Feeds

How can family sysadmins make a safe internet playground for kids?

The scourge of Sonic the Hedgehog abominations

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Control via Choc box

That's great for simple site blocking, and takes out a lot of accidental clicks that might otherwise cause problems, but realistically children are going to spend most of their time on YouTube and Google, so one becomes dependent on what the Chocolate Factory is prepared to offer in the way of content control.

The answer isn't a lot. Google's safe search (which also exists for YouTube) can only be locked on by the account holder, and Google brooks no concept of a family account. One might imagine that a corporate account would work: Google lets one set up such a thing for free, but while employee accounts can be prevented from creating YouTube channels, or accessing YouTube at all, they can't be restricted in the kind of content which can be accessed.

Locking by the account-holder is fine if one is lending a laptop or tablet to a child, just switch on safe search and lock it on, thereafter it can't be turned off without entering the account holder's password. But that falls down if one is trying to deal with multiple devices, and use one's own computer at the same time, so another approach is needed.

YouTube Safe Search

For Google the same thing is in the top right corner, under Search Settings

One solution, admittedly a bodge job, is to create GMail accounts for the children to use themselves, but don't give them the requisite passwords. Log the device's browser onto Google and switch on safe search, do the same thing to YouTube and one should be safe to leave the child to click through links and videos with limited damage - though it's worth remembering that YouTube content in particular is only peer reviewed. Dodgy content will only be restricted after someone has reported it as such.

None of this is foolproof, and none of it substitutes for attentive parenting, but desirable as it might be one can't spend every moment watching the children watching the internet. Just as one tries to watch TV with the kids, there's a limit to how much Samsam one can put up with and to the children YouTube is nothing more (or less) than a TV channel that never ends.

There's also an argument which says children should be given some freedom to explore on their own, virtually as well as physically. The giggles on hearing kids discover lolcats for the very first time are as precious as any parental memory.

But trying to provide freedom while at the same time preventing them being exposed to the worst of the internet is tough, so chip in below with suggestions or advice - we only get one shot at getting this right. If we get some good tips from you lot (and frankly, who better?) we'll compile them and come back with a Reg guide on the subject. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.