Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Parental Monitoring Software is a way to keep an eye on what your child is doing on-line. Until they learn to disable Parental Monitoring Software, that is.
My child's figured out how to disable the Parental Monitoring Software package Net Nanny by killing the process in Task Manager after hitting ctrl-alt-del. He learned to do that just by searching for "disable net nanny" on the web. Is there a way to make him stop? Perhaps a way to make Net Nanny run without being detected?
Kids are just too smart sometimes, aren't they? :-)
And even for those that aren't able to figure out for themselves these nifty ways of hacking around what you've put in place, as you've seen, there's plenty of information on-line. Kids helping kids against those "oppressive" parents.
Unfortunately this situation highlights one of the reasons I don't really like parental monitoring software in general.
Net Nanny is one of the oldest parental monitoring packages around. Apparently it's losing market share, but there are still a lot of people using it.
My very first recommendation is that you visit the Net Nanny website and search their support information. This is a fairly obvious issue, and they do have some guidance on what you can do about it.
And, for the record, whatever package you use - if they don't address this type of issue to your satisfaction either in their documentation or on-line support - it's probably time for a new package. This is exactly the type of topic I would expect every good vendor of this type of software to be all over.
I'm not going to cover any of that here, you can read it on their site yourself. The problem is that I don't want to give you false hope.
And therein lies my problem with parental monitoring and filtering software: it gives you a false sense of security. The fact is, kids will work around it, no matter what you do.
My take on it is this: if you can trust your children, then you probably don't need it. If you can't trust your children, they're just going to work around it anyway.
Have a peek at the search results for the very query your child used: "disable net nanny". The sheer volume of results in Google (186,000 as I write this) should be eye opening. I'm sure that there are similar results for almost any parental monitoring or filtering package. On top of that, sites like PeaceFire.org, which documents how political dissidents in foreign countries can bypass their government's filters, can be used to bypass pretty much any filter including those you might put in place.
Realize also that whatever you put on your computer is fairly pointless if they have access to others - school and library computers might be locked down or filtered (and subject to being hacked around also), but what about the computers at your child's friends home? Or anywhere else, for that matter?
I don't want to get into a debate about approaches to parenting. What I do want to make clear is that you should not fool yourself into thinking that a monitoring or blocking program is a total solution. If used at all, (which I obviously do question), it needs to be part of broader approach that includes you getting educated about the tools, technologies and sites that your child uses, open and honest communication between your and your child, environments that foster good behavior (such as only having computers in public places in the home), and a realization that no mater how much we might want to protect our children, we cannot protect them from everything.
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