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Old 08-28-10, 06:06 PM   #1
Lazaredz
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Default Child proofing a laptop

So I'm about to give my 11 year old stepson his fist computer. Its my wife's old HP laptop. I've reinstalled XP and got it up to date with SP3 and other updates. The hardware is:

Athlon Turion 64 X2 800MHz
1GB RAM
GeForce 6150 Go
Fujitsu MHV 2120BP PL 111GB

Anyway, its on the wireless network at home, shouldn't be actually going anywhere (battery is pretty much dead).

I got Microsoft Security Essentials setup so I think I am good on AVS (tell me if I am not). I also plan to have Search and Destroy installed and ready for backup.

I could use some input on how to streamline XP again, cutting out non essential services and basicly maximizing what little hardware I have.

I also need suggestions on some online monitoring. Stuff like Net Nanny or whatever.

Anything you all can suggest to try and keep the machine and him safe would be most welcome

Thx guys
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Old 08-29-10, 06:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

I've used K9 before. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

It's light, free and pretty tricky to get past. Has caught everything I could test it with. Will even block IM and Facebook/Myspace if you want.
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Old 08-29-10, 01:11 PM   #3
TheTaz
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

I tend to stay away from solutions that are installed on the device itself. Usually they bog the machine down or there are some instructions on the Internet on how to bypass the software.

I suggest OpenDNS. (Configured on your home router... NOT the machines)

https://www.opendns.com/start/

You can sign up for free, run an agent on one of you machines that is on most of the time (to identify your network to OpenDNS), filter out adult sites etc. via categories... and up to 25 specifc domains (I block known malware redirected sites in foreign countries liked .ru, .cn. etc. no need for me to go to those sites when I can't speak Russian or Chinese except in OpenDNS you leave the "." off for a top level domain (ru cn etc.)

If there are sites you want to get to that you don't want your child to get to... then it might be worth waiting for the "Bypass" that will come with the "Deluxe" $10 a year version.

The point to this is... your kid hopefully can't hack your router... you provide protection to all of your home machines, and you aren't bogginh down your machines with garbage-ware.

Of course this solution won't cover your child taking the laptop to another network.... but you could also put the agent on the laptop and force OpenDNS in the Network settings of the Laptop. Just make sure he doesn't have admin rights to the laptop.

Or, if you ONLYwant to block things for him... only configure it on his laptop and forget the router. The you could stay with the free version.

Oh... and you can turn on logging, which he can't alter since it's hosted at OpenDNS. So you know where he's been.

-Taz
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Old 08-30-10, 07:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

I like crainger's idea. The K9 software is so EASY to setup and does not bog down your PC. I know, have it on my Gaming PC where latency and speed is a big deal and that was a huge concern. It is Free and the company seems to make their money creating a hardware solution for businesses, so it is sponsored and updated regularly on their end. You have to do it on a per PC bases and must request a registration for each PC which they will send you quickly via email. If you have a VM or re-image a PC, then you will need a new code. I have requested several codes to the same email. No big deal.

If you need to white list a site, put in the password and you can have access to it for a few minutes or permanently. There is a password protected log that tracks everything. It can be clear up to a point, but without uninstalling it, the important entries are kept. Unlike SafeEyes (also a good product, $30 -$50 a year), you can not administer it from a distance, but your son's laptop is easily accessible to you, so that is no big deal.

I admit I have not tried OpenDNS (also free), but I do plan on looking at it to give my house a one stop solution. I have heard there is a way around the DNS route unless you dedicate a PC for the job, or have a commercial router, but I could be wrong. I do need to do more research on it.
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Old 08-30-10, 07:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by crainger View Post
I've used K9 before. http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

It's light, free and pretty tricky to get past. Has caught everything I could test it with. Will even block IM and Facebook/Myspace if you want.
yeah, great software, i installed that thing on so many machines, so many dissapointed kids, haha.

Its password protected, if you make a strong password you can't uninstall it, and if you mess around with registry and try to kill it manually the internet connection gets totally cut off.

Quote:
The point to this is... your kid hopefully can't hack your router... you provide protection to all of your home machines, and you aren't bogginh down your machines with garbage-ware.

Of course this solution won't cover your child taking the laptop to another network.... but you could also put the agent on the laptop and force OpenDNS in the Network settings of the Laptop. Just make sure he doesn't have admin rights to the laptop.
k9 does not bog down anything, and the router ideal while it will work in the house, it will not protect on outside network. and router can be reset with one little press of the reset button on the back.

k9 can send you daily or weekly reports what the kid is trying to access.
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Old 08-30-10, 03:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Yeah, openDNS is only ok for desktop. For a laptop that can join other networks at say a friends, not so good. K9 would be the best for in this situation.
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Old 08-30-10, 05:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Yea I really liked K9 when I put it on someone's pc before. It's very easy to configure and you just need to select which groups of websites you want to allow.

Opendns would be good for trying to just block large ranges, but I bet you could still find proxies to get by using a method like that. If you know the IP address of a proxy server all you would have to do is type it in and you'd be thwarted.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:05 AM   #8
TheTaz
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by nekrosoft13 View Post
and router can be reset with one little press of the reset button on the back.
Uhm, if you mean reset to factory defaults... then the Internet connection is disabled until you re-configure the router with your credentials for the ISP. I highly doubt parents are going to give their kids the username and password for their ISP account.

Then again... there are some setups out there that don't require credentials from the router and go off the mac address of the modem. So, I guess under those circumstances, there would be an issue, if the kid is smart enough to figure out to FACTORY reset the router... otherwise a regular reset just reboots the thing.

As for K9, I've never tried it. I just have had bad experiences untangling people's machines that setup Microsoft's Parental Controls.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:09 AM   #9
nekrosoft13
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTaz View Post
Uhm, if you mean reset to factory defaults... then the Internet connection is disabled until you re-configure the router with your credentials for the ISP. I highly doubt parents are going to give their kids the username and password for their ISP account.

Then again... there are some setups out there that don't require credentials and go off the mac address of the modem. So, I guess under those circumstances, there would be an issue, if the kid is smart enough to figure out to FACTORY reset the router... otherwise a regular reset just reboots the thing.

As for K9, I've never tried it. I just have had bad experiences untangling people's machines that setup Microsoft's Parental Controls.
cable providers for example comcast don't need username and password, just set it to "Obtain an IP Address Automatically" and thats all
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Old 08-31-10, 09:56 AM   #10
Lazaredz
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Thanks guys. Will give K9 a shot.

I'm not so much wanting to track his surfing vs keeping him safe/away from those site.

Example, the other day he was trying to go to hasbro.com, well he misspelled it and ended up at some redirecting/porn site that kept putting XXX shortcuts on the desktop and spamming a "Your PC is at risk" crap. Fortunately it was easily removed and fixed but accidental stuff like that is my concern.

Anywho, besides K9 are there any XP settings I should look at?

Thx again
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Old 08-31-10, 03:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Child proofing a laptop

Perhaps a decent anti spyware app. Malwarebytes is a good one. So is Super Anti Spyware.
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