Sunday, April 15, 2012

Policing my network

Policing my network - well not actually policing it, just locking it down.

I have decided it's time to worry about what my kids might find on the Internet - my oldest is approaching 7 and beginning to spend more time on the 'puter.

So here is the plan.  Not completely implemented just yet but getting there.

  1. Enable mac address filtering on the router.  Only devices I know about are allowed to connect to the wireless router and a password is still required to gain access and an IP address on my LAN.  - DONE!  It works great and a quick visit to my router admin page shows me who is currently using it.   Look this is just good sense.  If you are not doing mac address filtering book-mark this blog right now, and go and configure your router!
  2. Have a conversation with the child about the dangers and pitfalls of the Internet.  NOT DONE YET!  - I am kind of dreading this bit.  How do I explain to a child that it's bad to do something in such a way that they don't immediately go and do it.  (It's what I would have done if my parents warned me about porn on the Internet and then gave me access to the Internet.)  Kind of like God telling Adam and Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit then showing them where it is...
  3. Create an account with openDNS ( - start off with the free one.  - DONE!  Testing at the moment on my own PC.  Tried visiting a couple of porn sites I remember from my bachelor days and yes - openDNS is blocking them.   ----  I Should note, however, that it did nothing to prevent google from showing me all sorts of scary (sic) stuff when running a search on google images.  I guess this bit will just have to be covered by GOOD PARENTING! (Discussed in Step 2 - easier said than done...)
  4. Impliment openDNS or similar on border router (ADSL router).  Now nothing in the network will have access to said scary stuff except google image searches that is.
  5. Build small Linux desktop for child. -- Here it is.  The bit about Linux.  I intend to revive an old P100 or something slow like that I have lying around with a stable 12.04 (LTS) version of Ubuntu but with LXDE desktop to keep things sane.  Then I will configure PAM to restrict login times for the boy's user account, and then show some pop up warning (called by cron) so the boy has a chance to log out gracefully.  Because we don't want him on the thing all the time.  I have heard that kids will be up all night (just like me - it's now 00:25 in the morning) using their 'puters.

So here are some links that might be useful.

So as I progress through all this, I will post here about how it all goes.

Of course, if I was LOADED,$$$, I would buy the boy a MAC.  Apparently they have this sort of functionality built in.

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