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Ask Slashdot: Good Low Cost Free Software For Protecting Kids Online?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children dept.

Security 646

An anonymous reader writes "I have two kids, 7 and 8. I would love to allow them internet access on a regular basis. The problem is what's out there: I really don't want them to deal with porn ads and such, but making either a blacklist or a whitelist myself would take months. So I figured I would ask you: what free software would you use with preferably prebuilt lists to protect your kids online? What is out there with fairly easy configuration ability (to allow for game servers — they love Minecraft), but secure enough they can't just bypass it using a Google search?"

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646 comments

Net Nanny (1, Insightful)

l810c (551591) | about 2 years ago | (#40407575)

I've used it for the past 2 years. My boy just turned 9.

1 computer $40/year.

Are you really so worried about FREE or are you worried about YOUR CHILDREN?!?!?

Re:Net Nanny (2, Informative)

RandomUsername99 (574692) | about 2 years ago | (#40407645)

Maybe they're running linux. Adding the cost of windows on to that would make it significantly more expensive. Maybe they're being rational enough about it to not be scared into immediately whipping out their wallet to have someone else protect their children. Maybe there are FOSS alternatives that are actually better. Did you actually do any research on it? If so, it'd be nice to hear what your results were.

Re:Net Nanny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407909)

Maybe, maybe, maybe. Why don't you do the research before running your mouth off?

Re:Net Nanny (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40407923)

You're right. Obviously the first thing that comes to your head, no matter what the question was, is always correct.

Teaching kids the ability to discern (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40407993)

I have kids of my own

I love them

I like to think of ways to protect them

But I also know that I simply can't protect them 24/7

Instead, I teach them ways to protect themselves

I teach them how to discern the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, and why something are "Right", and others are "Wrong"

Services like "Net Nanny" (and others) can only give an illusion of "protection" - and parents all over, always like the feeling of instant gratification, that "My Kids Are Protected"

Sure, I am worry about the safety of my kids, but I prefer to let them learn, from the real world, rather than creating an artificial green-house so that my kids are insulated from the real world out there

Perhaps my approach is wrong

Perhaps I am a bad dad

But that's what I did, and that's what I do, and what I will do, for my children, whom I adore !!
 

Re:Net Nanny (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 2 years ago | (#40407983)

Ad blocking hosts file, I use it as an adult ;-) http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm [mvps.org]

Don't censor anything else IMO, gaining knowledge is good, ignorance is bad.

Re:Net Nanny (4, Insightful)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 2 years ago | (#40408027)

You probably aren't a parent. Most people here hold your view (as I did) until they have little ones to protect, then decide that the educational opportunity offered by /b/tards and Goatse is pretty much zero, and decide to restrict educational opportunity to the books available at home and in the library.

Re:Net Nanny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407691)

So true. Though there is no real substitute for being there... if you're not willing to spend a few bucks for an os/filter or the time, it's fitting the child's mind be filled with rubbish.

Re:Net Nanny (1)

l810c (551591) | about 2 years ago | (#40407741)

I'm sorry if that sounded too harsh, this place that we all love has bias towards FREE software. I just saw "FREE" instead of "Low Cost Free". Maybe it should be "Low Cost/Free" in the headline. Net Nanny has worked well for us the past couple of years.

At $40/year I think this is definitely Low Cost.

Definitely check it out and see if it meets your needs.

Re:Net Nanny (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#40407869)

You are assuming the guy is not a "free software" enthusiast. Net Nanny does not have any version running on any Linux distribution.

Guess what? We run Linux here at home. Only the professional machine have (by force of my job) a Windows 7 installation.

On the other hand, my kid is getting an Android phone, and Net Nanny can be a good solution in this case. Have you access to the block list and white list for inspection? You know, my kid is *MY* kid - I want some control about what he is allowed and don't allowed to see.

Re:Net Nanny (5, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 2 years ago | (#40408049)

Your boy's not old enough to have hormones going wild and informing him that boobies are the greatest invention ever, so that software makes sense to avoid inadvertent stumbling upon. For the parents of kids just a bit older though, it's use is likely both useless and a symptom of bad parenting. As soon as they're physically able to reproduce, they need to be able to make decisions about it as a responsible adult; they will be in situations where they have the final say on the matter.

Me, I'd say both he and society are better off if he's wanking to a porn tube site and not knocking up the thirteen year old girl down the block. So, drop the net filter subscription and invest in either a damned good anti-virus or teach him to use Linux. Before it becomes an issue, because you've no idea when he's going to talk his way into his first set of panties.

Watch them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407581)

Put the computer in the living room and smack 'em in the head when you catch them going where they shouldn't

Re:Watch them (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407863)

That's what I do. I find that the kids are not really interested in anything that could accidentally stumble across anything untoward. YouTube is the main problem site, but hey saturday morning pop videos are bloody awful and you can't do much about that.

With our oldest I set up a non-network account (iptable block rule based on userid (on linux)) so that when he was left at home alone there was no internet access, but he could still play local games, use open office etc.

Re:Watch them (5, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40407873)

Put the computer in the living room and smack 'em in the head when you catch them going where they shouldn't

About to say the same, but under the form of: use same software that protects them offline - it is called parenting.

If you think not only real-life but also Internet is dangerous (a justified concern, I agree), I can't see why what's good for protecting your kids in real-life won't be also good for online one.

Re:Watch them (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40407977)

Also, don't forget to give up your full-time job, dump your friends and drop any sports or hobbies you do.
Your new life is monitoring every waking second of your child's.

Also something about "preventing rather than punishing for something they couldn't prevent".

Re:Watch them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408063)

Yeah. That works except in the case of the questionable advertising the submitter mentioned. Try thinking before you spout off.

DansGuardian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407587)

DansGuardian, maybe.

Protip: (3, Insightful)

Squiddie (1942230) | about 2 years ago | (#40407593)

If you're looking for software to take care of your children for you, you've already failed as a parent.

Re:Protip: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407609)

If you're looking for software to take care of your children for you, you've already failed as a parent.

... because all of our kids are just like yours.

Until you've spent a month living with someone else's kids, don't assume they can be parented the same way yours can.

Re:Protip: (5, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 2 years ago | (#40407753)

Spoken like someone who does not have any kids. Newsflash: Even the best kids don't always listen to what mommy and/or daddy tell them. Furthermore, I'd say this is also to prevent unintentional access to nasty stuff. You can't sit there watching over their shoulder ever second they're online. Put the computer in the living room, sure, but it's not just deliberate access to the more visceral parts of the internet that you'd need to be worried about. At that age, it's probably more about the kids not realizing where they're clicking until they're watching 2 girls, 1 cup.

Re:Protip: (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#40408031)

At that age, would they even understand?

I remember watching rockos modern life. Watch that again at my current age...HOLY SHIT.

Re:Protip: (5, Insightful)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#40407821)

If you are trying to do everything by yourself to you children, you will fail even more as a parent.

You know, you have to WORK in order to be able to FEED your kids. Will you lock the little bastards (man, my childhood memories... X-P) in a safe room in the working hours?

You really think that peeping over their shoulders all the time is a good way to raise them?

Kids *needs* some controlled "freedom" in order to acquire the needed abilities to raise the self control mechanism every adult must have. You need to leave them "alone" (please note the quotes) for some time everyday. You need to give them some room to give them the chance test what can and what cannot be done.

(And so, you need to step back and see what happens)

On the other hand, you should not expose them to things they are not ready (or are incapable) to deal.

When you drive the kids to the local park, you stays in their side every second, of you give the kids space in order to allow them to play with other kids - but stays reasonably near in order to interfere if somethings appears to go wrong?

If you are not a Luddite, you must give the kids some time on a computer. And since you probably have some other things to do in your life (as keep the house clean, cook the dinner, help the other kid on the homework, drive the dog to the vet, etc), and stating again that no kid raises mentally healthy being watched all the time (you are aware that the kids must live on their own after your death, aren't you?), so the FA have a valid question: some kind of parental software is needed.

Relying only on this software would be a failure, granted.

Communication (3, Insightful)

gehrehmee (16338) | about 2 years ago | (#40407597)

The internet is all about communication, be it with other individuals, corporations, etc.

Would you let a 7 or 8 year old talk to random people from around the world without supervision? No?

Then you may want to consider just making sure that there's a human with your children while they're using the thing, until they're at an age where you choose to trust them on their own for a bit. You'll be there to explain the odd random thing that happens.

Re:Communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407693)

Oh ffs, think of the children!!. Though, I dont think its appropriate that my 7 year old is bombarded with porn should he accidentally find his way onto a dodgy site, I give him the trust to search and find out about the internet on his own. I dont want him to be net-nannied, but instead him learn about the trolls out there on his own. I'll be always there, should he want me to be, or to answer any questions, and I do make that apparent.

I use OpenDNS.org, to restrict the content that can be shown. The good thing about it is that it involves no software to be installed - just requires a reconfigure of the home router. It can be got around, if he knew how, though Im guessing once he gets to an age when he knows what DNS is all about, and how to reconfigure, he probably wouldn't need the filter then anyhow!

Re:Communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407729)

You know what? Sometimes people just want an answer to their question rather than having their decision questioned. Yes, sometimes there are times when the decision is downright wrong and a different tack is needed. This isn't one of them. Your answer is not constructive. Somewhat insightful, yes, but not helpful.

Re:Communication (2, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40407807)

Would you let a 7 or 8 year old talk to random people from around the world without supervision?

Why not? Unless you think most people are rapists or terrorists who will magically molest them over the internet, what is the problem? Just make sure they know what they're doing.

Re:Communication (2)

tftp (111690) | about 2 years ago | (#40408057)

a 7 or 8 year old [...] Just make sure they know what they're doing.

I don't know about others, but when I was 7 or 8 years old I certainly didn't know what I was doing - even when I thought I do. From my today's position I think I got some reasonable awareness of adult world when I was about 16 years old, and continued learning further.

Unless you think most people are rapists or terrorists who will magically molest them over the internet

The worst thing that can happen to a kid on Internet is another kid on Internet. Pretty much like IRL.

Free or free (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#40407601)

I'm not aware of any Free software in this space, for free software you've got MS Live Family Safety (works with most browsers on Windows and some applications) and OpenDNS content filtering. I use the Live family safety on their laptops and OpenDNS on their tablets.

Re:Free or free (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407915)

Squid with Dansguardian (http://dansguardian.org/) has worked well for me. It has a free "subscription based" white/blacklist and also a heuristic "score" mode.

Could be a good balance between watching them all the time and letting them have some freedom. You tell them not to visit certain sights, and unless you're running it
on your router as a transparent proxy, can be bypassed with a modicum of effort, so some of the onus is on them.

hosts file. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407611)

Ad blocker hosts file is a good free start.. doesn't stop them browsing porn though...

Agreed (& an automator for creating one) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407907)

A program I wrote that 2 makers of custom hosts file data are hosting for me (hpHosts/malwarebytes + hostsfile.org/securemecca.com) - I posted about it in this thread already, & since you noted custom HOSTS files? It MAY also interest you:

http://securemecca.com/public/APKHostsFileInstaller/2012_06_01/APKHostsFileEngineInstaller32_64bit.exe.zip [securemecca.com]

You simply extract its files to ANY folder you like (usually one you create for it, doesn't matter where, but you MUST run it as administrator (simple & the "read me" tab shows how easy THAT is to do):

What's it do for you?

It's a custom hosts file mgt. program that does the following for end users (Calling it "APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++")

---

1.) Offers massively noticeable increased speed for websurfing via blocking adbanners

2.) Offers increased speed for users fav. sites by hardcoding them into the hosts file for faster IP address-to-host/domain name resolutions (which sites RARELY change their hosting providers, e.g.-> of 250 I do, only 6 have changed since 2006 - & when sites do because they found a less costly hosting provider? Then, they either email notify members, put up warnings on their pages, & do IP warnings & redirectors onto the former IP address range to protect vs. the unscrupulous criminal bidding on that range to buy it to steal from users of say, online banking or shopping sites).

3.) Better "Layered-Security"/"Defense-In-Depth" via blocking host-domain based attacks by KNOWN bad sites-servers that are known to do so (which IS, by far, the majority of what's used by both users (hence the existence of the faulty but for most part working DNS system), AND even by malware makers (since host-domain names are recyclable by they, & the RBN (Russian Business Network & others)) were doing it like mad with "less than scrupulous", or uncaring, hosting providers)

4.) Better 'anonymity' to an extent vs. DNS request logs (not vs. DPI ("deep packet inspection"))

5.) The ability to circumvent unjust DNSBL (DNS Block Lists) if unjust or inconveniences a user.

6.) Protection vs. online trackers

7.) Better security vs. the DNS system being "dns poisoned/redirected" (a known problem for recursive DNS servers via port 51/53 misdirection)

8.) Write protecting the hosts file every 1/2 second (supplementing UAC) - even if/when you move it from the default location via this registry entry (which if done, can function ALMOST like *NIX shadow passwords because of this program):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters

And changing the "DataBasePath" parameter there (I do this moving it to a faster media, a "true SSD" using DDR-2 RAM, in the 4gb Gigabyte IRAM I have).

9.) Automatic downloading & Alphabetic sorting of hosts files' records entries (for easier end user mgt. manually) from 15 reliable sources (of 17 I actually use).

10.) Manual editing of all files used (hosts to import list, hosts itself in its default location of %windir%\system32\drivers\etc, the hosts files to import/download & process, & favorite sites to reverse dns ping to avoid DNS (noted above why)).

11.) Removal scanners (if the users decide to remove hosts entries from imported data they can check if the site is indeed known as bad or not (sometimes 'false positives' happen, or just bad entries, or sites clean themselves up after infestation due to vulnerable coding etc./et al)).

12.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Comments (useless bulk in a hosts file that's "all business")

13.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Trailing comments after records (produces duplicates)

14.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Invalid TLD entries (program checks this in a BETTER method than the API call "PathIsURL")

15.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Trims entries (vs. trailing blanks bloat on record entries)

16.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like the conversion of the larger & SLOWER 127.0.0.1 blocking "loopback adapter" address (slower due to larger size bytes wise to parse, & slower if loopback happens) to the smaller/faster to parse & load 0.0.0.0

17.) Uniformity of ALL entries in hosts (as to records inserted & format they use - reducing bloat AND repeated bloating entries).

18.) Filtration-Removal of sites that IF in a hosts file are KNOWN to cause problems on larger portals that use CDN etc.

19.) Custom hosts files protect ALL webbound programs, not just webbrowsers (like AdBlock addons, & it doesn't even block ALL adbanners by default anymore) & it does so @ a more efficient faster level (Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode) acting merely as a filter for the PnP design IP stack, vs. the slower level webbrowser programs & their addons operate in (Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode), which addons slow them even more by "layering on" parsing & processing that browser addons layer on.

20.) Custom hosts files also offer the speedup to favorite sites noted above, & even firewalls + browser addons do NOT offer that...

---

& MORE, in roughly 15 minutes runtime (on an Intel Core I7 920 Quad/4 core cpu @ 2.67ghz) & faster on faster CPU's (e.g. - Intel Core I7 3960 "extreme" 6-7 core CPUs = 7 minute runtime) & slower on slower CPU's (Intel 1.5ghz Celeron single core = 45 minutes).

* The malwarebytes/hpHosts site admin another person/site hosting it (Mr. Steven Burn, a competent coder in his own right), said it's "excellent" in fact, and has seen its code too...

(Write him yourselves should anyone doubt any of this -> services@it-mate.co.uk or see his site @ http://hosts-file.net/?s=Download [hosts-file.net] ) & he's seen the majority of the sourcecode (Delphi Object Pascal 32 & 64 bit).

It will be releasing soon to sites that host 64-bit programs (even though it also has a 32-bit model, line for line the same code except for 32 in place of 64 in its help file & user interface)!

I told myself (since i built it in late 2003 in version 1.0++ & have rebuilt it 5x since in Borland Delphi 3.0/5.0/7.0 32-bit & currently into 64-bit using Delphi XE2) IF things didn't get better on the "malware front", out it would go for the general public to get the above enumerated multiple & versatile benefits custom hosts yield for end users (mainly saving them money on speed + bandwidth they pay for each month as well as added "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" AND reliability all noted above)

APK

P.S.=> Options for "DNSBL filtered 'secured'" DNS servers "seal-the-deal" on the rest for "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" vs. KNOWN malicious sites-servers/hosts-domains that host malware, malcripted content, are bogus DNS servers, or botnet C&C servers, + adbanners & porn too:

---

A.) Norton DNS (198.153.192.50 and 198.153.194.50/198.153.192.40 and 198.153.194.40/198.153.192.60 and 198.153.194.60) -> http://nortondns.com/ [nortondns.com] & you can even see how it updates every few minutes vs. known malicious sites-servers, here -> http://safeweb.norton.com/buzz [norton.com] as well as get a GOOD read on how/why it works, etc.- et al, here https://dns.norton.com/dnsweb/faq.do [norton.com]

It filters vs. MANY threats online & IS UP TO DATE as is possible I'd imaging (see those links, you'll understand WHY I state that). It's part of WHY I use it as my PRIMARY DNS here...

---

B.) ScrubIT DNS (67.138.54.100 and 207.225.209.66 ) -> http://www.scrubit.com/ [scrubit.com] & here is a good read on how/why it works via its FAQ's as well -> http://www.scrubit.com/index.cfm?page=faq [scrubit.com]

---

& of course

C.) Open DNS (208.67.222.222 or 208.67.220.220) -> https://store.opendns.com/get/home-free [opendns.com]

---

D.) Plus:

Comodo Secure DNS:

http://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/switch/windows_vista.html [comodo.com]

8.26.56.26
8.20.247.2

---

EACH IS FREE, & WORKS vs. threats online of MANY kinds, doubtless via a form of DNSBL they use for filtering those threats out!

(E.G.-> Phishing/Spamming, Malware hosting sites/servers, Maliciously scripted hosts-domains etc./et al & more...)

* I use ALL 3 of them (mostly as "failovers" for one another, in case my primary can't resolve a host/domain name to an IP address, & w/ Norton DNS as primary)!

(I do so, in a "layered triumvirate formation" in BOTH my IP stack DNS settings in Windows (software-side), as well as in my LinkSys/CISCO router here (hardware-side))...

... apk

How about being a parent (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407617)

Educate your kids on the "bad" parts of the internet. Most of us went on the bad parts of the internet when we were growing up. You're not going to stop them from finding it. However what you can do is be a GOOD parent and educate them. You should be educating them on sex as well, since kids these days are hitting puberty earlier and finding out from their peers early on. After working in healthcare for so long, I've learned many females around age 12 had sexual encounters for reasons of peer pressure, this is inescapable as a parent. I recommend you also talk to people at family planning which can cover sexual health and prevention.

If you're a dimwitted abstinence only, then I feel sorry for your kids.

BlueCoat K9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407625)

It's free for personal use.

Re:BlueCoat K9 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408009)

I run a community free tech-support organization and K9 is one of the worst software packages we've ever had to deal with. On a lot of hardware, it causes frequent (4x daily in some cases) BSoDs. On all computers, it slows down the entire machine. It also blocks certain cloud backup software, for no apparent reason.BlueCoat support is clueless and they've admitted that they don't really care about the many bugs in the software.

In short, if having your computer in working condition means anything to you, stay FAR AWAY from BlueCoat K9.

What (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407627)

Random Porn Ads - What kinds of sites do you visit????

On a serious note - kids wouldn't stumble on those pages - I think they would be specifically clicking on them. Set some guidelines and check the browsing history...

OpenDNS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407637)

OpenDNS has it's limitations, but overall it's really good.

OpenDNS (5, Interesting)

mcgoohan (593793) | about 2 years ago | (#40407639)

Try OpenDNS. It's got good granularity for filtering criteria and you can either filter at your router, or on a per-computer basis.

Plus, their founder has a /. UID of 17.

Re:OpenDNS (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#40407975)

Yep, I love OpenDNS for content filtering on non-PC devices where there's not really any built in facility for it.

Re:OpenDNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408019)

Yes, make sure the computer is in the open and the screen isn't occluded. Give them a list of bookmarks that are WHITELISTED in the DNS. If they try anything not on the bookmark it won't work for them.

Porn!? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40407641)

You'd better do something! If they see that, they'll turn into evil rapists!

Re:Porn!? (1, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#40407933)

I gotta admit, that's the first thing that crossed my mind. Not so much the "They'll turn into rapists!" as the automatic, "Oh, there's no way I can let my kids have access to the Internet without filtering software because they'll see goatse.cx or tubgirl and be permanently scarred for life."

You might want to consider just giving them access to the Internet and see if it becomes a problem. I mean, they're 7 and 8 year-olds. What will be their reaction if, while looking for Minecraft cheats or something, they run across a porn site? I'm guessing that they might go "Gross!" and go back to looking for Minecraft cheats. They might go "Gross!" and look at more--because there's nothing 7 or 8 year-olds like more than gross stuff. But they'll eventually get bored with it and go back to looking for whatever they were looking for. And they'll probably learn that there are some sites they don't want to visit because there's gross stuff on it.

If it becomes a problem, sit down and have a talk with your kids about why this is a problem. If they still can't get it through their tiny little minds, then consider the filtering software.

OpenDNS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407649)

Unless your kids are computer savvy (then nothing can stop them), that should block most everything that's of questionable content.

Bsecure Online (4, Interesting)

spiffydudex (1458363) | about 2 years ago | (#40407651)

My father uses this software, BSecure Whole Home Filtering. Its great, you can customize the filters to your hearts content. Plus you can cover all the computers in your network by changing DNS servers on your router.

Link: http://www.bsecure.com/ [bsecure.com]

I could bypass this crap by the time I was 9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407667)

& everyone I met that didn't figure out how to was a fucking creepy sexually-fustrated 20-year-old virgin that begs people to send them porn files. Don't be a dick, just give your kids the talk, maybe keep the computer in a public space, & warn them about 4chan. Or maybe use the threat of a keylogger running as a service.

Re:I could bypass this crap by the time I was 9 (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#40407711)

And back in the dinosaur days(read early 80s) when I grew up the kids STILL figured out how to access the stuff, and we created a secret community stash in the woods. You contributed what you could, you took when you needed. Amazing system :P(and of course by the time I was a teen I was the one that was smart enough to dial up BBSes and d/l porn from there, and distribute it to friends in exchange for floppy disks)

Re:I could bypass this crap by the time I was 9 (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 2 years ago | (#40408037)

STILL figured out how to access the stuff

What stuff? Sex with animals? Young girls selling their body?People eating feces? Orifices stretched to untold levels? Because you have all that equally accessible in the internet. The 80's magazines are mostly "adult girls with lots of hair showing their boobs", not the dick-filled asshole shaved barbies you'll find on many, many sites.

I was the one that was smart enough to dial up BBSes and d/l porn from there, and distribute it to friends in exchange for floppy disks

Most of the available d/l porn was scanned pictures from magazines, so nothing shocking there. Maybe in your time boobies were kept out of the tv, but nowadays they aren't. Go ahead, try to look for some "tasteful"/vintage porn on the internet without stumbling in incredible filth.

It is called PARENTING (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407673)

A good responsible parent would just "park" the PC or laptop in a location where he/she can watch the kid while online.

See ... how expensive is that??

Re:It is called PARENTING (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 2 years ago | (#40407779)

Do you really think a parent hovers around their kid 24/7?

No need too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407921)

... like the poster said .... by just having the computer in a location where the parent can check the kid easily is enough, along with usage control (ie: can't use it unless there is an adult in the room). They don't have to "hover around 24/7".

Lazy/irresponsible parents always think that taking care of their kids is impossible without a "nanny".

Re:It is called PARENTING (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40407955)

Do you really think a parent hovers around their kid 24/7?

Do you really think a kid should surf the net 24/7?

Re:It is called PARENTING (3)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40407963)

Helicopter parenting FTW!

Or not... i've seen kids who's parents watch carefully over their shoulders all their childhood. They don't make good adults.

Norton Family (1)

bellwould (11363) | about 2 years ago | (#40407679)

I installed Symantec Norton antivirus and use Norton Family (no extra cost). I've used it very successfully for my two daughters' computers for everything except YouTube for the past 3 years. Because I don't want to block youtube entirely, they can only watch it while being supervised. Also, their computers are in the family room, not their bedrooms. As they get older, I gradually lighten the restrictions. Many activities can be monitored when not restriced and regular reports are emailed of questionable website visits, etc.

/etc/hosts (2)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 2 years ago | (#40407683)

127.0.0.1 block.this.com (there are tons of blacklists, pick one or several and add an entry for each,... You should only need wget, sed and other basics) Puppy linux has an example, but could use a better selection of lists.

Re:/etc/hosts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407961)

What is nice about a hosts file is that it can go with just about any operating system. Windows, iOS, android, Linux. You just need to put it in the right place. Check Wikipedia for locations on various operating systems

Teaching is the only protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407699)

Sorry but software is useless at protecting children. If something slips through they need to know how to handle it. Putting them on the Internet doesn't mean letting them browse any site they like but it does mean learning to deal with popups, and advertising including the most unsavoury kinds. As with all security, obscurity is not the answer. As others have pointed out you'll need to sit there and supervise. That doesn't mean watching every click, but it does mean being in the same room and looking at the screen from time to time at the very least.

BlueCoat K9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407701)

You might consider BlueCoat K9 web filtering. Free for home users.

K9 Web Protection (4, Informative)

Slacker3000 (1267656) | about 2 years ago | (#40407727)

I've used K9 Web Protection for years. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/ [k9webprotection.com] It's free and does a pretty good job. I also setup my wireless router to use OpenDNS as an added layer of protection for any of my kids friends who may bring something over and connect to our wireless network. It's not foolproof, but you can setup a filter level and it does a decent job of stopping "accidental" clicks.

FREE (-1)

smash (1351) | about 2 years ago | (#40407735)

Use the wetware between your ears. It is called parenting - this can't be delegated to machinery.

Re:FREE (2)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about 2 years ago | (#40407831)

You know what parenting is all about? Its about getting your kids prepared for the real world, and not have it hit them like a brick at 18, or whenever you choose to let them off the leash. Its about teaching them respect. allowing them to make their own decisions, but being their to support them when (because of lack of experience), they make make the wrong ones.

If you ban them from the internet unless you're there watching their every move and making sure they're not looking at bad stuff, then they're gonna end up hating you with a passion. Using the internet in secret around their mates house, loosing any kind of respect for you.

Re:FREE (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40407969)

Good that you know this. Too bad there's an entire generation out there that's been raised by government, and are now happily bricking out at the age of 18. Enjoy!

Free (0)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#40407737)

There is free software right now, and the marvelous thing is that it's already installed on the best computer in the world.

It's called the human brain and maternal instinct.

What OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407739)

You really need to give us more details.
What OS are you using?
If you have a Mac you can use the Parental Controls tab in the System Tools to lock them down, restrict apps, restrict access to adult sites and even the time of day and length of time they can use the computer.
Works great and is included for free.

"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#40407751)

But I think you meant censor them, didn't you?.

Just because they are kids doesn't mean they aren't human, and it doesn't mean they don't have the same rights as everyone else. I never understood this censor the kids bullshit. Putting a veil on "the things that are out there" won't make them go away, and your kids will still have to deal with all of that real soon. Think hiding it from them for a few years will help them when they find "what is out there" in a dark alley? Or are you going to keep them forever in their little pink rooms?

Censoring access to information to kids is the worst kind of parenting you can do. Guide them, that's quite different. Be there for them as they discover the world, don't try to hide it from them because it won't work.

If you find them watching porn, tell them they'll have plenty of time to do that when they are older. When I was a kid the internet wasn't around yet, but that didn't prevent me from checking out the plumbing on my female cousin, and letting her explore mine. It didn't prevent me from checking out some boobs on my moms medical magazines, or from getting up in the middle of the night to watch 9 1/2 weeks. And I was barely your kids age, and I'm sure you did the same things. And that didn't screw us up, or destroyed our minds, or any other crap that the media will have you believe. Would you censor your kids access to your library? Hell no. Then why would you censor their internet access?

Sure, they might find some porn, but they'll also find wikipedia. Just be there to help them sort it out.

Re:"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (1)

Slacker3000 (1267656) | about 2 years ago | (#40407833)

You sir, are an idiot. Checking out boobs in a Good Housekeeping bra add is a bit different than stumbling upon an Anal-Fisting web site when they were trying to search for something innocent. It's not necessarily a question of them actively seeking out this type of material, but more what can be stumbled upon when searching for something completely different. Porn sites do a very good job of making sure they popup in as many places as possible. Try searching for cheat codes from some video game and see what pops up when you click along the results (something my kids do when playing games).

Re:"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40407883)

Checking out boobs in a Good Housekeeping bra add is a bit different than stumbling upon an Anal-Fisting web site when they were trying to search for something innocent.

I don't see the problem. Are they so weak that they'll be permanently scarred for life? I very highly doubt that. I think his advice that they should instead be guided is much better advice. Perhaps they won't grow up to be oversensitive and afraid, then.

Re:"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (1)

Tamran (1424955) | about 2 years ago | (#40407911)

Checking out boobs in a Good Housekeeping bra add is a bit different than stumbling upon an Anal-Fisting web site when they were trying to search for something innocent.

This sounds incredibly unlikely. Maybe not impossible, but definitely unlikely. I'd wager your chances are better at winning the lottery ... not that what you're proposing isn't almost as good.

Re:"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#40407979)

See, you are projecting. Probably you get turned on by "Anal-Fisting", but you where raised a good god fearing christian, and you know sex is a sin because jesus said so, therefore that must be terrible. of course, you have no problem with the media talking about the dead penalty. We, as a society, murdering people in revenge? Perfectly fine. People experimenting with their bodies and having fun? Terrible! Sin! Sin!.

Kids don't have those prerogatives until you get them into their heads.

Also, explain to me how you accidentally click your way into anal fisting? Is that the excuse you gave to your wife when she found you looking at videos of midget transvestites cock-fingering each other?

Re:"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407877)

i didn't spend all that money on circumcisions just to have the internet teach em about lube...

Re:"Protect" them. That's a nice word ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407897)

^^This.

23 y/o daughter. journalism major and currently editor of her college paper. good grades, works, and has her own place.

i never censored her 'net. checked the cache a time or two. eh. so what?

more importantly, when she decided it was time she came to me to help her with birth control. yup - proud (single parent) daddy.

on the other hand, you can teach your kids to bow down to fox news. fear, 24/7. censorship is the gateway to that.

K9 web protect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407755)

K9 webprotect from blue coat is free and better than the paid alternatives

If they are old enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407773)

If they are old enough that they will specifically use google to get their way around a block, maybe they will be old enough to find what they want to find.

I can say that if I was on the web at that age and I couldn't see something, I assumed I couldn't get it. If somehow I really wanted to see something and I knew it was out there, I would get it. And while I can never be sure how my life would have turned out if I wasn't able to find some of the things I did find, I don't think it hurt me much to find what I wanted to find.

Face it, you only need something to stop them from accidentally going somewhere online, not from trying to get there. If they can't see something they want to see and know exists, maybe you should talk to your children and tell them why you don't want them to do x.

2 things (absolutely FREE)... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407781)

1st - Better FILTERING DNS servers & 2nd - A program that creates a custom HOSTS file (I wrote it) that's both 32-bit &/or 64-bit for Windows:

---

Options for "DNSBL filtered 'secured'" DNS servers:

A.) Norton DNS (198.153.192.50 and 198.153.194.50/198.153.192.40 and 198.153.194.40/198.153.192.60 and 198.153.194.60) -> http://nortondns.com/ [nortondns.com] & you can even see how it updates every few minutes vs. known malicious sites-servers, here -> http://safeweb.norton.com/buzz [norton.com] as well as get a GOOD read on how/why it works, etc.- et al, here https://dns.norton.com/dnsweb/faq.do [norton.com]

It filters vs. MANY threats online & IS UP TO DATE as is possible I'd imaging (see those links, you'll understand WHY I state that). It's part of WHY I use it as my PRIMARY DNS here...

---

B.) ScrubIT DNS (67.138.54.100 and 207.225.209.66 ) -> http://www.scrubit.com/ [scrubit.com] & here is a good read on how/why it works via its FAQ's as well -> http://www.scrubit.com/index.cfm?page=faq [scrubit.com]

---

& of course

C.) Open DNS (208.67.222.222 or 208.67.220.220) -> https://store.opendns.com/get/home-free [opendns.com]

---

D.) Plus:

Comodo Secure DNS:

http://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/switch/windows_vista.html [comodo.com]

8.26.56.26
8.20.247.2

---

EACH IS FREE, & WORKS vs. threats online of MANY kinds, doubtless via a form of DNSBL they use for filtering those threats out!

(E.G.-> Phishing/Spamming, Malware hosting sites/servers, Maliciously scripted hosts-domains etc./et al & more...)

* I use ALL 3 of them (mostly as "failovers" for one another, in case my primary can't resolve a host/domain name to an IP address, & w/ Norton DNS as primary)!

(I do so, in a "layered triumvirate formation" in BOTH my IP stack DNS settings in Windows (software-side), as well as in my LinkSys/CISCO router here (hardware-side))...

APK

P.S.=> Then there is also this program I wrote that 2 makers of custom hosts file data are hosting for me (hpHosts/malwarebytes + hostsfile.org/securemecca.com):

http://securemecca.com/public/APKHostsFileInstaller/2012_06_01/APKHostsFileEngineInstaller32_64bit.exe.zip [securemecca.com]

You simply extract its files to ANY folder you like (usually one you create for it, doesn't matter where, but you MUST run it as administrator (simple & the "read me" tab shows how easy THAT is to do):

What's it do for you?

It's a custom hosts file mgt. program that does the following for end users (Calling it "APK Hosts File Engine 5.0++")

---

1.) Offers massively noticeable increased speed for websurfing via blocking adbanners

2.) Offers increased speed for users fav. sites by hardcoding them into the hosts file for faster IP address-to-host/domain name resolutions (which sites RARELY change their hosting providers, e.g.-> of 250 I do, only 6 have changed since 2006 - & when sites do because they found a less costly hosting provider? Then, they either email notify members, put up warnings on their pages, & do IP warnings & redirectors onto the former IP address range to protect vs. the unscrupulous criminal bidding on that range to buy it to steal from users of say, online banking or shopping sites).

3.) Better "Layered-Security"/"Defense-In-Depth" via blocking host-domain based attacks by KNOWN bad sites-servers that are known to do so (which IS, by far, the majority of what's used by both users (hence the existence of the faulty but for most part working DNS system), AND even by malware makers (since host-domain names are recyclable by they, & the RBN (Russian Business Network & others)) were doing it like mad with "less than scrupulous", or uncaring, hosting providers)

4.) Better 'anonymity' to an extent vs. DNS request logs (not vs. DPI ("deep packet inspection"))

5.) The ability to circumvent unjust DNSBL (DNS Block Lists) if unjust or inconveniences a user.

6.) Protection vs. online trackers

7.) Better security vs. the DNS system being "dns poisoned/redirected" (a known problem for recursive DNS servers via port 51/53 misdirection)

8.) Write protecting the hosts file every 1/2 second (supplementing UAC) - even if/when you move it from the default location via this registry entry (which if done, can function ALMOST like *NIX shadow passwords because of this program):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters

And changing the "DataBasePath" parameter there (I do this moving it to a faster media, a "true SSD" using DDR-2 RAM, in the 4gb Gigabyte IRAM I have).

9.) Automatic downloading & Alphabetic sorting of hosts files' records entries (for easier end user mgt. manually) from 15 reliable sources (of 17 I actually use).

10.) Manual editing of all files used (hosts to import list, hosts itself in its default location of %windir%\system32\drivers\etc, the hosts files to import/download & process, & favorite sites to reverse dns ping to avoid DNS (noted above why)).

11.) Removal scanners (if the users decide to remove hosts entries from imported data they can check if the site is indeed known as bad or not (sometimes 'false positives' happen, or just bad entries, or sites clean themselves up after infestation due to vulnerable coding etc./et al)).

12.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Comments (useless bulk in a hosts file that's "all business")

13.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Trailing comments after records (produces duplicates)

14.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Invalid TLD entries (program checks this in a BETTER method than the API call "PathIsURL")

15.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like Trims entries (vs. trailing blanks bloat on record entries)

16.) Removal of bloating material in many hosts files like the conversion of the larger & SLOWER 127.0.0.1 blocking "loopback adapter" address (slower due to larger size bytes wise to parse, & slower if loopback happens) to the smaller/faster to parse & load 0.0.0.0

17.) Uniformity of ALL entries in hosts (as to records inserted & format they use - reducing bloat AND repeated bloating entries).

18.) Filtration-Removal of sites that IF in a hosts file are KNOWN to cause problems on larger portals that use CDN etc.

19.) Custom hosts files protect ALL webbound programs, not just webbrowsers (like AdBlock addons, & it doesn't even block ALL adbanners by default anymore) & it does so @ a more efficient faster level (Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode) acting merely as a filter for the PnP design IP stack, vs. the slower level webbrowser programs & their addons operate in (Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode), which addons slow them even more by "layering on" parsing & processing that browser addons layer on.

20.) Custom hosts files also offer the speedup to favorite sites noted above, & even firewalls + browser addons do NOT offer that...

---

& MORE, in roughly 15 minutes runtime (on an Intel Core I7 920 Quad/4 core cpu @ 2.67ghz) & faster on faster CPU's (e.g. - Intel Core I7 3960 "extreme" 6-7 core CPUs = 7 minute runtime) & slower on slower CPU's (Intel 1.5ghz Celeron single core = 45 minutes).

* The malwarebytes/hpHosts site admin another person/site hosting it (Mr. Steven Burn, a competent coder in his own right), said it's "excellent" in fact and has seen its code too...

(Write him yourselves should anyone doubt any of this -> services@it-mate.co.uk or see his site @ http://hosts-file.net/?s=Download [hosts-file.net] ) & he's seen the majority of the sourcecode (Delphi Object Pascal 32 & 64 bit).

It will be releasing soon to sites that host 64-bit programs (even though it also has a 32-bit model, line for line the same code except for 32 in place of 64 in its help file & user interface)!

I told myself (since i built it in late 2003 in version 1.0++ & have rebuilt it 5x since in Borland Delphi 3.0/5.0/7.0 32-bit & currently into 64-bit using Delphi XE2) IF things didn't get better on the "malware front", out it would go for the general public to get the above enumerated multiple & versatile benefits custom hosts yield for end users (mainly saving them money on speed + bandwidth they pay for each month as well as added "layered-security"/"defense-in-depth" AND reliability all noted above)

... apk

DansGuardian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407811)

DansGuardian doing transparent proxying on a Linux router, combined with ClamAV and some freely available blacklists, updated via cron. We even had it setup to display random related LOLcats as a cute 'block' page to when going to a spam/malware/phish/porn site... 'censor kitty does not approve of these shananigans' and such.

Free from Blue Coat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407825)

I use the "public terminal in the living room" method of child internet control for my 9 and 13 year olds.
I do not use this, but I reviewed it and found it to be sound. Friends have used it for their problem children...or parenting skills...

http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

Blue coat is a well respected company in security.

Dan's Guardian (5, Informative)

capedgirardeau (531367) | about 2 years ago | (#40407845)

One possibility is http://dansguardian.org/ [dansguardian.org]

It is filtering based and there are community maintained blacklists and whitelists for it for different audiences.

Good luck and as much involvement as you can have in their internet use to teach sensible web use will be beneficial as well.

Re:Dan's Guardian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407957)

came for this, leaving satisfied.
have not been satisfied with a /. post in a while, this is restoring my faith.

start with the basics (2)

wickerprints (1094741) | about 2 years ago | (#40407865)

That is, do the things you would normally do to secure your own machine from malware, intrusive advertising, and vulnerabilities.

Use the hosts file to block certain domains from being accessible.
Install ad-blocking extensions for your web browser.
Install NoScript or some other JavaScript blocking extension.
Don't give the kids account administrative privileges.
If possible, run an operating system that doesn't permit them to install their own software.
Turn on whatever parental controls are available in the OS.
Keep it patched and up-to-date.

Beyond that, the question is really a matter of sitting down and having an honest discussion with your kids. You can supervise them if you want to come across as overbearing, but really, the single best thing you can do is to be someone they feel they can trust and share whatever questions they may have. The reality is that the world is full of weird and disturbing and dangerous shit. It's not possible, or even desirable, to try to protect them from being exposed to such things forever. Rather, teach them how to judge for themselves, and encourage them to come to you for advice. If you cannot build trust and respect, you have already lost. They will simply learn to hide things from you.

Finally, there's something to be said for simply not giving them unsupervised network access. When I was that age, I didn't play online video games. I didn't have the luxury of playing Minecraft or whatnot. And I was happy to have what I did. The more quality time you spend with your kids, the less they will feel a need for things like television, mobile phones, iPads, and the internet. It means bringing them up to read paper books. Going outside and getting exercise. Getting them interested in crafts or other creative pursuits that build fine motor control and dexterity. Teaching them how to use their imaginations and developing their critical thinking skills. Could you do these things with computers and modern technology? Sure. Is it easier? Not necessarily.

Untangle (1)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | about 2 years ago | (#40407903)

It's free (mostly) and it's really good. Easy to administer and they will find it very, very hard to work around.

Blocks protocols, porn, bittorrent, msn, etc and you can chose what to block by protocol, by type, filter email, view logs of what people are doing, the works.

Psiphon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407905)

So any kids that are allowed to read Slashdot, here's what you do:
1. Get all your friends around the world to install Psiphon [amazonaws.com] on Windows or Android.
2. Connect to each other as proxies
3. PROFIT!

Doesn't take that long. (1)

m0gely (1554053) | about 2 years ago | (#40407941)

A few years ago when my kids were that age, Club Penguin, Webkins, Disney Channel and just a few others were all the rage. I fail to see how it takes months to come up with a white list. Dozens if sites would take all of a few minutes to type up. I also created email addresses for them on a domain I registered for our family and whitelisted all inbound email in an "OK List" for their accounts. Any email that was sent to them who's sender wasn't in that list got a bounce that stated "I'm sorry, I don't know you yet. Tell $childs_name to give your email address to her dad so she can get your mail". Otherwise, K9 Web Protection is free and works well for the www stuff. It's at least a good starting point.

DansGuardian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407943)

When I was a working for a school I ran DansGuardian with Squid. You could look at OpenDNS also.

Yoursphere (internet-safety.yoursphere.com) (1)

intel_chris (2667729) | about 2 years ago | (#40407949)

I discuss internet safety on twitter for a living and family related internet safety because one can't help but get involved. I don't have any specific recommendation for blocking software as I don't use such myself. My child just uses the internet under our supervision and hasn't run into any porn yet. However, what I think you really want for your child is a place where they can safely go and will learn to be a responsible net citizen. For that I recommend checking out Yoursphere. It is a social site designed to be safe for childern. The link in the subject is their intro for parents. I'd also check out "ilookbothways.com" as a place to start educating yourself.

If you believe in freedom don't censor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407971)

If they are able to get online then they are old enough to explain the birds and the bees.

Do your job and stop worrying about censoring them. There is NO WAY you are going to protect them against all things you feel are dangerous or nasty. If the kids don't see it online in your home they'll see it at a friends house.

Old PC running Linux with Squid and filtering... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407991)

...price: free. You need also to tell your router/firewall not to accept http/https/ftp from other sources than the squid server.
However... you can't protect your kids from free content of the net, you don't know what they do outside your home.
They will have more use of guidance than blocking.

Windows Live Family Safety (1)

dougthug (17965) | about 2 years ago | (#40408001)

It's been mentioned before on here, but I had to chime in. Windows Live Family Safety is an exceptional product; free, and very complete. I have three kids (15, 14, and 7) and it allows me to setup each kids access individually. You are limited to Windows, but my kids are probably in a similar situation to most where they're using Windows at school already, so it wasn't a teaching experience to tell my 7-year old she has to hit Ctrl+Alt+Del before she puts in her username and password :). Good luck, and good for you trying to protect your kids. There are too many parents that are either ignorant (the literal definition, not an insult), naive (that is a small insult), or too lazy (blatant insult) to protect their kids.

hosts file (1)

ieatcookies (1490517) | about 2 years ago | (#40408005)

There is probably a decent list of domains out there that you can put in your hosts file so that lookups for these fail. I assume you're more concerned about accidental adverts and such, which is a fair concern considering how many sites have em.

Kiddix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408013)

I went through this last year when I gave my old netbook to my 6-year-old grand-niece, and settled on Kiddix http://kiddix-computing.com/ [kiddix-computing.com] , a specialised Gentoo distribution for kids. It's good, lightweight, and well-maintained. Basically plug-and-play for non-tech parents (like my niece and nephew-in-law). The grand-niece loves it, and I don't get bothered with tech questions. :)

kidzui (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408021)

kidzui. It is a browser you install for kids. They can only access approved content. You get reports and can see where they go. It has a ton of kids focused sites/videos/games just for kids.

ProCon for Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408035)

I have worked with parents who use ProCon. You can use whitelists and/or filter by keywords. Occasionally it gets a little aggressive. I remember it blocking a site due to this phrase: "Over 21 New Pokemon".

Bluecoat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408041)

Bluecoat has a free (for home use) product that uses the same filters as their enterprise products. I've installed it on my own home computers and those of friends and family. Might be what you are looking for. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/get-k9-web-protection-free

Privoxy *and* surpervision (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408067)

I highly recommend using the Privoxy content filtering proxy server. Since using it I can't recall ever "accidentally" having come across a porn site and the ad-free experience makes browsing the internet much more tolerable. You can also add your own filters based on host names, partial URIs and even funky things like image dimensions (to block out banner ads from specific providers) and it has the ability to strip GIF animations down to their first frame (no annoying blinky/flashy adverts). You can also define exceptions so that ad-supported web sites you approve of can still display their non-invasive ads and/or certain banking sites aren't fucked-up by having their Javascript blocked (why aren't they on SSL anyway?).

All of my desktop computers and mobile devices use it - it's particularly amusing to see how insistent some mobile apps are trying to get their advertising - especially Angry Birds, which tries about 8 different FQDNs and IP addresses before giving up and letting you play anyway.

Even with Privoxy, though, you cannot replace supervising your children's online time. I also recommend *not* allowing computers and connected mobile devices to wander off into bedrooms, etc. - make sure your kids are in the lounge/kitchen area where you can keep an eye on them.

Browse control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40408079)

http://www.currentware.com/browsecontrol/ It's a free trial but it is $80 for a license.
        Control Internet Access
        URL White List
        URL Black List
        Block social networking
        Restrict downloading of video and audio files
Block Chats, Games or Offensive Applications

Education / Communication (3, Insightful)

slippyblade (962288) | about 2 years ago | (#40408083)

I've two kids of my own and, amazingly enough, I was a kid once as well.

Monitoring and Filtering software is rubbish. All it does is create an artificial wall that your kids will see as a "forbidden" area. You are a /. user which means, most likely, you are a smart guy. That means your kids are probably smart too. Putting up a program like this - your kids will see a challenge and go out of their way to break/circumvent it. It's what I would have done as a kid...

Communicate with your kids. Educate them. Explain to them about the internet and life in general. There are things and places that are not good for them now and it's best if they don't go there. But do it in a way that doesn't insult their intelligence. Amazingly enough, education and communication work. Will they maybe end up with a nasty pop-up on screen? Maybe. But that might happen even with NetNanny installed.

Treat your kids like people, tell them of the dangers, explain WHY those things are dangers, and give them alternatives.

PS: No - I am not some, "Think of the children", bleeding heart freak. My kids have been spanked on occasion, they've been grounded, and done plenty wrong. They are kids. Shit happens. But by treating them like people and not pets, the shit that has happened has been minor and far less than most of my "Time-out" peers.

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