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Tip of the Day: How to disable IE in ten seconds or less

By robo_dev ·
Alternate post title: How to keep your kids from watching YouTube.

At home I have a proxy server, so all content gets screened from the kids.

BUT, the catch is that if you know how to change the proxy settings in the browser, you can bypass that.

For Firefox there's an add-in called Public-Fox. It password protects all the settings of Firefox. It really works well.

For IE, it's much more complicated.

I can apply a group policy to hide the settings menu, but this does not work on a XP-Home PC since the GP tools are not there.

I could add a registry hack, or buy a $20 program to lock down IE. Ever try to remove IE from the PC altogether?....ugh.

All too much hassle for me.

IE has password protected content filtering (Content Advisor). This feature is really, really lame, and most people never use it.

How to Disable IE in ten seconds:

1) Enable content advisor and set a password.

2) Under the list of allowed/disallowed sites make entries to disallow *.com, *.net, *.edu, *.gov, *.info, and so forth.


Practically speaking, blocking *.com puts out 95% of the cannot get to google, obviously, and the content advisor pops up over and over, giving the user the hint that they are not supposed to be doing this.

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Web filtering

by magic8ball In reply to Tip of the Day: How to di ...

At home I use a product called untangle. The basic stuff is free and for businesses there are some paid apps (like AD integration). But the freebies work well. It includes a spam, spyware, and web filter as well as a firewall.

It needs its own hardware to run but it can run nicely on a mini-itx dual core atom setup.

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I run a product called AllegroSurf

by robo_dev In reply to Web filtering

It cost me $60 for a three-user license.

I run it on an old XP box with two network interfaces.

My LAN is split into a kids network and a grown-up network. There are two wireless APs, one for each network. There is also a separate router/firewall between the two networks to allow some devices (e.g. Nintendo DS, Wii) to be on the kids network, but not go through the proxy for certain sites.

I tried setting up Squid with DansGuardian as well as SafeSquid, and also tested WinProxy and several others before settling on AllegroSurf.

I've been using it for around three years.

It can be configured to do either whitelist or blacklist, it does very good caching, and is very configurable for the expert, yet simple enough for a non-expert to manage.

I will look at untangle, since other parents have the same issue and I am always providing them with advice on child safety.

I have not used it, but BlueCoat K9 is the best 'local PC' solution I've seen so far.

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Software based

by magic8ball In reply to I run a product called Al ...

I have never been a fan of software based controls like the BlueCoat, with the exception of deep freeze. But that's really a different solution for a different set of problems. I prefer a hardware box in between the router and the network. Less possibility of tampering or disabling there.

I setup the untangle box before I gave my kids internet access to their pc. I also gave and continually give them instructions on safety, etc...when on the net.

I will have to give AllegroSurf a look too.

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by Tink! In reply to Tip of the Day: How to di ...

I've yet to have a problem with bad content on my kids computers (knock on wood) so far. I know they watch YouTube because they like to watch Manga and anime shows. They know their boundaries and keep their computer privilges as long as they abide by our rules - which is we have access to their computers, emails, accounts at all times and anytime.

(I've actually had more problems with my husband's computer...hmmm)

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Trust yet verify

by robo_dev In reply to Interesting

Seriously, if you don't monitor them, they will get away with murder.

The issue I've seen is that even kids who follow the rules are accidentally exposed to bad stuff, AND they fall prey to various scams too easily.

For example, when surfing (without permission) on an unrestricted PC (Mom's), one of my young-uns saw the pop-up fake anti-virus warning page, and clicked on it, infecting the computer with a very nasty virus that simply laughed at my Anti-Virus application. Had to rebuild the PC to fix it.

I recommend the BlueCoat K9 application on the local PC, at the very least.

I've heard horror stories from mothers whose teenage daughters were lying about their age and posting everything but their blood type on their Xanga or Facebook page.

Another virus infection happened after one of my kid's friends downloaded and installed the the 'Wii points generator' from a link on YouTube. This installed a very interesting trojan virus that also was not caught immediately by anti-virus software.

Trust yet verify. Give them an inch, and next thing you know they're skipping school and driving your vintage Ferrari through the streets of Chicago.

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I agree

by magic8ball In reply to Trust yet verify

Trust and verify and teach. My kids are old enough now to know not to click on popups or give out any information without checking with me or their mother first. Their access to facebook and myspace etc... is already blocked so I dont have to worry about access from my network at least. They also know what a waste of time sites like that really are.

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Sure I trust my kids

by robo_dev In reply to I agree

My nine-camera video surveillance system, including the camera that watches my locked server rack in a locked room in the basement are there just for fun :)

In fact I'm connected via VPN right now to my house and am looking at what the dog is up to.

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trust them

by Jaqui In reply to Sure I trust my kids

to screw up somehow, somewhere, sometime.
then you will never be disappointed.

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I'm with you Tink...

by dawgit In reply to Interesting

-or- at least I was, they're all growed up now. :_|
Treat you children with respect, and you'll get respect back in return.
Treat them as people who still need to learn the things of this Universe, and you'll have adults who that thrive on, and strive for knowledge. Life long.

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by Jaqui In reply to Tip of the Day: How to di ...

insert dban boot cd into optical drive.
boot system and accept the prompts.
oops, 10s and nothing available on the hard drive, you have to wait for dban to finish to have a usable drive now.

disabled all malicious software vectors in one go.

though I just use a livecd and run cfdisk, delete the partitions and create new ones for the installing of GNU/Linux. no IE there to enable exploits.

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