How do I restrict my kids' computing time?




Last Updated March 21, 2016 09:00 AM

Access to our computer (not only to the internet) needs to be restricted for the accounts of my kids (7, 8) until they are old enough to manage this by themselves. Until then we need to be able to define the following:

the hours of the day when computing is o.k. (e.g. 5 - 9 pm) the days of the week when computing is not o.k. (e.g. mondays to fridays) the amount of time allowed per day (e.g. 2 hours)

In 11.10 all of the following that used to do the job don't work any more:

Timekpr: for > 11.10 no more available through the ppa. Timeoutd: command line alternative, but from 11.10 removed from the repositories. Gnome Nanny: Looks great but repeatedly crashes to force restarting X-server. So we can't use or recommed this program at the moment.

Are there any other...

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sounds like your son is more tech-savvy than you ... not a good position to be in.

you have various options, ranging from simple to relatively complicated (also varying in effectiveness). before we begin, pls note that there are several reasons you should be slightly alarmed at the easy access yoru son has to your system. whether the ubuntu CD corrupts your system or not (i suspect it won't, but ya never know), if he is able to get admin access, he can then boot the machine, log in as administrator, & do whatever the hell he wants (eg, install questionable software). he might even install malware (by accident or otherwise), due to curiosity, desire to retain admin rights (i.e., backdoor of some sort), or some other motivation.

the "best" solution really depends on a lot of factors, so to maintain brevity, I'll give the "best" answer from a comprehensive standpoint: use FDE software like BitLocker, TrueCrypt, or whatever, to encrypt entire disk, requiring...

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Post by Lish_Mom

I know that this is a difficult thing to do since we're not always at home

to watch them. The aforementioned software is a good start. Symantec

makes a good piece of software to filter out all kinds of stuff, but it's

like drinking water through a firehose, they seem to just find all the bad

places, especially chat sites! A GREAT piece of software that captures

their entire activity (in a hidden mode) is at I

had an experience that this software really saved my daughter from meeting

some creep from online. It took little pictures of everything she was

typing and stuff. It was very eye opening

Hi again,

This might help:

It's seems to be exactly what you need, but I don't know, whether
there is an english version.

Others to look at:
(I use this to...

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Picture: supplied

My neighbour bestie and I agree on a lot of things in life, but when it comes to computer time, we couldn’t be more opposite. She sticks to an hour a week per kid, while mine have a relatively free reign – and always have.

My reasons are many. One, the entire income of our household comes from computers. I write full time (I’ve never even met most of my editors in real life - despite working together for over a decade.) My husband is even more computer-nerdy, as a software developer, he literally couldn’t do his job without a computer. My post graduate degree was also entirely PC driven, and I never set foot on campus - all my assignments and lessons were done on my laptop.

Now factor in that we don’t even know what half the jobs are going to be when our kids hit the job market, but it’s a sure bet computers will be involved (even tasks like bricklaying are predicted to be overrun by computers by then.) So it makes sense to me they should be...

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I suspect you do not have kids!

.. and then chat with friends about how to get around parental restrictions. They are a savvy lot, this generation that have grown up in a world where computers have always existed.

.. and then look for interesting info like the shape of the naked female body and various contortions. Then they get smart and start clearing web browser history.

.. and then do the the homework by finding a friend who has already done it and is prepared to share a copy.

.. and then play on-line games to shoot bad guys ad infinitum because your internet filters are child's play or they have found a new proxy server or they have been given a bootable USB stick.

Time based restriction will work for a while, then 'over the shoulder' restrictions will work for a while, (i.e. access where usage can be physically monitored) but then...

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Giving them good advice, talking to them about the dangers and how to avoid many of them, and make sure that they are comfortable coming to you when they are not sure of something they see, hear, or may have clicked on. If you keep the dialog open, they will too and you can become more comfortable with it as well, as they come to you with their questions and problems. Make sure that they know that anyone asking them to meet them somewhere is probably not good and if any meeting is going to happen (that you approve of) you need to be there to make sure that they are safe. The biggest danger is an adult pretending to be a child and befriending them with a hidden agenda.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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: Internet Explorer can be configured to restrict access so that only a short list of approved sites can be accessed by anyone without a special password. Here's how to do it.

First, though, think about your audience. This can be a useful technique for a special-purpose computer in an office. For your kids, it is less effective because kids can find ways around such limitations. They might install an alternative web browser, disable Content Advisor through the Windows Registry, or boot the computer from a CD instead. And useful research for school often involves accessing many sites you haven't seen before. For young children, this approach may be useful, but for teenagers there's no substitute for supervision and education. Put their computer next to yours!

This is not a high-security "kiosk mode" solution. Skilled users can disable Content Advisor by manipulating the Windows Registry or booting from CD. With Windows XP Professional you can reduce...

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KidsWatch provides you with the flexibility to limit some or all Internet usage. For example, if you wanted to limit your children from surfing the Internet but permit the use of instant messaging, you would just restrict Internet Explorer or whichever browser they use and allow AOL Instant Messenger, MSN messenger or whichever messaging service they were using.

If you wanted to limit or restrict the Internet, you would restrict the browser programs they are using to get to the Internet. Examples are Internet Explorer, AOL, Microsoft’s MSN, and Netscape Navigator.

If there is any doubt as to which programs allow them to get to the Internet, just restrict all programs with one click of your mouse button and only allow the ones that you are familiar...

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Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

Smartphones, iPads, game systems, laptops, desktops and TVs. For decades, Americans had only one or two screens in their home. Now a single household might have dozens. Are children spending too much time staring at screens?

Should parents limit how much time children spend on technology?

In the article “Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent,” Nick Bilton writes:

When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the...

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Kid, 10 years old

Make sure your kid balances screen time with other activities, such as sports, being with friends and family, and doing homework. When your kids get home from school, Make sure all homework is done before watching TV, and using tablets, computers, and smartphones, and don't let your kids have screen time before school. If your kid needs to use a device for homework, limit which devices, apps, and websites, Your kids can use. Once all homework is done, set a timer for how long your kids can be on devices, when the time limit is up, put your devices in a basket near a wall outlet where they can charge if they are low on battery, as for dinner, for after dinner, don't let your kids go on devices before bedtime because it won't be easy for them to fall asleep, and for bedtime, charge devices outside of bedrooms because devices make it harder to fall asleep.

Depends on lifestyle. I go to an early high school and we need internet and screentime to...

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Q:We want to restrict the time that our daughter can access the Internet on her smart phone. What's the best way to do that?

A: All of the big wireless carriers offer parental controls, and you're in luck because Verizon offers comprehensive options for controlling usage and filtering content. With Usage Controls, you can set times of the day (or night) when your daughter won't be able to go online, text or make phone calls (but trusted contacts will still be able to call her).

You also can set limits for voice minutes, texting, data and content purchases (such as ring tones, games and downloads). That will ensure that your daughter doesn't exceed her wireless plan and saddle you with a monthly bill that would choke a horse. The Usage Controls cost $5 a month. However, you can place age-appropriate content filters on her phone for free.

Unfortunately, the wireless carriers don't let you monitor text messages - a prime source of trouble, since texting is a...

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I appreciate this hack from Melissa — simply, how her family uses the parental controls built into her computer's operating system to manage her kids' computer use. It's easy to overlook the tools we already have right at our fingertips.

What's great about Melissa's hack — beyond just using both low- and high tech tools and setting the limits — is that the larger conversation is also happening. Getting along with siblings, sharing, balancing electronic time, getting active…it's all part of the bigger picture.

I know you had a post about timers and other methods of limiting kids' screen time, but I thought I'd share our strategy for the computer.

Set time limits using Windows parental controls

If you have a PC running Vista or higher, in the Parental Controls section of the Control Panel, you can select which hours of the day throughout the week each user can be logged on to the computer. So if each child is set up with a user account, you can set the...

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