Greg Helledy on 2 Mar 2015 12:37:30 -0800

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[PLUG] Child Proofing my Home Network

> I'm struggling through these issues now, too.  I always thought that I
> would just keep the "PC" in the family room.  But, now, there is a web
> browser in every pocket, and on every device with a screen.  Not to
> mention 4G and random social apps; How do you filter that?

*Make it clear that getting a web browser in one's pocket is something that's earned, and can be taken away if misused. *Children should have wifi-only internet access, which can be restricted to certain times of day and week at the router level. I saw on a commercial that the Kindle allows a parental control setup, where a child gets only X time per day before the device locks them out. This doesn't seem very hard to do, maybe more devices will offer that in the future. *Domain-level filtering is crude but better than nothing, and trivial with alternate DNS providers. *Teens with cellular data should be told that keeping inappropriate content from younger siblings is expected of them. They will almost certainly password-protect their devices anyway, preventing younger kids from using them to access what they can't over wifi. *Also make it clear that curiosity is natural. If they want to see something and find that it's being blocked, they should ask a parent about it. Maybe they can visit the site with a parent.

Even this isn't perfect. A kid who gets access to unrestricted wifi could use the opportunity to download content onto the device, for future reference when at home. In that case, filtered, time-restricted wifi doesn't fix the problem. Yes, there's no ideal solution.

Greg Helledy
GRA, Incorporated
P:  +1 215-884-7500
F:  +1 215-884-1385

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