Author Topic: You can childproof your computer
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Subject: You can childproof your computer
Physorg posted:
By Anne Krishnan

Every few months, I receive a question from a reader whose computer was never the same after a grandchild came to visit.

One computer's default language switched from English to German. Another could no longer launch Firefox. A third mysteriously lost its sound. While it's difficult to figure out what buttons a child might have pressed or clicked to cause these problems, there are a number of ways that you can protect your computer while still allowing the kids to play on it.

Many computer problems can be attributed to kids' indiscriminate Web surfing. Adults (hopefully) know to be careful in cyberspace, but children are more likely to invite any old malware home for dinner.

KidZui is a Web interface that limits children's surfing to a pre-approved set of Web sites, pictures, games and videos. It even has a social networking component. The interface comes as a standalone browser for Windows or a Firefox extension. Both allow the parents/grandparents to lock the browser so that it's the only application available for the child to use on the computer. Learn more at

Crazy Little Fingers is a free program that lets toddlers pound on the keyboard without the risk of accidental damage to your settings or files. What's more, this application assigns customizable images to the keys, making the pounding interactive but safe. Download it at



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Title: Have trike will babble
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Subject: You can childproof your computer
We password protect our main profiles and create a separate profile just for visiting children (and our brother in law) that is not password protected. We've downloaded a bunch of free games for them to play and disabled internet access for that profile. We've also denied access to file shares on the guest profile.

That way, kids can bang away and not accidentally get into Quicken or download Trojans, keyloggers and malware to my PC. If the kids complain about lack of internet access, we tell them, 'Tough. If you don't like it, bring your own PC with you. If you want to play with mine, be happy with what we provide.'

We also keep our virus protection up to date.



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Subject: You can childproof your computer
I have 5 kids. What I have done is move my computer into my room. It has a password on the account and whenever I leave I simply hit <Windows>+<L>. That serves to keep them off of my computer, but since the oldest are 10,9, and 8 there is a need for them to get on the internet for some things. I have a computer for them that they can use. I have installed Edubuntu on it for the operating system with open office. Using the linux operating system assures me that I as the administrator have complete control over what they have access to. This includes both internet activity as well as offline usage. The security is such that I do not fear them accidentally disabling something, deleting anything they arent suposed to. getting in and horking up the system or anything. It is very specific. Now to those that fear Linux, I would chalenge you to install Ubuntu Linux (or Edubuntu) and give it 15 minutes. The user interface is such that you should be able to pick up how it works fairly easily. If you need help there is a miriad of information and good people on the net that can help. Once set up though, you will be glad that you were able to provide a safe experience for the kids, while assuring they wont break it or be tempted to use yours. What about windows games or applications? Well there is a program by Sun that is much like VMware called VirtualBox. You can install that within Linux using a windows OS for your virtual platform. you can then install whatever windows software you want. Freeze the inage so that every time the virtual image gets booted it's clean. because it is inside linux you can still keep them from using the windows virtual pc to access the internet.


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Subject: You can childproof your computer
I just taught my son how to use a computer when he was 3 and never had an issue


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