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Parental control in Google Chrome

15 January 2013

Google announced plans to implement parental control features in the settings of its Chrome browser. These features will help parents efficiently control their children’s web browsing.

This update will enable users to launch the browser with different settings under different accounts. Unlike the full-featured ”parent” account, a “child” account will not allow browsing of blacklisted websites. It will also be possible to restrict browsing only to a “white list” of allowed sites.

Moreover, the “child” account will not support the private browsing mode and deletion of browsing history. The release date of the updated version of Chrome with these features has not yet been confirmed.

If you are interested in parental control, feel free to check out Time Sheriff, our program that is currently distributed free of charge.

The home computer: one for the whole family

22 December 2010

Although many people already have several computers in the home, in the majority of families there is still just one computer. And often it is no longer the remote control, but rather the computer seat that causes those petty, but unpleasant, arguments.

This is not only linked to the computer’s increased role in our lives, but also to the fact that the needs, habits and skill levels are, as a rule, varied amongst different members of the family.

And the person who has to set up and maintain this computer must find a balance between two tasks:

  • creating conditions whereby none of the users will be prevented from completing their tasks,
  • protecting important files and ensuring long-term effective operation of the system.

The simplest solution that immediately comes to mind is to create different profiles for all users of the computer, with corresponding operating system access rights and tools.

Even this action, which does not take much time and has no cost, can have quite a good effect. But in practice, a number of problems continue to arise, and are best solved using third-party software. More »

Protecting children from online threats: methods and cost

21 December 2010

Ironically, the realities of today’s Internet dictate the need for protecting children from it. These days, even adults cannot avoid the traps set on the global network, much less children.

The number of psychic, emotional, physical and financial threats that Internet users are exposed to is steadily growing very day.

Thousands of sites with content absolutely inappropriate for children’s eyes, erotic images and pornography, violence and all kinds of intolerance, spam and the already commonplace «adult» ads even on harmless mainstream sites, viruses and incessant attempts of scammers to steal your information or money — this is just a short list of things that are all over the Internet and finding them is not a problem at all.

What programs can parents use for restricting children’s access to unwanted content? There are several approaches to solving this problem:

  • Protecting using integrated OS and browser functions.
  • Using a special module of a paid anti-virus tool.
  • Restriction on the Internet provider’s end.
  • Using activity monitoring programs.
  • Using specialized software (free and commercial).

Let’s take a look at these methods in more detail and considering the license costs involved. More »

Providers focused on child protection

15 October 2010

Large Internet providers are joining the developers of parental control software and antivirus tools for seeking the most efficient methods of protecting children from online threats.

The fight against adult materials in the global network on the legal level is highly inefficient at the moment. Finding pornography and extremist materials online is not a problem these days. What makes the matter even worse is that children today are often more educated about computers and the Internet than their parents.

These are the reasons why so many people put so much effort into creating technical means of child protection on all levels — from operating systems to Internet providers.

Apart from the Internet threats described above (malware, unwanted sites, direct contact with abusers, theft or personal information), social networks are emerging as a major source of potential threats: Internet addiction, excessive use of social networks and, of course, new viruses that can be contracted in social networks, possible contacts with abusers or all sorts and theft of personal information.

Child protection mechanisms can be implemented on several tiers:

  • using the integrated tools of the operating system,
  • using special software,
  • on the Internet providers’ end.

Starting from Windows Vista, Microsoft has been including its Parental Control tool into all versions of its operating systems.

These applications can be standalone (KinderGate, Time-Boss, Time Sheriff) and included in modular antivirus solutions, such as Kaspersky Internet Security.

Providers have also noticed this problem and are trying to find viable solutions for solving it.

This year, many Russian Internet providers signed the Children and Youth Safe Internet Charter and made a commitment to implement software tools that will restrict children’s access to illegal and potentially unsafe online content.

Such solutions have already been implemented by OAO UTK («Children’s Internet» service) and OAO Vimpelcom (Beeline).

KyivStar, a large Ukrainian provider and mobile carrier, in cooperation with the Institute of Psychology of the National Academy of Sciences released a special brochure for parents devoted to the security-related aspects of online activities of their children called “Children on the Internet: teaching your children safety on the Internet”. Besides the distribution of this brochure, the company also maintains a white list of sites with safe content.

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Child Safety on the Internet

6 October 2010

According to the recent statistical researches 75% of Internet users under the age of 14 go online without supervision of their parents, and 50% are faced with various dangers on the Internet.

The Internet is a great tool for child enlightenment but for obvious reasons it’s usage requires a mandatory supervision by the parents.

Most often children are facing the following dangers on the Internet:

  • Viruses (and other types of malware).
  • Visiting inappropriate sites (pornography, gambling, violence, etc.).
  • Contacts with the fraudsters, extortioners or pedophiles (in forums, chat rooms or social networks, IM, e-mail).
  • Disclosure of personal information (home address, time and place of walking, working hours of parents).

What can be done to reduce the possibility of such problems?

Create for a child a separate account (the user) in your operating system. This will simplify your further control and setting the limits. Do not forget to set a secure password for other computer accounts.

Explore software solutions for parental control.

  • If you are using Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7 make sure to explore the possibilities of built-in Parental Control software.
  • If you are using Kaspersky Internet Security antivirus, then use its «Parental Control» module.
  • You can also use our Refog Time Sheriff program specially designed for this purpose.

You can find detailed instructions for setting up these programs in their reference materials or on the Internet.
And finally, the most important: since the very first day spent by your child on the Internet try to be near him/her and explain how to use this tool properly.

Be sure to explain the following:

  • Under no circumstances a child should disclose anyone on the Internet its personal data (home address, school and class, time of walking and working hours of parents, etc.)
  • On the Internet a child should follow the same rules and standards of morality as in real life.
  • On the Internet people can easily impersonate other people, so it’s strongly forbidden to meet with someone from the Internet.
  • Not everything that is written on the Internet is true. It’s necessary to learn how to carefully verify all information found.

Remember, education and safety of your children are closely linked and are in your hands. Observe, guide, teach, defend — and you will not doubt the safety of your children.

 

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