Byte Me Article 218 – Restricting internet access time

Restricting Internet Access Time

Last week we looked at the problems surrounding our youth and the Internet.  This weeks’ article will split into two sections – 1. How to restrict the amount of Internet access time and 2. How to restrict the types of Internet sites that can be visited.

There are several ways to restrict Internet access time.  When you have an ADSL Internet connection the simplest thing is to take away the router power cable when you don’t want anyone browsing the net.  This will of course effect everyone – but it is easy to implement and doesn’t cost anything!

Moving further up the difficulty scale and depending on your brand/model of router it should have a configuration section called ‘access restrictions’ or ‘parental controls’.  This can either automatically stop / allow Internet access during different times / days of the week or with some routers it can also be configured to do the above on a PC by PC basis.  This latter works well if the adults of the household still need Internet access while it is blocked for others.

2015-04-25 Byte Me Article 218 - Technology Safeguards 2

Another way of limiting Internet time and even time wastage on already downloaded games is the ‘Parental Controls’ built into the latest Windows operating systems.  Windows 7 & Windows 8 (if setup correctly) can have an Admin login for parents – who can then control other standard user logon accounts with Internet time restrictions, or even restrictions on when programs or games can be used on that computer.  These settings cannot be overridden unless you have access to the Admin login account.

For some customers we have even setup an icon on their main PC which shuts down their kids PC’s – and won’t allow them to start again until one of the parents turns them on.  We hear back that it is surprising how this gets previously overlooked chores around the house done with incredible urgency!  Also keep in mind that many good anti-virus programs have a ‘parental controls’ section which can be set to limit the times at which the Internet can be accessed.

On the topic of anti-virus software – you should also find tools in this software to restrict access to certain categories of Internet sites.  Most good anti-virus programs offer the ability to block access to adult sites, drug sites, gambling sites, dating sites, Facebook type sites, auction sites, alcohol sites, hacking sites etc.  These tools are not only useful in a home situation but they also offer a set of base tools that businesses can use to prevent misuse of the Internet in a work situation.

So far we have discussed solutions that are either free or included in an anti-virus subscription.  Parents also have a range of paid for ‘Net Nanny’ type software solutions that try to be easier to setup and administer than the above range of solutions – for a price.  Whether these dedicated software solutions are in fact any easier to implement will come back to individual interpretations of their ease of use.

In a business situation we are often call upon to put measures in place to limit or restrict Internet access and there are a wide range of solutions available – without costing an arm and a leg.  Even with hotels / motels that offer free Wi-Fi to guests we often have to stop the downloading of movies or music so that all guests have fast access to normal Internet browsing activities and emails.

As we mentioned in last weeks’ article, the problems associated with giving children / teenagers unrestricted Internet access are many.  New solutions are even appearing on the market that allow parents to ‘spy’ on and see exactly what their kids are looking at on the Internet.  What lengths you go to will be an individual decision however let it be known that there are a lot of tools (even free ones) that are available to help in this field. 

Kerr Solutions can be found at their new shop at 205 Musgrave St and is available on 49 222 400.

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