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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #1
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Limiting internet access/ computer access.

A coworker of mine caught his daughter surfing the web at 2AM on a school night...and on the phone to a friend. Needless to say, he's not happy about it.

He's asking for ways and ideas to prevent such occurences from repeating themselves.

He had the machine set up so HE would have to log his daughter into the system (MS XP), but he gave her her own login to give her some responsibility and freedom, but it's obvious she's abusing the privilege.

Today he asked me if I have any ideas how he could control access to his daughter's computer. They're on a PC and I have no idea what parental control software is available.

He's looking for something that would allow his daughter to use the computer, but only during certain times. For example, is there something that would either log her out at a certain time or prevent the machine from booting after a certain time...or accessing the Internet after a certain time?

Could a router be used for this? Allow web services only during a certain time? I see some timed options on my D-Link for "virtual servers", but I think that's only for "inbound" traffic.

Any ideas, pointers, greatly appreciated.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 08:58 PM   #2
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #3
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Your imput is appreciated, but my co-worker asked me for technical advice and not parenting advice.

Anyone else?
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #4
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XP Pro/2000 with a Domain Controller can control login days and hours. I thought I saw something similar out of the box with OSX, but maybe I was mistaken. There are lots of software packages out there to control that stuff though. I'd suggest he do a search on www.tucows.com.

The Linksys WRT54G router determines what hours and days certain services are available. This could be another option.

I don't know if there is a parenting issue here or not. I'm not a parent though.

I'd be just as inclined if after another incident to let her know that for the next while, we would have something none-pervasive set up to make sure she stays off the computer when she should be sleeping for a full day of school the next day. I think in any other circumstance, with locking accounts, or unplugging the modem, I'd forget to reset something in the morning.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #5
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Thanks jicon, that's more of what I'm looking for.

I don't think he's too tech savvy and furthermore they're not "european" or of a "western" culture, english is not his first language...so I'm not going to question his parenting skills or pry into his family issues...especially when it involves individuals of another culture.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #6
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 10:38 PM   #7
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My NetGear Router can limit services including web access according to a schedule. So, for example you can set access to port 80 (web) 25 (email) or all ports to a range of IP's in the house or just one or two computers. I myself use this router to limit access to certain keywords (I have two teenage boys in the house). The limits are easy to set up and maintain for even n00bs like me.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 11:17 PM   #8
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I think your friend is overreacting, but that's just me, I'm sure I'll become restrictively overprotective when I myself become a father.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #9
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To add, perhaps it's just a one time thing, you can't blame a kid for doing it once or assume that it's a regular occurance. Things happen, teens have a lot of things in their mind at night and can't sleep, they need a way to let it all out, either talk to their friend or research some stuff up on the internet. If it was a regular occurance then I'd be concerned but otherwise why punish her for the first time I mean if she's in high school she'll have reasonable judgement on the fact that she needs to sleep or something. It's better than her walking out in the middle of the night to her friend's house just to talk when she has the resources available at home to talk to her friend, internet, phone. Refusing a teenager a right to have someone to talk to in a time of need can be extremely torturous, and these may be things she can't talk to her parents about, obviously if they can't understand why she might stay up extremely once in a rare while then she won't feel comfortable going to them in the first place for any other problems she might be having. And obviously your friend is doing the same thing by going to someone other than his wife or close family to gain advice, so just tell him to chill for now, his daughter still has a lot of growing up to do.
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 11:50 PM   #10
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Personally, I think the child being on the phone or on the internet is no big deal - that's hard to prevent. What's more of a concern is what they're looking at. I think that when there are children in a house, say under 15, there should be parental controls on computers to restrict content - there is a lot of really nasty stuff on the internet [as we all know]. For PCs there are tons of programs that do this ... a little research will turn up lots of hits. It's kinda like when you're younger and a friend of a friend's dad had a bunch of "skin" mags ... children will definitely see undesirable content on the internet, but the least you can do is prevent them from seeing it at home. SO, I'd suggest that he control content NOT access ... see what he thinks of that. The child may just think it's a computer glitch and not a controlling dad. That's my 2 cents.
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