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Parental Controls and IE

Posted on 2011-03-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi,

My son just got a new computer and I do not wish to allow him to have Internet access while at school.  Windows 7 has a parental controls feature that allows one to block use of certain programs.  Good feature.  But it does not seem to allow me to block IE as it reports that "IE is always allowed to run".  That's not very helpful.  Any suggestions on how I can block IE usage?

Thanks,
Charlie
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Question by:charlieopp
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by:Scottyworld
ID: 35051676
You could remove access to IE using programs and features. Then, as long as your son isn't configured as an admin on the computer then he won't be able to put it back.

START > Control Panel > Programs and Features
On the left hand menu > Turn Windows Features On or Off
Remove the tick from Internet Explorer 8
Reboot

To put IE8 back again, just follow this process again and re-tick the box
Bit long winded I know, but does the trick. Unfortunately I can't test the parential controls as my Windows 7 PC is on a domain (so they don't exist)
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hello_everybody earned 250 total points
ID: 35055537
Please take into account that your son may easily install (or run the portable version) of any other internet browser, chat program ect. so if your looking to block his access to the internet (altogether or at specific times) using IE Parental Controls will not be very effective.

Also please take into account that if your son or his friends have more -or will gain more- computer knowledge then you have, he will be able to find workarounds for most filtering systems that exist.

There are free solutions offered by voluntary organizations and commercial software offered by commercial companies. However, before you rely on a system to protect your son from all the horrible atrocious websites and ideas that he may stumble upon while surfing the web, or invest money in a commercial product you should thoroughly research the solutions.

Here I'll provide you with the solution I use and found most effective but don't rely only on I opinion. Its a combination between a free and commercial soft ware.

The free product is: k9 web protection at http://www1.k9webprotection.com/
From the organization's description:

     * Block web sites in more than 70 categories, including pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism, malware/spyware, phishing
     * Force SafeSearch on all major search engines
     * Set time restrictions to block web access during designated times
     * Configure custom lists for "always allow" and "always block"
     * Override a web page block with password
     *Trust the enhanced anti-tampering, even children can't break
     * View easy reports to monitor and control web activity
     * Real-time categorization of new adult and malicious sites
     * Best free parental controls software/internet filter available
     *Compatible with Windows or Mac machines

When using k9 web protection please take into account
  1. Since k9 web protection runs a service that will not load on safe mode you won't be able to access the internet in safe mode even with networking. In my opinion it's well worth it.
  2. One (anyone- can request a temporary code to change the settings, the temporary password will be emailed to the email that was used to register the product (for free), so make sure your email account details are secure (I'll tell you more about that if you're interested).


The commercial product is: TopLang Internet Lock at http://www.toplang.com/internetlock.htm
From the company's description:

Helps control internet programs and connections:

    * Restrict internet access.
    * Password protect internet access.
    * Block internet web sites.
    * Allow one or more web sites while blocking all others.
    * Prevent any user accounts from accessing internet.
    * Schedule internet access for any or all programs.
    * Any internet program can be protected: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Outlook, FTP programs, Messengers...

Internet Lock is the access control and password protection solution for your internet connections and programs. With Internet Lock, you can fully control the internet connections and programs on your computer.

Restrict or password protect internet access. Schedule internet access. Protect internet programs on certain IP addresses or domains. Limit users access to only the web sites you specified, or keep them from accessing the unwanted web sites.


Restrict internet connections & programs.

You can use Internet Lock to restrict internet connections and programs. Programs blocked by Internet Lock will not be able to access the internet.

Internet Lock supports to protect all internet programs including, but not limited to:

    * Web browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and so on.
    * Email clients: Outlook, Outlook Express...
    * FTP programs.
    * MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger etc.
    * Any other internet programs.

Password protect internet programs.

You can use Internet Lock to password protect internet programs, to give them the opportunity to ask for the passwords when they want to connect to internet.

When a password protected program tries to connect to internet, Internet Lock pops up a password window, asks user to enter password. If she or he can not provide the password or the password is incorrect, Internet Lock drops the connection and the program is blocked.
Schedule internet access.

With Internet Lock, you can schedule internet access for any or all internet programs.

Some examples:

    * Only allow users to access internet every day 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM.
    * Block internet access every Saturday and Sunday.
    * Users must provide password to access internet after 10:00 PM.
    * And many more combination to protect internet access daily, weekly or monthly.

* Use internet time for schedule options:
Internet Lock can be configured to use the internet time for schedule options, which will get the correct date time from internet time servers. Users can not bypass the protection provided by the schedule enabled rules by changing the computer time.
Control access to internet web sites.

    * Block or password protect programs from accessing any web sites on your computer, so that none can access those sites from your computer or they must provide password.
    * Limit users access to the web sites you specified only.

Protect any kind of internet program.

You protected the special TCP port of an internet service, you will protect all the internet programs which will use that internet service. This way, protecting a special TCP port will protect a bunch of internet programs.

Protect all web browsers? A single rule does it:
[Password Protect] [Any Program] on [80]
Web browsers use TCP port 80 to open the web pages on the internet. You protect the TCP port 80, you protect all the web browsers, including the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and other web browsers you have or have not installed on your computer.
It's easy to get started with the powerful Wizard.


Easy-to-use wizard.

With Internet Lock Wizard, you can easily configure the Internet Lock for normal uses. It provides the pre-defined rules, for examples:

    * Password protect all web browsers
    * Limit computer to access only specified domains
    * Deny all email client programs.

You fully control the internet access.

Internet Lock is not a simple "Click to block, click to allow" program, Fully Control means you can control each internet program and TCP port.

With Internet Lock, you can:

    * Allow any ones of the internet programs, block any ones of them.
    * Let a program ask for password when it tries to access internet, or simply restrict it.
    * Block some programs on certain web sites, but allow them on other web sites.
    * Allow a program to access internet 20:00 - 22:00, block the same program after 22:00.
    * Allow Outlook to receive emails but prevent it from sending emails.
    * Block the whole internet access, but allow access to your web sites only.
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Expert Comment

by:Scottyworld
ID: 35060735
If your son is configured as a restricted user and not an administrator, then he won't be able to install any additional browsers anyway
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:hello_everybody
ID: 35065915
Scottyworld:

He could easily run a portable version of any browser he likes, or he can even build his own if he has some programming knowledge (some programming books provide easy step to step guides for building a simple web browser, or he could easily build or download an Access db that has browser capabilities).
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Expert Comment

by:thekguyBlazer
ID: 35066003
what is the type of internet connection ?
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Expert Comment

by:Scottyworld
ID: 35066062
Or you could disable the wireless and Ethernet controllers, that would stop the laptop from connecting to the internet.
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