Content Filter using Wireless Router?

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digimom

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My daughter has a Macintosh computer (from school). It is covered by a content filter at school through their wireless network. But they will not allow us to download software onto her computer to protect her from "bad" content at home. (at least not at this moment - hope to change that sooner than later)

Someone mentioned using either the wireless router or my ISP provider. The ISP provider is Road Runner and their software is available through "download" which I cannot do.

We have a Belkin Model # F5D7230-4 wireless router. Currently on our two personal computers (PCs) at home we use BSafe.com for our content filter, but does not cover Macs and can't download it....

Is there a site with instructions on how to use a wireless router for a content filter? I know that it will be far from perfect, but I need something in the interim until I can convince the school to allow me and other parents to download "true" content filters with more power than routers and ISPs.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Karen
digimom
 

TerryNet

Terry
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On your router's Manual page 8 see the "Integrated Parental Control Web Content Filter" paragraph. Or the separate "Belkin Parental Control Web Content Filter" booklet.

Or login to your router and check out "Parental Control" on the "Utilities" tab. Don't know how much it costs, but my documentation claims that the first 6 months are free.
 

digimom

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Hi Terry,

Thanks for the suggestions. We went to the book and online and found the parental control, but unfortunately they do not do this anymore. The only thing that we'll be able to do now is close off the internet to her computer (using the router) and when she needs to do internet homework search stuff, she will use my computer at home. Hopefully she'll be covered "enough" at school.

Found out about "proxies" and so now I'm paranoid that all of the kids will be able to use this to skirt around the router at school! That's a whole other thing that is "new" to us parents.

Gggrrrrr

Karen
DigiMom
 
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Very simple solution, do not allow usage of the computer with you being present.

If the school has a sharp Sys Admin , they will see connections to a proxy and will warn then block connections from that machine.
 

bearone2

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jmwills said:
Very simple solution, do not allow usage of the computer with you being present.

If the school has a sharp Sys Admin , they will see connections to a proxy and will warn then block connections from that machine.
did you mean "without being present"?:rolleyes:
 

digimom

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It's easier to just not allow her computer online access while at home. She can use my computer and it has the filter. BSafe is so far very good. It blocked all proxy sites and also has now an image filter in case you get past the site address. I don't think everything is 100%, but as a concerned parent I try to make the most of what I can do.

My concern is that other parents have not a clue, don't care, etc. In fact, a friend of mine who's son is 16, said that he wouldn't go to any of "those" sites and wasn't worried about it. I just couldn't believe it! Out of the 12 emails I sent to parents I had on my list, I only received back 2 of concerned parents. Both thinking they were covered by school filter. They were shocked to find out they were not covered at home and cannot download anything at home. I will be taking this concern to the administration. Unfortunately, I don't think we have a "sharp" tech administrator. I think I'm more "sharp" about this than she is and that's not saying a lot.

I know most of you in this forum are probably more up to date than most of us on this issue. I thank you for your suggestions very much.

Sincerely,

Karen
DigiMom
 

JohnWill

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Of course, with two other computers at home, you could just have one available for her to use for Internet activity too. Windows computers are also pretty inexpensive nowadays, $300-400 will get you into a decent system that you have full control over.
 

digimom

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Thanks John,

I'm just getting frustrated by the whole ordeal. The school started two years ago with the computers and this should have been dealt with before they even started. Their "router" at school does not filter proxy sites and I feel that is the main thing that it should... Kids are tech savvy and and at 14 know how to get around the routers! I wish that we had a 14 year old technology advisor!

My kids can only get on the computers here at home when we the parents log on. then we have control over where they go also. Through my filter I can see all sites that are gone to, it blocks, proxy servers, images, etc, etc. Why can't the school filter do that? They use WebSense. This is a Catholic HS where morals are strictly adhered to and we have to deal with this? ugh.

This has given me a headache!

My 2nd worry is if she takes her computer to a friend's house for homework studies and they have wireless without blocking capabilities, she will be "wide open". If I could download something on the computer I would feel better about it. We'll see.

Karen
DigiMom
 

JohnWill

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It's pretty difficult to protect kids from any exposure. While having the protection is a good idea, it's only one aspect of a layered approach to the issue. Another layer has to be education for the kids so they understand what is and isn't allowed. A good moral base will go a long ways toward minimizing the risks here. In the final analysis, that is going to be more effective than software that can be bypassed. As you say, kids are smart, and they all know a "tech savvy" friend that can help them if they don't know themselves. :)
 

digimom

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Aug 29, 2007
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Well, the multi approach is being circumvented by the school when they "say" that they have the school protected (they don't) and they won't allow parents to download a web filter on their child's computer - even if the whole student body could only download one particular brand (which I found is easy since Mac only has 1 or 2 filters that work on them, unlike PCs). I am going to bring up my concerns to the administration and hopefully they will work on making this better for all students sooner than later! When you pay $$$$ for tuition and expect them to teach a moral academic curriculum, you expect more from them.

I'll let you all know what I find out when I get together with admin, hopefully next week sometime.

If anyone has any suggestions that I could bring to them, that would also be appreciated. I don't think their tech director is a "super" techie.

Sincerely,
Karen
Digimom
 
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To make this work, you would also have to have a host based filter, as WebSense is server based.
How practical would it be to shut off the network cards whiel at home?
 
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As parents we are responsible for making sure our children are protected. It is just like learning to drive. We can not protect them 100% of the time. WebSense is a good product. When deployed in a school environment can strongly regulate sites that students can and can not visit. There may be other products that will work with Mac, but can they be deployed in a school environment that requires mobile accounts?
 

JohnWill

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I'm not arguing against the filters, just pointing out they're not the total solution.
 
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