Net Nanny or other website-blocking software? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 04-12-2011, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone here have something like this? 

 

This morning, I found that ds (age 12) had ben looking at some images we'd rather he not look at, given his age.  Google images of naked women, nothing terrible, but still!!  I understand his curiousity, it is natural to want to see what things are out there.

 

He was very good and admitted he had done this (I asked him if he'd been looking at the sites or had they appeared on our computer from another website pop-up (or, whatever, since I am not very tech-saavy!).  I explained I wasn't angry (I wasn't), I just wanted to know how these websites came to be in our computer's "History".  He said he'd looked at them because he was curious, as simple as that.  He was honest about all of it, not trying to deny it or act as if he had no knowledge of it. 

 

He is extremely embarrassed about this and promised never to do it again.  I believe him.  I also asked that he not delete the browsing history anymore and he agreed.

 

We have not been big on censoring his internet use, but maybe we need to begin.  Though, I really don't think he'll do this again (especially with the browsing history being left "on").

 

But, to keep things easier for him until he is older, I think that maybe it would be better to "help" filter things that we would prefer he didn't see.

 

Any suggestions as to software or other computer tech things we could do?

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#2 of 22 Old 04-12-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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We don't have any software blockers but we do keep our computer/laptop in the family room. I am sure if my son was interested in searching for something "inappropriate" he still could but if I saw him suddenly shut down, close the laptop, etc when I walked into the room that would be sign that we need to start talking more.

 

Sounds like you and your son have a great relationship.  I wouldn't worry about blockers as long as you guys keep talking. Maybe you could find some good medical sites for him explore if he is curious about the female body, or maybe some classical art books? 

 

 


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#3 of 22 Old 04-12-2011, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like you and your son have a great relationship.  I wouldn't worry about blockers as long as you guys keep talking. Maybe you could find some good medical sites for him explore if he is curious about the female body, or maybe some classical art books? 

 

We DO have a great relationship!!  The only reason I was thinking about a blocker is because our computer is up in our loft and we have never been the types to hover nearby to make sure any trust is not misplaced!  Like I said, I'm not angry (and his embarrassment is honest) .

 

As far as looking at medical sites, well, they're not the most attractive images of any body!!  And, I was an art history major, so we have loads of art books in the house, as well as beautiful nude prints by Steve Hanks in our bedroom and dh's bathroom.  It's not like he hasn't seen any naked women images!!  I think it is just idle curiousity in a new locale.

 

I will talk to dh about this tonight and see what he says. 

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#4 of 22 Old 04-12-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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I hope you didn't take offense at what I said! redface.gif I meant it when I said  you had a great relationship. Some many parents freak out and that sends the kid into hiding! The fact that you guys could talk about it is awesome!

 

I was thinking more about showing him that you take his curiosity seriously by searching together for some acceptable sites for him to explore or giving him books to read/view.  Yeah, the medical sites are not so "attractive", LOL, but they can be pretty cool from a science aspect.  My 9 year old loves them.

 

What kind of computer do you have? My really old PC didn't have this feature but my new Mac does.  It allows each person in the home to have their own logon. Each logon can be customized by the "administrator" (you or your husband).  You can customize your son's access to the web as well as the content, what can be downloaded, etc. Also each logon has its own browsing history, etc so its easy to monitor.  You can also set time limits so that the computer shuts down after an hour, two, three, etc.  You can give a logon a "curfew" so that they can't access the computer from say 9:00 pm to 9:00 am.

 

We each have our own logon but I don't use any of these features for my son right now except for the timer aspect.  We do limit screen time so he can't spend more than an hour a day on the computer.  Saves SO many arguments.  Once the hour is up the computer shuts down. 


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#5 of 22 Old 04-12-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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We have K9 Web Protection on the computer my sons use. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/


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#6 of 22 Old 04-13-2011, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope you didn't take offense at what I said! redface.gif I meant it when I said  you had a great relationship. Some many parents freak out and that sends the kid into hiding! The fact that you guys could talk about it is awesome!

 

Oh, no offense was taken!  I was just agreeing with you in saying that we do have a wonderful relationship. joy.gif  He is a terrific boy and he knows I wasn't angry or upset about this.  He told me this was not as the result from some pop-up on one of his Transformers websites or anything.  He just did it. 

 

We are a very open-minded family and regard curiousity as completely natural.  He's never shown any reluctance in discussing anything with us.  But, 12 is about the right age for wanting to learn about more private things, which we understand.  This is not the type of thing to make into a big deal, because it isn't a big deal.

 

I told ds to leave the "Browsing History" alone and that dh and I would clear it from now on.  I feel this will take care of things (maybe I overreacted, privately, just a little bit, which is why I posted my question!). 

 

He's a great boy and I know he was embarrassed more about being caught hiding something from us (that he thought would make us upset), then about the subject matter (beautiful photos of beautiful women).  There are certainly things out on the internet that would be truly worrisome for him to be looking at or interested in and real reasons for real concerns.    

 

Thanks for your responses.   

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#7 of 22 Old 04-13-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Mko View Post

We have K9 Web Protection on the computer my sons use. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/


 

We use K9, too. 


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#8 of 22 Old 04-13-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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I have told my son that the day he looks at porn on our internet connection is the last day he uses the internet.  we're lucky in that he has absolutely no interest. 

 

Only my oldest (14) is even allowed to use google, and we keep the strict filtering on (it is under preferences).  The others are not allowed unsupervised access and are only allowed a handful of websites that we pre-approve.  Even with filtering programs in place there is just too much inappropriate material out there for a young child.  So you might want to reconsider his internet access in general-- we pretty much do not allow it.

 

They do use WoW but we turn off all chat channels so no one can communicate with them.

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#9 of 22 Old 04-13-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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I think the OP handled what is a normal curiosity well. Our almost 13 year old dd uses her laptop without all the filtering software. WoW, I did restrict some but she doesn't play it that often.  I think however that one of the PPs posts is way overreacting to a very normal curiosity unless you have a very clear definition of what "Internet porn" is exactly. Looking at picts of nude women is NOT necessarily porn.  Im sure most of the men out there were looking at naughty mags at 12 or 13 as well. Perfectly normal and is not "dirty" unless you make it that way. I think that there should be boundaries sure...but "nudy picts" ...I would rather they explore at home and be able to talk about it then to hide it and get into trouble. I think threatening to turn off the internet if they do it is just telling the kid to hide it.

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#10 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What is WoW???

 

To the pp that suggested we re-think the internet usage.  I agree, to a point.  But, our relationship with our son is about trusting him to keep within boundries.  She states that son has "absolutely no interest" in the subject (whatever her definition of "porn" is).  How does she know?  (not being snarky, just wondering out loud)  I didn't think ds had interest in looking at what he was looking at either!!  It shows, you don't really know!

 

To be honest, we'd never told him not to look at pictures of naked women.  I mean, we have artwork depicting nude women in our home.  He's seen nudity in books and we are pretty relaxed about being unclothed in our house (getting dressed or in the bath/shower).  He's seen movies that depict nudity ("Calender Girls" is a family favorite!).  We've told him that if he feels uncomfortable about seeing either dh or I unclothed, or he doesn't want us to see him without clothing, he just needs to speak up and we'll modify whatever needs changing.

 

So, I guess it turned out not to be that big a deal.  We are skipping any software or other blocking technology and relying on trust instead.  He was honest about this with us and we are going to respect his promise to keep to books and art instead, for the time being.  I told him, when he is older, he is welcome to look at such things.  If he wants to read Playboy, it is his choice to do so, but after he is 18. 

 

Thanks for your replies and advice!!

 

 

 

 

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#11 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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WoW = World of Warcraft. A very popular fantasy-based massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG).

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#12 of 22 Old 04-14-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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i think just knowing that you will look at the browser history and you have specifically asked that he not delete it should be deterrent enough. i certainly would avoid going to certain websites if i thought my mom or dad were going to be looking at the history occasionally to check up on my browsing. however, i think it would be prudent to have a clear course of action set for if he does decide to search for porn again. if i know anything about pubescent kids, it's that their hormones are fully capable of overtaking their brains. so he may decide to search for porn again. what will you do in that case? it might be a good idea to discuss it with your husband now, so if the case does occur, you know what your next step is.
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#13 of 22 Old 04-15-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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But you all do know that you can delete individual website visits from the history and not the whole thing, right? 

 

I don't know what the answer is.  There is a lot of temptation that is really really easily accessible, and I am not sure how it should be handled.

 

Tjej

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#14 of 22 Old 04-15-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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But you all do know that you can delete individual website visits from the history and not the whole thing, right? 

 

I don't know what the answer is.  There is a lot of temptation that is really really easily accessible, and I am not sure how it should be handled.

 

Tjej


Also, both firefox an IE have "private browsing" functions that don't record anything in the history for that particular session.
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#15 of 22 Old 04-17-2011, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But you all do know that you can delete individual website visits from the history and not the whole thing, right?

 

 

I didn't know this! So, how does one go about doing this??? We have IE.

 

Also, what is private "browsing"?

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#16 of 22 Old 04-17-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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I can't remember how to do it in IE, but in Firefox (and they're usually very similar), you click on History from the menu at the top, choose "show all history" from the drop down menu. Then you just right click on the page you want to delete and delete it.

Private browsing was pretty much invented for people who want to look at things like porn and not have anyone casually checking the history to be able to figure it out (I'd imagine there's still a way to get the information, but I don't know how). In Firefox, from the "Tools" menu, you just choose "Start Private Browsing." It opens a new window and nothing you navigate to from that window during that session will be recorded in the history or store any cookies on your computer.

Anyhow, I thought I'd added to my post above, but I don't see it. I wanted to say that I think you handled it very well and good for you for not freaking out about it. It showed him you guys can talk about these sorts of things and really keep communicating about it. I do thing that if your goal is to keep him from looking at internet porn, just telling him not to do it might not suffice. I would imagine he might not have a clear understanding of why it might be okay for him to look at art books, etc, but not whatever he digs up on the net. *I* understand what the difference is and why you might be okay with one and not the other, btu I'm not sure the differences would be so clear to a 12 year old without you really spelling it out for him. I'm not sure if you had an in depth conversation about why you don't think it's appropriate for a 12 year old, but it could be a good spring board for conversations about things like body image, realistic expectations of women and sex, etc.

Again, if the goal is to prevent hi from accessing porn, some sort of net nanny software might be a better idea than just asking him to not clear the history. Any minimally tech savvy kid could figure out how to circumvent that (I asked my 10 year old if he knew how to clear individual websites from the history and he said "of course, it's easy"). My kid is very, very tech savvy (he's doing some programming already) and I'm not confident that net nanny software would even do much good for him if he was determined to get around it.
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#17 of 22 Old 04-17-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Yeah, you just look at the history, click on the one you don't want and delete it.  Very simple.

 

Tjej

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#18 of 22 Old 04-17-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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My kid is very, very tech savvy (he's doing some programming already) and I'm not confident that net nanny software would even do much good for him if he was determined to get around it.


I'm not convinced that net nanny would do much good for any 12 year old who wanted to get around it.  Personal anecdote time: my mother never put any net nanny type programs on our computer.  Despite this, my little sister knew how to get around basically every kind of net nanny software there was when she was in junior high and high school.  She wasn't particularly computer savvy, and honestly, she didn't even really care, since there wasn't anything on our computer.  But enough people at her school cared and figured it out that it was just common knowledge.

 

Maybe the technology has gotten way better in the last decade.  But honestly - I'm pretty sure that whatever program you pick will be the exact same program chosen by the parents of some computer-savvy, porn-seeking 14-year-old halfway across the planet.  And he'll have figured it out, and posted the instructions online.  Net nanny software can keep out the dabblers, but a determined kid who cares enough?  No way is it going to work.

 

That's why my vote always goes to putting the computer in a public area.


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#19 of 22 Old 04-18-2011, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I figured out how to disbale InPrivate Browsing and did so.  Ds isn't very tech saavy on the computer either.   

 

The images weren't what we would consider "porn".  Just naked women (beauties, at that).  They were just regular shots, like in Playboy.  No sexual content, no couples (or, more), nothing gross. 

 

I told dh and he agreed with me that this wasn't a big deal.  We have an excellent relationship with ds and trust is important to all of us.  So, we'll see what happen.

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#20 of 22 Old 04-19-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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Don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but I learned recently while researching internet blockers that pretty much none of them support Google Chrome. So if your DS is 12, he can probably figure out that all he has to do to get around the program is to download Chrome.

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#21 of 22 Old 04-19-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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How did you disable the inprivate browsing and what browser do you use?

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Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post

Well, I figured out how to disbale InPrivate Browsing and did so.  Ds isn't very tech saavy on the computer either.   

 

The images weren't what we would consider "porn".  Just naked women (beauties, at that).  They were just regular shots, like in Playboy.  No sexual content, no couples (or, more), nothing gross. 

 

I told dh and he agreed with me that this wasn't a big deal.  We have an excellent relationship with ds and trust is important to all of us.  So, we'll see what happen.



 

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#22 of 22 Old 04-25-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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IF you are interested in limiting access to websites I would recommend something like OpenDNS.  They have a free version but we use the paid at work (I'm in IT).  You could block browsing to categories like porn but not to things like nudity or bathing suits.

 

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