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#1 of 12 Old 06-25-2010, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another thread got me wondering about whether you guys use parental controls on your computer, and if so which programs you use and how effective you think they are.

My DS is 5.5 and it really hadn't even crossed my mind yet to think about installing some sort of software for this (maybe that's naive of me?). Our computer is in the main family area of the house with a huge screen facing the middle of the room, so I can plainly see it no matter where I am, and it's always been on Nick Jr. or PBS Kids games when DS is on the computer. And he only gets 30 minutes a day of computer time, and DH or I are always in the room when he's using it.

So how much computer time do your kids spend, and where is the computer they use located, and how heavily is their computer time supervised (in person) and/or monitored (via parental controls)?

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#2 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I'd like to know also. My son is 6 and i have been thinking about putting controls on his screen name. The computer is in the loft and i can see or hear what he is doing, but i worry about him accidentally clicking something at this point.
He spends about 30 minutes-1 hr a day, but some days he won't get on it at all.

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#3 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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My computer came with parental control options (Windows 7) although I am pretty sure they are not very fine-tunable.

We mostly use it for late night time limit for my oldest, because she wouldn't get off when we were going to bed even when we asked her she would just say "in a minute" for extended periods and we were needing to sleep so it was funky. This was after many hours and around the time we were asking her to help make or propose a plan that would help her get up earlier in the mornings because she was not making time for agreed-upon responsibilities. She is happier now knowing it's just gonna automatically shut her down at a certain time. In fact believe it or not I'd told her I would set it up and she had to pester me because I kept putting it off. We had some boundary issues with homeschool schoolwork she was committed to doing but then she would get on the computer when I wasn't there. So we worked out solutions together because she preferred to be at home alone when I was at our business or took ds to homeschool co-op. So we agreed on that pretty much together and it reduced our frustration dramatically and keeps me out of it.

Our younger one have internet blocked. I consider this a safety issue. We have games we own that they can play. Sometimes we have a couple kids at home w/o an adult. We feel that internet has enough hazards to require supervision but instead of watching and asking all the time they can just use that user account whenever with their own password. So the controls again gave us and our kids more freedom instead of less.

I think when littler kids have their own user account it can also be simpler. We can just set up a completely different desktop with only the games they use and none of our general files. Part of our parental controls is deciding whic programs an account can access. We just left some things off for simplicity/customization sake but it also means we won't have accidents with important stuff. And 15yo loves having her own desktop with all her personal picture files etc.

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#4 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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My son is a little older- he just turned 15. He's been online and using his own account since he was about 10. There are certain websites he can't access, plus, it notifies me when/if he tries to look up a website he shouldn't be looking up. This worked wonderfully, until about three months ago, when my very computer gifted son figured out how to beat the system, so to speak. I say very computer gifted, because I don't think this problem would be with most children, and my soon-to-be ExHusband is also very computer skilled, works with computers on a daily basis, and my son is now running circles around him, when it comes to computers. Try Windows Live Family Safety. It's almost foolproof. :-)

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#5 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Our Mac allows us to set up separate accounts. I have the master account and the kids have their own highly selective & supervised account. I can control what websites are blocked and anything that the Mac deems unsafe is automatically not allowed. It's pretty awesome!

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#6 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I have k9webprotection installed on the PC the kids use and it makes me feel better about not always being right there behind them. It's free and easy to customize. The computer is in an open, central location (formal living room), so there are no doors or ways to really be private. My kids are 9, 7, 5, and 3. They do kid friendly sites, with occasional use of youtube to look up walkthrough's of video games. My DD knows not to do chat/message boards and what info is okay or not to give out. For example, she'd never sign up or register for anything even if they only ask for an email address without my permission.

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#7 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post
Our Mac allows us to set up separate accounts. I have the master account and the kids have their own highly selective & supervised account. I can control what websites are blocked and anything that the Mac deems unsafe is automatically not allowed. It's pretty awesome!
Ours is a Mac too -- I probably should have mentioned that in the OP! I'll browse around for the settings. I really don't think it's an issue yet, but I guess it'd be good to know for the future.

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#8 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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We use K9webprotection too. It is awesome. And free.

Also, I suggest installing it asap. It's so easy for a kid to accidentally pull up something risque.

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#9 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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Yes, my son accidentally pulled up something sexual when browsing for Super Mario Brothers.

I have Net Nanny but it was not free.

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#10 of 12 Old 06-27-2010, 06:18 AM
 
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Yep, I have the parental controls turned on on each computer we have.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#11 of 12 Old 06-27-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenifer76 View Post
Yes, my son accidentally pulled up something sexual when browsing for Super Mario Brothers.

I have Net Nanny but it was not free.
Thats scary, my dd was looking it up the other day when I made her her own profile on the computer and she lost her bookmarks.

I'm still having issues with her trying to download and install software so I will be removing Firefox and forcing her to use IE and turning on the content adviser so she's only allowed to visit preapproved sites (plus she just learned how to use google which is scary). I also need to lock down the machine more so she can't modify the system at all like installing virus ridden games and tool bars.

Seriously?
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#12 of 12 Old 06-27-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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We have a few basic controls setup under DD's name, but mostly we just have the computer stuffed into a corner of the living room with a rule that she can't use the 'net without one of us in the house.

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