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The W - Internet & Computers - Do you electronically monitor internet traffic at your home?
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rinberg
Boudin rouge








Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

Since last post: 997 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.96
Obviously, this question is aimed at parents more than anyone else, but all input is welcome.

My oldest (8 years) likes to play games on { Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! } , has signed up for an email account and now an MS Messenger account with a little help, and on her own signed up for a flickr account. (I guess to see my flickr account, even though it wasn't required....)

I haven't started any automated monitoring yet, though I do review the browser history once in awhile. I have mixed feelings on the topic. On the one hand, Parent Rinberg thinks that I should be aware of every TCP/IP packet that enters my home witnessed by my innocent children. OTOH, Privacy Advocate Rinberg thinks that I don't have to know *everything* they do and I should trust that they will come to me if they see something they shouldn't or if a stranger starts talking to them.

Then again, what happens in five years? If I'm going to monitor their usage, shouldn't I start while they don't care? I don't like the idea of tracking them behind their backs, so they will know that I'm looking. Besides, it will be alot easier for them to think "Dad has always checked up on my surfing habits" rather than "Dad doesn't trust me anymore, so he's going to start monitoring my surfing habits".

As you can tell, I'm strongly inclined to install monitoring of some kind, but it's still not a firm decision. Also, if you DO monitor your home's web traffic, what do you use?



"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." --Rick Cook


kaynart. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr
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pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


We haven't installed yet, but they only go to sites like nick.com and the like. I would tend to monitor it now, so there is the built in expectation of the looking over your shoulder mentality. My kids are scared to death of going anyplace other than what we let them. I go so far as to logging them into whatever site they want to use and they never stray from it. Of course now, we have to watch "White and Nerdy" five times a day, too. We only have one computer in the house, so it's easy to monitor them at this age.

Go with your gut, rinberg.





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spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 64 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
At 8 years old I would say to listen more to parent Rinberg over privacy advocate. At 8 years old I honestly can't see the child having anything going on in their development where unknown monitoring would violate the spirit of letting them grow. As she ages you might have to be more careful with that balancing act, but at this age, it's probably more important to be able to be prepared to deal with anything she might encounter and have as much knowledge as possible to do so.



Now I'll never be able to lead SPF's spfers! (The W)
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 51 days
Last activity: 51 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by rinberg
    Obviously, this question is aimed at parents more than anyone else, but all input is welcome.

    My oldest (8 years) likes to play games on { Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! } , has signed up for an email account and now an MS Messenger account with a little help, and on her own signed up for a flickr account. (I guess to see my flickr account, even though it wasn't required....)

    I haven't started any automated monitoring yet, though I do review the browser history once in awhile. I have mixed feelings on the topic. On the one hand, Parent Rinberg thinks that I should be aware of every TCP/IP packet that enters my home witnessed by my innocent children. OTOH, Privacy Advocate Rinberg thinks that I don't have to know *everything* they do and I should trust that they will come to me if they see something they shouldn't or if a stranger starts talking to them.

    Then again, what happens in five years? If I'm going to monitor their usage, shouldn't I start while they don't care? I don't like the idea of tracking them behind their backs, so they will know that I'm looking. Besides, it will be alot easier for them to think "Dad has always checked up on my surfing habits" rather than "Dad doesn't trust me anymore, so he's going to start monitoring my surfing habits".

    As you can tell, I'm strongly inclined to install monitoring of some kind, but it's still not a firm decision. Also, if you DO monitor your home's web traffic, what do you use?


Out of curiosity, what type of things on the Web are you trying to keep your daughters away from? I ask because I can't imagine the threat of an 8-year-old girl visiting adult sites is too great, so perhaps explaining to her that it's the other users of the Internet, the ones you can't see and monitor, that you don't trust is the first thing to do.
cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

Since last post: 156 days
Last activity: 1 hour
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.84

I'm with TheBucsFan...we only have the one computer in our house and my kids have accounts on the sites that are similar to yours. I don't check up too often, because we've had discussions about chatting (don't give out personal info, etc...) and clicking on pop-ups (Daddy will NOT be happy if his PC is infected with spyware!).

We haven't delved into chat rooms (my kids just aren't interested right now), and I don't yet allow them to have their own e-mails.

My daughter's best friend moved to another state so I'm looking at setting something up for the two of them, but that's still in the planning stages.

Monitor their time/usage while their young, check occasionally like you are, and just make sure that you educate them a little without scaring the bejeezus out of them. Plenty of time for more "big brother" like tactics once they get older...when they're more prone to "rebel".
dunkndollaz
Banger








Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

Since last post: 21 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.20
The little dunks are 8, 6 and 1. The 2 older ones have begged me for an email address but so far they can only use our family email address. They both know how to google and to get to various game sites that we have downloaded into favorites. My wife or I usually stop by and check to make sure they aren't playing "junk" games but that is about it for monitoring.

Now I have to say that I always check the history as soon as a babysitter leaves.



Hey Crab Man !
pieman
As young as
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


    Originally posted by dunkndollaz
    Now I have to say that I always check the history as soon as a babysitter leaves.


We had one babysitter issue. The computer is now in an office just off our bedroom and is off-limits when we're not in the house.





Gabba Gabba Hey!
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 13 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.80
    Originally posted by cranlsn
    My daughter's best friend moved to another state so I'm looking at setting something up for the two of them, but that's still in the planning stages.


Might I recommend Skype. It's basically VOIP, but it has some additonal bells and whistles (i.e. chatting feature, etc). I use it occassionally, and my boss uses it religiously. It's multi-platform, and best part - calling another Skype client is free.

Edit: Coincidentally, I came across this article just minutes ago.

Parents struggle to monitor safety as kids spread wings online



(edited by Leroy on 2.10.06 1525)

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DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 25 days
Last activity: 1 day
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.64

I dont have any kids, but I cant think of any reasons why I *wouldnt* monitor their online use any way I could.

Big brother? Privacy? Screw all that, I need to know what the hell my (imaginary) kids are doing online.



You should visit AlenOnline.com today
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 4 hours
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
They don't read here, so...

My oldest is out of the house, but I watch her Myspace like a hawk.

The 17 year old has a connection in his room and we have an agreement. He cannot delete his history. So I spot check it.

What he doesn't know is that I have installed a service that captures every website he visits and writes it to an encrypted file. It starts as a service and hides as a printer driver.

I am proud of the boy, I have only caught one file and he claims he mis-entered the URL. It was like somethingclips - i don't remember what the something was. He put in somethingclits - and got an interesting site. He was there 2 seconds.



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Sec19Row53
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 21 hours
Y!:
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    They don't read here, so...

    My oldest is out of the house, but I watch her Myspace like a hawk.

    The 17 year old has a connection in his room and we have an agreement. He cannot delete his history. So I spot check it.

    What he doesn't know is that I have installed a service that captures every website he visits and writes it to an encrypted file. It starts as a service and hides as a printer driver.

    I am proud of the boy, I have only caught one file and he claims he mis-entered the URL. It was like somethingclips - i don't remember what the something was. He put in somethingclits - and got an interesting site. He was there 2 seconds.


I use Net Nanny, as well as 'Dad over the shoulder'.

AWArulz - what's the service you installed? That sounds interesting.
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

Since last post: 13 hours
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by cranlsn
      My daughter's best friend moved to another state so I'm looking at setting something up for the two of them, but that's still in the planning stages.


    Might I recommend Skype. It's basically VOIP, but it has some additonal bells and whistles (i.e. chatting feature, etc). I use it occassionally, and my boss uses it religiously. It's multi-platform, and best part - calling another Skype client is free.

    Edit: Coincidentally, I came across this article just minutes ago.

    Parents struggle to monitor safety as kids spread wings online



    (edited by Leroy on 2.10.06 1525)
You can call any landline in Canada or the US for free using Skype. I use it relgiously, as well.



I'm a dot com now!
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 10 hours
Last activity: 5 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.18
You need to be PARENT RINBERG first and foremost. Its your job to protect your children.

PRIVACY ADVOCATE RINBERG can come about once the kiddies are making rent payments and working full time jobs. THEN you shouldnt worry about what they are doing.

As long as they are under your roof, its your responsibility to protect, educate and monitor them.

But, thats just how I conduct business with my own kids.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 12 hours
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    They don't read here, so...

    My oldest is out of the house, but I watch her Myspace like a hawk.

    The 17 year old has a connection in his room and we have an agreement. He cannot delete his history. So I spot check it.

    What he doesn't know is that I have installed a service that captures every website he visits and writes it to an encrypted file. It starts as a service and hides as a printer driver.

    I am proud of the boy, I have only caught one file and he claims he mis-entered the URL. It was like somethingclips - i don't remember what the something was. He put in somethingclits - and got an interesting site. He was there 2 seconds.


I can't believe he doesn't have a boot CD that you don't know about. You know, Ubuntu or something...




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AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 4 hours
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
    Originally posted by Sec19Row53
    AWArulz - what's the service you installed? That sounds interesting.


I got it off Tucows - let me root around and see if I still have the initial DL. I supposed I installed it three or four years ago.

He's not an internet geek, so he'd be unlikely to find it. I'd say he spends 50% of his time playing some online game (not WoW, cause it costs), and the rest reading all the Wikipedia entries.

If I saw a large gap - not that I spot check him much anymore - we'd talk.



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We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
rinberg
Boudin rouge








Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

Since last post: 997 days
Last activity: 34 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.96
    Originally posted by spf
    At 8 years old I would say to listen more to parent Rinberg over privacy advocate. At 8 years old I honestly can't see the child having anything going on in their development where unknown monitoring would violate the spirit of letting them grow.

I agree that an 8 year old should have no expectation of privacy. I'm mostly thinking towards the future and the fact that they will accept monitoring that starts at 8 or 9 much more easily than monitoring that starts at 13 or 14.

Also, as mentioned before, I will not monitor them without their knowledge. They may not know HOW I am watching, but I will make them aware that I am watching. Trust is an important issue for me. I don't want them to think that I've done anything behind their backs.


    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    Out of curiosity, what type of things on the Web are you trying to keep your daughters away from? I ask because I can't imagine the threat of an 8-year-old girl visiting adult sites is too great, so perhaps explaining to her that it's the other users of the Internet, the ones you can't see and monitor, that you don't trust is the first thing to do.


I'm not really concerned with the kids visiting adult sites, especially at this age. The only reason she signed up with an email provider was so that I could send messages to her when I'm out of town. Similar reason for IM. Like you said, she isn't the problem. And we've discussed the perils of the Wild Wild Web and she is aware. But she is still 8 years old and that means she trusts too much.

For example, when she signed up for an MSN Passport for IM, she also went to MSN Profiles and put some information about herself there: Full Name, An Older Age So She Could Get An Account [Thanks, Aunt Goo, for teaching her that trick. ], City, and State. When I found out what she had done, we went over it together and talked about why it isn't a good idea to share information about ourselves and I helped her change it. Great teaching moment, right? The problem? We had already talked about not providing personal information online. It just hadn't sunk in when she was filling out the form.

I think what I want in a monitoring program is something that will record every webpage that they visit, every program that they run, and who they talk to on IM. I don't need to read their emails. I don't need to read every IM conversation they have. I don't want screen-caps or keylogging. I want them to know that I trust them as much as I want them to trust me. If I have further questions, I can take it up with the child in question. If you come across something of that nature, let me know. Otherwise, I may just need to write my own.


Thanks for the feedback, guys. You've helped to clarify my thoughts as usual. Side note: Parent Rinberg always wins over Privacy Advocate Rinberg, but sometimes PAR can temper PR's tendency to over-parent. I suppose PAR could be more accurately described as Allows Them The Freedom To Make Mistakes Rinberg, but ATTFTMMR just isn't as catchy as PAR.



"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." --Rick Cook


kaynart. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 3 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.43
Can I ask you what room of the house the computer is in? Sometimes it can be effective just to put the computer somewhere public, like the living room.
Sec19Row53
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 21 hours
Y!:
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
    Originally posted by Tenken347
    Can I ask you what room of the house the computer is in? Sometimes it can be effective just to put the computer somewhere public, like the living room.

There's a laptop and a PC in the office, and the kids' PC in the upstairs "landing" -- an open area at the top of the stairs that is a small sitting area.

Other than the laptop while I'm working on something, I wouldn't want to have a PC in most places of the house that you'd consider public.
rinberg
Boudin rouge








Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

Since last post: 997 days
Last activity: 34 days
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.96
My house has one computer in the office but the door stays open. At Nanny's house they have three computers, two of which are accesible to my kids. One of those is in the kids' room and the other is in their Aunt's room, so there is a little more privacy there. Other people will be in and out of those rooms though, so it's not *totally* private.



"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." --Rick Cook


kaynart. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr
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CRZ's right -- they actually did this simply because it looks cool. Expose (the name of that effect) is supposedly one of Steve Jobs favorite features in OSX, so they did this to show it off. I forgot it even existed until you mentioned it, so thanks!
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