocent, and not really aware of “abstract dangers”.

Do they really know and when do they come to know? There are only two ways - by experience or by being taught. I don’t think children learn they could be hit by a car from experience :x

So if we go back to the internet and its dangers, it’s probably a good idea to teach them rather than let them learn by experience. Not letting them go there is not an option as they will do it anyway because their peers are doing it.

BTW, I don’t have kids too and if I’m wrong with my logic I’ll be screwed if/when I do have them :lol:

I tend to agree with Scallio - but I don’t mind teenagers using social network sites at all - as long as they are supervised or educated about the dangers and their parents are aware of who they are talking to that’s all - in the instance above this wasn’t going to happen at all, so the kids were basically let loose, they weren’t and still aren’t very computer literate, all they know is how to sign into their email and facebook, they are still very green and naive but their parents still bury their head in the sand. I try to teach them and make them aware but I just get laughs about it which isnt surprising considering their upbringing :rolleyes:

I think having a family computer tucked away in a private area is a bad idea :nono: I know how it can be uncomfortable but it’s for their own safety!

@Sauls’ post ^ - I think seeing the car coming is a good warning, whereas online you are blinded by what you are shown i.e. 16 yr old guy who’s infact not - I learned early on never to believe anything like that, even now I’m not convinced of who you are until I see you or hear you etc :stuck_out_tongue:

I do agree too that it’s much more complicated than being hit by a car. And unfortunately can be more dangerous depending on circumstances.

Technically you shouldn’t be convinced even by that. :lol:

well - atleast I can determine gender with the voice :lol: but yeah you never really can tell :shifty:

What about parental control software, do you guys reckon it’s any good or worth the hassle? In the instance I described above they just ripped it out albeit with some error messages all the time but with some stubborn determination they bypassed it and were able to surf the Internet without restriction!

Parental Control software is ok, as long you don’t let kids use an administor user. Let the parents have the administrative user and let the kids log in as guest. Use NTFS permissions to make sure they can’t get to the windows and/or program files directory and it should be fine I think.
Also, the Parental Control software should run as a service, not as plain old .exe file they can terminate using alt+ctrl+delete.

Or you could let the kids use Aston Secure Desktop. Never used it myself but I used Aston Shell “back in the XP days”, and it’s very well written software. Can’t remember it ever crashed.

:tup: I like that approach and it looks good too, thanks! I did give the parents a password to get into the Parental Control software and to disable it when they wanted to for themselves but sure they gave the kids the password when they had trantrums too - I’ve washed my hands of the whole situation completely! :nono:

I guess there’s only one way to do something, and that’s to do it right - it was hard to set up the proper protection for them when you were faced with so many arguments along the way! Anyway, lesson learned :smiley:

Oh please, this is nonsense (like talking about back in the era when it was safe not to lock your doors). It may well have been the case when we were kids but these days they teach 6 year olds how to use the Internet in school and regularly talk about the dangers of surfing in the classroom. No-one gives kids any kind of credit these days, it’s rather embarrassing. Their smart enough to know how to setup a proxy to bypass the parental software (I see it all the time), their smart enough to be able to cyber bully each other by building websites, setting up fake profiles (etc), their smart enough to be able to teach their own parents how to use computers (I see this ALL the time), yet their own judgement can’t be trusted because of their age? For a society that’s against the concept of ageism we really do employ it in heavy doses for the so called protection of the young. Yes there are kids who are naive to the dangers of the web… but you can be sure their the ones who were neglected to be taught by their parents, didn’t learn about computers from a young age in school or simply were stupid enough not to listen to the advice of others. :rolleyes:

I’ve been in houses where the computer has been in the livingroom, and when the children used it their parents were always telling them to hush, and asking them to be silent.
I don’t think that is fair to the children. they had been giving games and they also had the permission to use it. but all this ‘be silent’ stuff was ruining the fun. some of the childrens lost their access to the puter because of the noise. other familys decided to move the computer…

I’m not that all for ‘peeking over the shoulder’ and ‘full control’ thingie.

in my opinions parents has to educate the childrens to be aware of potential dangers online. I’m not saying they should get no limitations but one should not play too much big brother.

childrens at different ages should get different user accounts, with different limitations based on age.

I know a lot of females that has gotten quite some shock online, from webcams and pictures.

it’s amazing what lengths people are willing to go to, just to flash themself :stuck_out_tongue:

yeah crazy I can understand that whole noise issue, I guess there’s a whole trust issue at play here aswell between both child and parent - the noise level is another issue, where we had our computer it wasn’t noticeably noisy as the tv was on most times so this wasn’t a problem for my parents or indeed myself - like you said it’s about educating when you can and hopefully it’ll sink in :confused2

Crazy, I’m still not convinced you’re a dude :rolleyes: :rofl:

We all have our own computers in the house now, except for my Mum who simply can’t turn one on! We all know about the Internet though and the dangers of it and so on and we aren’t really the type of people that would go into them ‘areas’ of the Internet. Although really I can only speak for myself.

I’ve never experience parental control software before so I couldn’t really say anything on that but I’m sure it can be effective in most cases.

Heh, I’d teach my children everything to know about the Internet and WWW. I’d have them marking up HTML and CSS Web pages by the time they’re 5! :lol:

Now this is just shocking! An 8 and 12 year old on social networking Websites? Talk about breaking the law! :eek: It’s dispicable really, just unbelievable.

I agree completely with what you’re saying Alex but when I read this I thought that you were describing the kids / teens who know a fair bit about the Internet / WWW and are willing to go that extra bit further to gain freedom. These types of kids / teens aren’t the ones that need protecting as they will probably already know about the dangers. I would imagine so anyway. It’s the kids / teens that don’t have a clue about the Internet / WWW and just want to chat and play and what not. They don’t realise what they could get themselves into if they aren’t careful. That’s why blocks and parental control should be setup, in my opinion.

It’s amazing to know that people want to do these things to strangers in the first place. Really, the world makes me wonder sometimes! :nono:

Andrew Cooper

:rofl: I think I would too but I wouldn’t allow them to be “online” because I believe that’s far too young for that - they should get outside and play instead :stuck_out_tongue:

@ 8 and 12 - yes it is shocking - I couldn’t do anything about that, I tried but their parents overruled that whole thing :injured: anyway, they now live with the affects of their carefree/ignorant attitude as the kids are all constantly Facebooking and messaging people they’ve met through these type of social networking sites and now their parents are giving out wondering who are they talking to, texting etc 24/7… sigh :rolleyes:

Surely that’s counter productive though… the parents who know about technology are smart enough to teach their kids about the risks (and kids will make mistakes but generally learn from them rather than trapping themselves into danger)… parental management software is almost exclusively used by parents who have no idea what their kids can do, no idea how their kids use computers and are totally ill-equipped to deal with the situation (thereby they hope some piece of software will ensure they can replace their total lack of “digital intelligence”). Educate your kids, don’t leave your parental responsibilities to some piece of software which’ll make kids even more naive to the dangers, keeping your kids in the dark will just make them more likely to be exploited in the future. :slight_smile:

I will always have a “computer room”, it’s what I have now… and a office area.

When I start my own family, they can have whatever they want in their own room, when they get into highschool. I like my privacy. I will respect theirs. Children need privacy to make mistakes, cover them up and learn by fear of their parents finding out. Because if you do find out and punish them they realize, “that wasn’t so bad” and turn into evil spawns from the pits of hell or worse, end up being politicians! do you want that! didn’t think so…

Preteens on the net, I don’t like it, nope, never did… please explain? No reason, tell them to go outside and play!

:tup: go out and play :lol:

I agree with allowing children (within reason age-wise) to have their own privacy but there is a trust factor also to consider. But if they are wise enough I guess this privacy can be earned - not all kids, teenagers etc are clever enough to figure out who the baddies are, even us adults get caught out sometimes. I guess it boils down to being overly protective and I know I’ll be guilty of that when the time comes :shifty: