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young1mb's avatar

How to monitor teen on computer?

Asked by young1mb (1points) May 2nd, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Dorkgirl's avatar

Check the history. Ask what they are doing. Keep the computer in a public area of the house so they can’t hide stuff in their room or in the den where no one goes.
If you are really concerned, change the password and require that they get you to log them on.
If you find stuff in the history that is of concern open the dialogue about what they are doing, why, why you are concerned, etc.

Fyrius's avatar

My first response would be “don’t”, since I know I’d have been really pissed as a teen if my parents would have monitored my use of the webs. But then, it would be naive to say there’s nothing on there they would be better off not seeing.
Goatse, Tubgirl and 2girls1cup would be a few well-known examples of what you might want to avoid. They’re just the tip of the iceberg. I wonder whether I managed to avoid them as a teen or most of the fecked up stuff just entered the interwebs only after I’d grown up more.

I think @Dorkgirl has the right idea; keep the computer in a “public” part of the house, where there’s always a risk that someone is going to walk in at any moment. That should keep them on the worksafe parts of the tubes, without requiring you to intrude in their privacy much.
If there are any other computers in the house, connect only the public one to the interblag.
The browsing history can be easily erased, by the way, so if they find out how to do this, that method will stop working.

As a side note: Of course there are still trolls (pranksters who are liable to post anything that will get people upset), but I think most worksafe forums will be rather safe, particularly if they’re not well-known. It’s a matter of the odds of the people visiting the main nexuses where the more disturbing stuff comes from knowing about these fora. The Internet is a big place, and even seasoned internet users tend to know only about the largest and most interesting web communities.
It’s of course also a matter of local moderation how long trolls will be able to avoid banishment, which keeps the larger worksafe sites mostly safe too if the mods are competent enough.

Dorkgirl's avatar

We had issues with our son in his early teens surfing to porn sites. We monitored where he went and what he was looking at. Yes, he knew how to erase the history, but sometimes he forgot or did not have a chance.
My husband talked to him about porn, images of women, what’s considered “normal” in sexual relationships, etc. I was concerned that he’d see naked women on horseback with ginormous boobs and think all women were going to be like that. And, I was not just concerend about naked photos. I was more concerned about the sex that was depicted—and the expectations that set up for his future relationships.
We did put a password on the computer but only in response to failing grades…no computer time unless we authorized it.
Kids can be very savvy about technology and if they are not looking at stuff you find objectionable at home they are very likely looking at it at their friends’ houses.
We just wanted to keep the dialogue open and our expectations clear.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

set the parental filter. thats what i do.

Dog's avatar

My advice is that you be honest with your teen. Monitor their activity but do so telling them in advance you are doing so.(Fair warning shows in advance that you do not seek to unfairly entrap them)

We have filters on our computers and we also monitor the history through a program NOT associated with the browser history (which is easy to erase). This same program logs chats etc.

cak's avatar

@Dog – That’s exactly what we did, and continue to do. We are very open about the fact that we do monitor things, we will continue to do so and we spot check. My daughter follows the expectations that we have of her. She has never violated that trust and frankly, we’ve only checked a few times. She has told us and even asked for one of us to come see what a link took her to, when she opened an email from a friend.

Dog's avatar

@cak Same here! Our daughter too has never violated the trust we put in her, though once we realized she had posted her cell number on line and we had to change it and explain that the internet is not the place to post such things. It has worked well for us as it has for you.

hateants's avatar

I really don’t think thast even right. because if you do that then its going to put a wall between you and your child because he/she thinks that you don’t trust them enough.But i do agree to some people that making the computer public could help because they would be less willing to do whatever they should not be doing.

lercio's avatar

You can use opendns (it’s free).

Most browsers (IE8, Chrome and a Firefox plugin) have a mode where history is not kept so that is useless now, you can be sure that this is common knowledge among teens.

The trouble with the internet is that it is a short cut to a lot of the stuff we would rather they did not encounter until later in their life. When my kids are that old I will not worry about (up front) filtering, but I know that they will find ways round it and I will have to prepare them for whatever they may come up against.

Dorkgirl's avatar

@hateants Trust is earned by children and parents. We only monitored our son’s online activities after we became aware of the places he was visiting and we told him we were going to check. He had to earn our trust back.

Fyrius's avatar

@hateants I think an important part of being a child is that children are not responsible enough to be left to themselves and expected to behave. Teenagers are just on the verge of discovering what it’s like to be an adult, but often not mature enough to prefer what would be right to what would be more fun.
Heck, look at students, they can be half a teen’s age older than them and still enjoy setting a roommate’s couch on fire.
So I think it’s natural for parents not to really trust their children to behave until after their teen years.

Dog's avatar

@hateants I am a parent. It is about guidance.

I would not let my teen explore a strange city without watching over her to be sure harm did not befall her. The internet is like a city. It has great stuff and seedy places. It has the added danger of users posing as people they are not who can become close to a naive kid.

It is my job. My job is not to be her friend- she has plenty of friends. I am the PARENT. We have a very open relationship- my daughter can talk to me about anything. There are no walls because I am not stopping her from doing as she wants. I am merely making sure she is safe while doing it.

In a few short years she will be on her own entirely. These are the most vital years to guide a teen so they are fully prepared for the future that is close at hand.

cak's avatar

@hateants- So, what do you do with your children? What suggestions do you have? I’m always looking for great ideas.

On this, it would take a lot to convince me otherwise, though. There are many problems that they can run into, or that can find them. Teens don’t always make the wisest of decisions. As a parent, @Dog is 100% correct, we not here to be a friend, we’re here to be a parent. I will be friends with my children later in life. Right now, I have the very serious job of raising two children and getting them, safely through childhood.

Don’t you agree – that is our primary job, as a parent?

dinadana's avatar

You can use special programms. They called keyloggers – they record all that was stroked on keyboard. Also you can special soft for monitor internet activity. On my work was programm ActyMac Dutywatch – it sort of employee monitoring, but you can actually use it for teen monitoring)

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