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Google fires fresh salvo in war on FILTH: Chrome Supervised Users

Aw, come on, dad, can I look at 4chan pleeeeeaaase?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In the never-ending quest to shield impressionable minds from some of the internet's less family-friendly content, Google has unveiled "supervised users" for Chrome on Windows, OS X, Linux, and Chrome OS.

A supervised user is a special class of Chrome user account that's created and controlled by another user who acts as its "manager," such as a parole officer parent.

By default, a supervised user has all of the same permissions that any other Chrome user has, but additional restrictions can be assigned at the manager's discretion. For example, certain sites can be blocked, or the supervised user's account can be set to a whitelist configuration so that it can only visit approved sites.

By default, sites are blocked based on specific URLs – so if a manager chooses to block Google search at google.com, for instance, the supervised user will still be able to access Gmail at mail.google.com. Managers can optionally block entire domains using wildcards, such as *.google.com, or *.google.* to block all country-specific domains.

Supervised users can contest these restrictions by filing access requests with their manager, which managers can approve or deny via the supervised users dashboard.

Managers also have the ability to view a supervised user's browsing history and to lock the Google search engine's SafeSearch feature to a setting that won't allow any untoward results to show up.

But Google cautions that adding a supervised user to Chrome isn't like adding a new user to your operating system, in that it's considerably less secure. Supervised users can close their supervised browser windows and browse as any other Chrome user account for which they have a password.

"If you are the manager of a supervised user, you can always remove your own Chrome profile from the computer or sign out of Chrome before handing it off to a supervised user," the online ad giant helpfully explains.

It could be some time before this feature makes it into the mainstream, stable version of the Chrome browser, however. For now, it's being rolled out for testing this week via the Chrome Beta channel. Users daring enough to work with a beta browser are encouraged to try it out and submit feedback via Google's Chromebook forums. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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