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#1 maddie

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 04:16 AM

Hi I don't know much about computers so please excuse me in advance. We currently have a windows vista home premium installation on a computer which I allow my children to use. We have google toolbar installed/google homepage/google indexing ( which I've just discovered). Whilst I like the idea of checking up on the kids internet history ( especially as they know how to delete the history in internet options) , I really do not like the idea of my history being saved. If I were to use another search engine which I locate through msn for example - eg search for alta vista on msn - and then use alta vista, would google still be able to track and index my searches? or would I have to uninstal the toolbar altogether? if I do uninstall the google toolbar, how can I track the sites my kids visit if they are able to delete them from the internet history? I've tried using parental controls but then the browser ask for permission to access just about every single site and that becomes a real nuisance as there are so many sites they need to use........I have the same problem even if I set the control to eg "moderate". My next question is how to delete the google index of files - I found instructions on the net which say I need to get into C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search, but I can't find this file in vista - I've found a documents file in C drive which I've deleted but not sure that that's the one. I woudl be really grateful for any help/advice. Thank you.

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#2 Digerati

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:16 AM

Hi Maddie and :welcome:

I don't think I would rely on Google to track your children's whereabouts - the Google Toolbar is meant more as a convenience rather than a security or safety tool.

I've tried using parental controls but then the browser ask for permission to access just about every single site and that becomes a real nuisance as there are so many sites they need to use

Did you see Windows Vista Parental Controls? You did not mention their ages but I assume if they need to access many sites, new ones all the time, they are likely beyond toddler stage. The best way to watch where your kids go is to watch where they go - that is, do NOT put the computer in their rooms, but out in a common area - that's how it is set up for my grandkids. Also note there is 3rd party software you can buy - you might want to check out PC Mag - 12 Tools to keep Kids Safe Online. Some, like Net Nanny integrate into most common search engines such as Google and Yahoo so you can control and monitor activities. Safe Eyes, CyberPatrol and Net Nanny are probably the most popular.

Also, checkout FBI - A Parent's Guild to Internet Safety for more information.

You did not mention if they have their own accounts, but if not, parents should have a separate user account from the children. The parent's account is an "admin" account, independent of the kids' "limited" (as determined by the parent) account(s). Right behind protecting your family from Internet predators and other evils of the Internet is the protection of your privacy and your personal, sensitive, and/or financial information - and your Internet history too.

You may trust your children not to pry into your email, your banking accounts, credit cards etc. or to visit sites they should not, or to bring down some nasty malware, but stuff happens and you do not want or need something they do affecting your account or the whole computer. This is particularly necessary and critical if they are older kids and/or their friends come over and are left in an unsupervised environment.

Even if they have their own computer, you need to be the administrator and you create their accounts and control their activities. They know what's out there, and it's easy to find, and they know it.

Part of learning how to use a computer is developing the discipline to compute safely. This includes the habit of logging off, logging on, using and protecting passwords. So I urge you to create at least one account for the children (or one for each kid if you need to track individually and you don't want them pointing fingers at each other - ;)) with only the parent(s) with administrative accounts.
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#3 maddie

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:01 AM

Hi Bill Thank you for that....it's very helpful. I hadn't thought about insisting that we all have our own accounts and being administrator for all - they are ages 12 + 13 ( girl/boy ). We do have the computer/s in a common area that we all use.......I was always against the idea of them having a computer in their rooms for the exact same reasons you mention. I will look at the links you have put up and take notes....thank you again....it is so helpful and I am very grateful to you. Maddie.

#4 Digerati

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:21 AM

That's a bad age. You have to talk to them. Even if you have absolute control at your house, kids can always get on computers elsewhere and create a MySpace or Facebook account and the next thing you know, your kid's full name, age, picture, school, home address and phone number are all over the Internet. Of course, badguys of all sorts seek out the naive and vulnerable - so it's not just personal information at risk.

Reference currently in the news: Missing girl, 12

She had told family members she planned to meet a friend and visit the friend's relative in a hospital. But police have said they doubt the girl had such a plan. Instead, they believe she may have been to meet someone she had contacted through the MySpace social networking Web site.


I think you should consider letting them set up a My Space account - but only under your supervision - the exact thing they want less of. :) But this really is for their own good. These badguys are not stupid!

Have them do the research to learn the dangers, then do the research to learn how to be safe. I would hope their school(s) could help too.
kIbxonF.gif Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
fl3leAE.gif Windows and Devices for IT, 2007 - 2018

Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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