February 11, 2005
Dear CNET members,
As the parent of a two-year-old, I may eventually be faced with a situation similar to Pam's concerning her teenager's computer usage. While I received a variety of opinions this week on disciplinary actions for computer-savvy kids, I thought it best to stick with a technical solution and leave the parenting to the parents. However, with so many interesting submissions, I've included the winning answer by Miguel (who's now won two weeks in a row!), some honorable mentions, and a couple of additional sections from our members, such as recommendations for parental control software and opinions that carried beyond this topic's technical aspects. It's all interesting stuff, so, Pam, I hope this information from our active, caring community helps you out. Please join us in this week's discussion to talk about it more. Thanks, everyone, for all your great submissions!
Member Question of the WeekI am trying to find some kind of parental control program that will log what my teenage kid does online--e-mail, passwords, and such. My daughter has recently changed all her passwords and has become very secretive. We're concerned that this may lead to trouble. Does anyone know of a program that is reliable and has had no problems associated with it? I would be most appreciative!
Submitted by: Pam L. of DeWitt, MichiganExcellent choices in parental control software include Cybersitter 9.0 (http://www.cybersitter.com/), Net Nanny 5.1 (http://www.netnanny.com/), and CyberPatrol (http://www.cyberpatrol.com/), and all three offer free trials. Net Nanny is arguably the easiest of the three to set up, and Cybersitter might have the strongest filtering. Spector Pro and eBlaster (http://www.spectorsoft.com/) are more expensive alternatives that specialize in monitoring and recording every detail of PC and Internet activity. While all of the aforementioned programs are reliable and well-regarded, keep in mind that none is perfect when it comes to filtering. Regardless of what software you decide to install, there will always be a chance...
Please click the following links for this week's:For Miguel's efforts, we're sending him his choice of any Help.com Learning CD.
Parental control software recommendations
Miscellaneous member opinions
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.Am I the only one?!?!?
Best regards and enjoy!
Member, funkid7 is a daredevil when it comes to computer security, despite all the hacker horror stories. He's currently on a cable modem connection, runs no antivirus, no spyware utilities, and no spam blockers. And so far, his machine is stable. Call it crazy, but he goes on to explain his reasoning for all this in his post. So check out this discussion and see what others are challenging him to.
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