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NBR: kiddo is hacking into parental controls
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Stormswift
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: NBR: kiddo is hacking into parental controls Reply with quote

Short of taking desktop out of my 11 year old's room, any suggestions? He used F11 (system Restore) during Boot last evening to resurrect his deleted (by moi) User account. A very elegant and simple solution on his part. It leaves me in a quandary, however. We have Vista on that desktop, Military school is out of the question financially Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gak. My son is only 1 year younger and pretty tech savvy as well, so I can see this happening to us. Your next defense would be to put on a BIOS level boot password so he can't even get to the Windows boot up without someone putting in that password. You should be able to get into BIOS by hitting F2 early in the boot process. Just sit there tapping on F2 until you see a message on the screen that says you're entering setup. Once you're in there, you should be able to find a security section where you can set up a password. Oh, and given that behavior, personally, I'd take the computer out of his room as well and make him work in a public part of the house.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: NBR: kiddo is hacking into parental controls Reply with quote

Stormswift wrote:
Short of taking desktop out of my 11 year old's room, any suggestions? He used F11 (system Restore) during Boot last evening to resurrect his deleted (by moi) User account. A very elegant and simple solution on his part. It leaves me in a quandary, however. We have Vista on that desktop, Military school is out of the question financially Crying or Very sad


Remove his account. Create a new restore point. If the machine is running OK, delete older restore points. I'd have to eyeball my old Vista machine to be more specific.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy,call the FBI & Homeland Security.Tell them you think your child maybe part of a terrorist group,{recruited}that will get him watched 24/7!

Hey it's free babysitting! Very Happy

Ok that maybe a bit overboard.Follow others instructions.

Good luck.

Tim.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: NBR: kiddo is hacking into parental controls Reply with quote

Stormswift wrote:
Short of taking desktop out of my 11 year old's room, any suggestions? He used F11 (system Restore) during Boot last evening to resurrect his deleted (by moi) User account.

Shocked That's pretty clever, you have to admit. A kid that smart needs creative outlets for all that energy. You know what I mean? Think of this situation as an opportunity to channel energy instead of trying to squelch it. My kid (finally, when he got to high school) discovered volleyball to focus his energies. It absolutely positively did not turn him into a saint, but I think it kept him from military school or worse.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with jrsjr on this. That's awesome. I'd be proud of the kid's ingenuity, and try to focus his skill towards more, um, acceptable activities.

I used to work with a guy who's preteen son was had some questionable browsing habits, but them my friend introduced his son to Windows shell scripting (batch files). a couple years later, the kid's completely hooked, to the point that he got himself a part time job after a summer internship; writing php!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't follow the rules? Pull the plug!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On some routers you can limit web sites/types down to the mac address for the machine. That may be an option, I like the restore point options.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a bit of a chuckle at this thread, but I don't want to say anything without knowing a little bit more background from your end.

Are you restricting access because...

.....he's generally misbehaving and is being punished?
.....he's going to ......inappropriate places on the net...
.....he's spending too much time on the internet/playing games,etc?
.....or he can't use it without supervision at the same time?


Any advice or ideas I have are weighted against what you're trying to achieve. Those are some totally different reasons, and may call for different measures and actions. Apologies if this is prying!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bocette thinks I have a problem and keeps trying to keep me off of scoot.net!

I mean...9 scooters is no big deal...I can stop anytime I want to.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edwub wrote:
I got a bit of a chuckle at this thread, but I don't want to say anything without knowing a little bit more background from your end.

Are you restricting access because...

1....he's generally misbehaving and is being punished?
2.....he's going to ......inappropriate places on the net...
3.....he's spending too much time on the internet/playing games,etc?
4....or he can't use it without supervision at the same time?
!


Lets see: #3 led to #2 . Than it became #1 (defiance and searching tech sites on how to bypass parental controls.I have Norton parental controls that email me where he goes to or tries places that are restricted. Afterwards. When confronted with his missdeeds it all ended up in #4
I just dusted off my old NT 4.0 Networking Essentials book as well as the rest of old NT 4.0 core training books. That shuold keep his tail busy for a while.
I deleted restore points and installed boot password. He does not yet know to boot into Vista with the system disk. I am sure at this rate it will not be long......
Thanks for the suggestions. I have to stay on my toes with my kiddo

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stay a step ahead and block him from this: Offline NT Password Reset. It's a download-able, bootable tool that can be burned to CD or a thumb drive and used to clear or alter account passwords stored in the system registry.

Or, if the BIOS is locked down and the machine's BIOS supports it, set the USB ports to "No Boot" and disable the optical drive. Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

az_slynch wrote:
Stay a step ahead and block him from this: Offline NT Password Reset. It's a download-able, bootable tool that can be burned to CD or a thumb drive and used to clear or alter account passwords stored in the system registry.

Or, if the BIOS is locked down and the machine's BIOS supports it, set the USB ports to "No Boot" and disable the optical drive. Wink

I once accidentally compressed a netbook drive. Without Cd/Dvd drive and Win XP not set upn natively to boot from thunb drive I had to use 3rd party tool with boot files to get back in and uncompress the drive. I was Not a háppy camper. At least I remembered enough to realize there had to be a thumb drive boot utility. I am betting kiddo will figure it out also.....

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I was handed a computer that was getting decommissioned from my mother's office when I was a kid and was given unrestricted use of it. We got dial up as soon as it was available in our area and the only constraint I was given was time spent online since you paid for time back then and you had no phone line while you were connected.

This unlimited access had a very positive effect on me, it was an incredibly stimulating tool and some fifteen years later I am pursuing a PhD in chemistry. I cannot imagine what my life would have turned out to be like if my computer/internet had been taken away simply because I was smart enough to figure out how to circumvent a form of parental control.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Storm, my wife and I were in the same boat as you. Our junior achiever was giving us quite a lesson in pc security. It was a constant cat and mouse game. Alot of what has been mentioned in this thread we have tried. He (and his friends) have alawys been able to find a work around.

Then my wife found the TeamViewer app for our smartphones.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamviewer.teamviewer.market.mobile

We loaded it up and demonstarted to our son just what it can do. We are not in the 24/7 big brother mode (don't have the time or inclination). It is a great deterrent. It's just like looking over his shoulder at any time from anywere if we so choose. And he knows it.

Makes him stop and think "what if...."

We sent the message, he recieved it, and so far so good.


P.S. Just to put an ! on it, we told him if he still wants to play the cat and mouse game with us, we will load this app on his sisters phone (LOL). The look on his eyes said it all...

Good luck.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad the internet was not available (at all) when I was young.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Want to get hard core? Disable the USB drives in BIOS, create a strong BIOS admin password, remove the disk entirely and make him use a live CD like Puppy Linux. He can still use the web, but the fun apps and such are harder to install and would have to be reinstalled every time he booted, as nothing can be saved.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaeger45 wrote:
Hello Storm, my wife and I were in the same boat as you. Our junior achiever was giving us quite a lesson in pc security. It was a constant cat and mouse game. Alot of what has been mentioned in this thread we have tried. He (and his friends) have alawys been able to find a work around.

Then my wife found the TeamViewer app for our smartphones.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamviewer.teamviewer.market.mobile

We loaded it up and demonstarted to our son just what it can do. We are not in the 24/7 big brother mode (don't have the time or inclination). It is a great deterrent. It's just like looking over his shoulder at any time from anywere if we so choose. And he knows it.

Makes him stop and think "what if...."

We sent the message, he recieved it, and so far so good.


P.S. Just to put an ! on it, we told him if he still wants to play the cat and mouse game with us, we will load this app on his sisters phone (LOL). The look on his eyes said it all...

Good luck.


LOL, I used to use Slingbox to remotely mess with his TV time when I was running Slingplayer . This is not a bad idea. Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: gave my resident hacker my old MCSE Networking Essentials book. It was great to see his eyes light up after the first 2 chapters. I think he is getting it. If this was 7 or so years ago I could have taken him wardriving through the neighborhood so that he could see first hand the unsecured networks. My wireless network was the 1st in our development. It consisted of $9.00 Belkin router I got on sale and my IPAQ with a wireless CF card.....Eah....those were the days.......
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our kids (10 and 12) have full unrestricted access to the internet, but their computers, are in the family room, the busiest room in the house. We used to run an ISP back in the days of dial up and that was the recommendation of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That is what we recommended to our customers and it is what we practice. Do they visit inappropriate sites when we are not home, maybe, but we trust them to do the right thing and have told them that. But then again we are the rebel parents that keep our kids out the Race to the Top state testing, write comments all over the code of conduct where it is ridiculous, and otherwise question nanny state policies and rules. We're Libertarians and it shows.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do realize that his next step will be downloading a BackTrack ISO, creating a bootable usb thumb drive, and completely circumventing any parental controls you put in place, while he hacks into every neighboring wireless connection he can see. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmer1234 wrote:
You do realize that his next step will be downloading a BackTrack ISO, creating a bootable usb thumb drive, and completely circumventing any parental controls you put in place, while he hacks into every neighboring wireless connection he can see. Wink

Yep. I am going to need lots of anti anxiety medications as time goes by. Probably should line up a good cardiologyst while I am at it.
Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stormswift wrote:
jmer1234 wrote:
You do realize that his next step will be downloading a BackTrack ISO, creating a bootable usb thumb drive, and completely circumventing any parental controls you put in place, while he hacks into every neighboring wireless connection he can see. Wink

Yep. I am going to need lots of anti anxiety medications as time goes by. Probably should line up a good cardiologyst while I am at it.
Rolling Eyes


Refocus him. Get a LEGO Mindstorms kit and pet him go at it. Playing with LEGOs is relatively wholesome and he'll learn a little about programming too.

When he's older, give him a Buddy repair manual. Wink

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Seriously...I've lost count...

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

az_slynch wrote:
Stormswift wrote:
jmer1234 wrote:
You do realize that his next step will be downloading a BackTrack ISO, creating a bootable usb thumb drive, and completely circumventing any parental controls you put in place, while he hacks into every neighboring wireless connection he can see. Wink

Yep. I am going to need lots of anti anxiety medications as time goes by. Probably should line up a good cardiologyst while I am at it.
Rolling Eyes


Refocus him. Get a LEGO Mindstorms kit and pet him go at it. Playing with LEGOs is relatively wholesome and he'll learn a little about programming too.

When he's older, give him a Buddy repair manual. Wink


He's had LEGO Midnstorms since last year. Used it for his Science and Technology Fair project ( explored turning radius of lunar rovers, did 3 different designs). I think that is is where the computer trouble started....The second suggestion - he does not appear to have any interest in repairing stuff (he is very good at breaking things though, usualy the expensive stuff).

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get him an electric drum kit. He can bang around for hours and not really bother the anyone cos the ear phones. Worked for me!!! Laughing He soon find out that drumming is harder/more complicated than it looks and sounds.....
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have him drop me a pm. I'll teach him how to circumvent all security and cover up his tracks. That's how I learned. I think I was 9 when I was making international calls for free.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spr0k3t wrote:
Have him drop me a pm. I'll teach him how to circumvent all security and cover up his tracks. That's how I learned. I think I was 9 when I was making international calls for free.


Shocked
So I should consider myself lucky he has not started this crape at age 9 and chill out. Bleh Bleh

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started at 9? Nah, I got started at 7. If you want to "protect" your computer system... take the cords away. If you really want to lock down your system, pull windows off of it and use a Linux distribution which supports encrypted home partitions (almost all of them now).
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really impressed with your computer knowledge, Stormswift!

My inclination would be to get rid of his desktop computer, buy him a laptop, and keep it locked up (or find a way to lock his desktop computer), only letting him use it when I was home and also on line. I would also do the Team Viewer thing so he never would know if I was watching.

I think kids having computer access is a necessity in the times we live in--how else can they develop typing and other skills they will need later in their working life?--but kids can get into trouble and their brains have not developed enough to know what is best for them...I know I'm preaching to the choir here!

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the problem computer access or internet access? Because you can easily protect a kid from the internet by killing the machine's network access (in BIOS), while still letting him hack to his heart's content on the hardware and software itself.

If you need to protect the computer's configuration from him making permanent changes (e.g. giving himself admin privileges) there are tools such as Deep Freeze or Rollback Rx which might help: every time the computer reboots they go back to the same configuration. I've had good luck with these kinds of tools in school computer labs.

I agree with the recommendations to keep the computer in a "public" place. Granted, that will only be practical for a few more years (a high school student needs both some privacy and internet access to get that level of homework done), but... you can worry about that later.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TVB wrote:
Is the problem computer access or internet access? Because you can easily protect a kid from the internet by killing the machine's network access (in BIOS), while still letting him hack to his heart's content on the hardware and software itself.

If you need to protect the computer's configuration from him making permanent changes (e.g. giving himself admin privileges) there are tools such as Deep Freeze or Rollback Rx which might help: every time the computer reboots they go back to the same configuration. I've had good luck with these kinds of tools in school computer labs.

I agree with the recommendations to keep the computer in a "public" place. Granted, that will only be practical for a few more years (a high school student needs both some privacy and internet access to get that level of homework done), but... you can worry about that later.


I like freezing restore point idea. Right now there is no restore point which is bad news. I warned him about it, as in he tries F11 and he will be doing factory settings. Plus will loose all of his Mindstorms programs he created, not to mention STEM Fair files. The biggest problem is Internet. He is obsessed with something called Mindcraft which he is not allowed to access. He was using his friends account (pointless to talk to his friend since someone else willn help.him just to "stick it" to the parents.) If I catch him again I am going to take out wifi network settings and kill Internet access on that box.Will not have to mess with BIOS. I have settings saved on flash drive so they are easy to resurrect.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I can't believe all of these "Spy vs. Spy" solutions. In my house we have a simple set of rules:

- You are free to use your computers unsupervised, however I reserve the right to "inspect" them at any time, and without warning.

- The first time I find inappropriate content, your usage will be limited to only that necessary for schoolwork, and will be conducted in in an area where it can be observed. Reinstatement of full privileges will be at my discretion.

- Any subsequent offense will result in confiscation of the computer. You will then have to either explain to your teachers the exact reason for your inability to complete assignments, or you can hustle your butts to the local library and make use of their computers. If you choose the former, I will be happy to provide documentation and also assist your teacher in finding alternate methods for you to do your schoolwork.

- Dad's been a software engineer for 36 years and is a lot craftier than you could ever imagine, so feel free to push the envelope at your own risk.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minecraft? That's good news - as games go, that ones great for kids.

The fact that he's *overplaying* is bad news, but it's good for encouraging creativity and some critical thinking. I actually recommend reading up on this game. It's not guns and blood and gore and sex... it's like virtual legos!

From a parent orientated site:
http://safevideogames.blogspot.com/2011/01/minecraft-review.html

Punishment for going around your restrictions indeed, but it might be a good opportunity to bond over a video game and encourage good behaviors and avoid the bad ones (going forward post-punishment!) Smile

Your problem isn't unique Smile I definitely recommend reading this article:
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/08/minecraft_teachers_love_the_game_but_as_a_parent_i_m_worried_my_kids_are_addicted.html
[[edit: esp page 2, where parents wonder how to cope]]

G'luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minecraft is an awesome game which IMHO encourages creativity and thinking - I'd reconsider putting that off limits.

EDIT:

And I say this as someone that used to be your kid. I'm now a 24 year old Systems Engineer preparing for a CTO role. Just saying.

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cdwise
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spr0k3t wrote:
Started at 9? Nah, I got started at 7. If you want to "protect" your computer system... take the cords away. If you really want to lock down your system, pull windows off of it and use a Linux distribution which supports encrypted home partitions (almost all of them now).


Until my kids were older than yours the only computers they got to use were in a public part of the house where everyone hangs out. Now the oldest is a university student so I don't even try to control what he does (he's taking a C programming class right now as part of his engineering degree requirements) and the younger gets a "no screens" when he misbehaves. That means we take the power cords to his xbox, computer and my old iPad he uses. It may even include his phone being handed over as soon as he walks in the house (I want him to carry it when he's away from home.)

My oldest is the system administrator on his computer but the younger one has a less privileged user account so he can't install programs or do rollbacks on our Win 7 computers. The admin passwords are not written down anywhere to be found either. I may need to reset his computer so that his user account can't be used after 10pm on school nights since he's been found with the lights out and computer on well past his bedtime but that's a different issue. That kid has no interest in programming but he'll be surfing music or using Abelton Live to create his own. He play classic guitar and electric guitar- rock plus is currently learning the piano. He has no interest in playing drums but if guitar and piano aren't enough to keep him off the computer I don't think adding drums would either.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My kiddo is I think entering that rebellious stage where word "no" to him means "lets push mommy's buttons". He is a bit socially inept, a typical GT kid. The way his brain processes information is pretty ammazing according to his teachers. We are getting him into afterschool activities as much as possible. The GT homeworks are pretty intense, take a long time to compete . I think he got at least some of the message when he saw the MCSE core textbooks. They look impressive and scarry (to an 11 year old). He looked at me with those big eyes and said "how long does it take to read and learn all of this?". My books still have all of the stickies from the time when I was cramming for the tests so that alone should have given him a pause Twisted Evil (at least for a short while). I just need some breathing space to explore all of the security tools mentioned here and be ready for when he starts pushing limits again ....Parenting........
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get him a girl. That will at least "rediredt" his problems Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my laptop hp can only be started with my finger print!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why balk at removing the desktop? Put it in the living room (which my step-daughter has done with her kids) and let him use it there. He can still used for what he NEEDS if for and your presence will temper his desire to do inappropriate things.
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dsmith65
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stormswift, I thought long and hard about letting my 10 almost 11 year old have Minecraft. In the end we decided to let him have it on two conditions, one he never does multiplayer, and two no going to You Tube for videos on it. Playing Minecraft by themselves is like playing Lego's. In fact there is even a Lego Minecraft kit. Multiplayer can open them up to the usual online safety issues, and the video content on You Tube for Minecraft isn't always age appropriate. We've had discussions with our son about online safety and we think he understands the need to remain anonymous and not talk to strangers just like in the real world. Minecraft also lets you build your own server and limit who can be on it. Given some of your networking statements my guess is you could probably build it for him, allow some of his friends IPs access and they can play together, in a fairly secure environment.

We stalled our son for about 6 weeks on Minecraft, and it has come in handy as a motivator. He gets limited play time as it is, and I'll offer him an extra hour as a reward if he does an extra chore, or completes a task quicker than normal. If he misbehaves, he gets banned from playing, and I take the electric cord.

Don

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Stormswift
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really having hard time with Minecraft. To me there is such an addictive component to it....I just don't know... I did review logs fro Norton parental controls and tweaked Youtube right out of his access Twisted Evil Minecraft also at this point. I will be monotoring logs to see if he is trying to get into sites he is not supposed to (some of them were...hmmm..) If he learns to stop pushing limits I might relax the rules. Not now though. I saw enough on that log.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, as long as he isn't looking at hardcore kink stuff, i say let him look at boobies.

Also, talk to him about what he is accessing. Try to do it in a clinical, professional manner. If you demonize what he is doing, or turn it into a taboo, he is going to want to do it even more. I remember being 11. Talking to him frankly about what he is accessing is going to be a better deterrent. Embarrassment and Guilt work wonders at this age.

Also, finding a way to channel that energy and creativity is good. Locking down the computer is only going to make him a better cracker and/or sneak.


-duo

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: NBR: kiddo is hacking into parental controls Reply with quote

Stormswift wrote:
Short of taking desktop out of my 11 year old's room, any suggestions? He used F11 (system Restore) during Boot last evening to resurrect his deleted (by moi) User account. A very elegant and simple solution on his part. It leaves me in a quandary, however. We have Vista on that desktop, Military school is out of the question financially Crying or Very sad


is he surfing something you don't want him to, or just getting in when you don't want him to?

You can control it at the 'router' level too, making sure a certain IP address can only get on line during certain times.

Other than that, I would just do as others have suggested and praise his intelligence but let him know WHY you can't have him circumventing your authority. My Mom was a firm believer in letting me be who I was, but wasn't afraid to use the 'backhand of correction' if needed.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: NBR: kiddo is hacking into parental controls Reply with quote

skully93 wrote:
Stormswift wrote:
Short of taking desktop out of my 11 year old's room, any suggestions? He used F11 (system Restore) during Boot last evening to resurrect his deleted (by moi) User account. A very elegant and simple solution on his part. It leaves me in a quandary, however. We have Vista on that desktop, Military school is out of the question financially Crying or Very sad


is he surfing something you don't want him to, or just getting in when you don't want him to?

You can control it at the 'router' level too, making sure a certain IP address can only get on line during certain times.

Other than that, I would just do as others have suggested and praise his intelligence but let him know WHY you can't have him circumventing your authority. My Mom was a firm believer in letting me be who I was, but wasn't afraid to use the 'backhand of correction' if needed.

We had several discussions. So far Norton controls are holding and he knows I know when he tries to circumvent (Norton sends an email every time with site address so I blocked those sites including tech/hacking sites) Methinks he is getting the message. No occurances today. Router time blocking can become necessaryn and I will implement if it comes to that.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know whether to laugh or cry. He somehow got around Norton parental controls and is playing Minecraft again. At this point it is " lets see if mommy can figure out how I did this". Off course he also figured out in his science class before teacher explained it how to calculate unknown volume of an object (hint for mommy who does not know squat about physics: volume of water displaced by an object). He has not gotten arount time control limitations yet (hurray!). I guess I will have to get him Minecraft account so his buddies stop "sharing" and e-mail Norton. Maybe they can figure out how 11 year old is getting around their parental controls and plug that security "hole".
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sign up for an OpenDNS account. It's free and it's done through your router, so you don't end up installing any additional bloat-ware on your desktop. You lockup your router and block access to minecraft.net and there should be nothing that he can do on his local machine that will let him access Minecraft. I'm not sure if they use a separate authentication server or not. If so, you'll have to find out what that is and put that on your ban list.

OpenDNS in addition to being useful as a parental control (cross network) also acts as a DNS service that can increase your browsers' performance. You can also use it to block access to advertising host sites (those annoying ads all over the internet) so that all you see is "content unavailable" or similar.

Have a look at their parental control options to get a feel for how it works. They have complete walk-throughs that show you how to setup the account, the controls and your router. Don't feel pressured into getting any of their paid services.

Be certain that you pick a new and unique account name and password for your OpenDNS account and change the default router admin login (best bet, don't use "admin"). It might not be a bad idea to redo all your account passwords for good measure. I use a password manager program called Roboform (uses a main password and keeps account logins and has a very nice password generator) but there are others out there. Keep backups if you use a password manager like this (on a separate media such as a thumbdrive or DVD) in your home's fireproof safe. You have one of those, right?

Make sure that his login account does not have administrative rights and that he does not know the logins for accounts that do have admin rights. If in doubt, change the passwords.

A note on passwords: They're really hard to guess. The easiest way to figure out a password isn't to guess, it's to use a brute force attack. I used to think that the most secure was one that uses intermixed numbers and special symbols. Then I saw this lovely cartoon from XKCD:


Couldn't have said it better (or drawn it for that matter) myself.

Hope that helps. Good luck and let us know if you're successful.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lostmycage wrote:
Sign up for an OpenDNS account. It's free and it's done through your router, so you don't end up installing any additional bloat-ware on your desktop. You lockup your router and block access to minecraft.net and there should be nothing that he can do on his local machine that will let him access Minecraft.

If I understand correctly how the service works, if he can set different DNS servers on the computer, that would get around it. Still worth trying, but not bulletproof.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And even if the Open DNS server settings on the router overrode the dns server settings on the client, all he would have to do is to figure out how to reset the router to factory default, configure it to his liking, and block Mom out. Face it, you raised a kid doomed to a lifetime of dark rooms and high contrast display settings. Your only hope may be to find something less distasteful to your mind but of interest to him. Quantum mechanics or somesuch.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant literally lock up the router.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I meant literally lock up the router.


And the modem, inside the same place as the router so the cat5 cable remains inaccessible.

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