How do I stop someone using my computer from going to adult websites or from opening any inappropriate material like adult videos or images which may may come via pen-drives or CD/DVD?

  • Is there any Windows built in function for this?
  • Any 3rd party software available?
  • Will they slow my network speed?
  • Are they fool-proof?
  • Can activities be tracked using these?

Try OpenDNS. You can set up your Internet connection so it filters everything through them. Free accounts for personal use. I use it at home.

  • +1 for OpenDns. The stats are great and you can even see if they tried to visit any sites as well as a record of every dns lookup made by your network. Network speed is not affected at all and browsing speed usually increases over using ISP based DNS servers. – Chris_O Sep 7 '10 at 17:48
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    Care to explain how it works? – Ivo Flipse Sep 7 '10 at 19:56
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    The problem with DNS blocking is that it is pretty easy to get around for a lot of sites, by just pinging the domain on a site like www.nwtools.com, and then just using the obtained IP address in the browser address bar. Intelligent kids could find this out. – paradroid Sep 7 '10 at 20:33
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    @grawity: Yes, I know, I said 'a lot of sites'. It won't work with shared servers or subdomains. Also, I mentioned using 'a site like www.nwtools.com', not from local command line, so that point is invalid. – paradroid Sep 8 '10 at 15:39
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    Are you guys really arguing about the semantics of the word "ping"? Does it really matter? – Sasha Chedygov Sep 9 '10 at 8:37

For Windows XP, the easiest thing to set up is Content restrictions.

Go in to Control Panel > Internet Options > Content tab then enable and set the restrictions you like.

This however only works on Internet Explorer.

Next, I would advise you take a look at OpenDNS. If you are willing to change your DNS provider (and OpenDNS are a very good and fast one), they offer free content protection which will work for every browser and machine on your network.

So, you have an easy and harder option here, use whatever one you want!

Fool proof - unfortunately not, you can overwrite anything - you may have a bit of luck if you go down the extreme route of blocking all DNS queries on your router other than to OpenDNS, or similar, but if the kids are intelligent, they will find a way!

Speed, It shouldn't affect it negatively at all.

3rd party software - there are far too many to mention, but I prefer the ones I listed above.

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    +1 for "if the kids are intelligent, they will find a way!". There is no guaranteed way to accomplish this (despite what the marketing material says). If they're your kids, the best bet it to explain to them why you think it's wrong and why you don't want them doing it. Because if they really really want to, they will find a way. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Sep 7 '10 at 17:09
  • But… p00rnz is nøt Bådzzzz… ;) (jking’) – Martin Marconcini Sep 8 '10 at 0:04
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    @Martin Marconcini - As an IT technician, if I had my way, I would ban all porn on the internet. Trust me, when you go round to peoples houses and (without being too dirty) you see the state of some keyboards, you really do not want to touch anything without gloves and hand sanitiser for when you are finished... Thank god I am nearly entirely B2B (business) now and doing less consumer support! – William Hilsum Sep 8 '10 at 0:20
  • agreed!!! I was j/king ;) That and the amount of traffic that is “wasted”. – Martin Marconcini Sep 8 '10 at 1:30
  • +1 to you for an ohh so nasty, but ohh so possible, situation. – lamcro Sep 9 '10 at 17:01

See these products:

  • K9 Web Protection: Integrates with some firewall products, can limit usage hours, has logging, realtime filtering.
  • KidZui: Runs a separate browser for kids, and includes filtering and suggestions for "kid-friendly" sites.
  • Windows Live Family Safety: Integrates directly with Windows user accounts, letting you specify different permissions for each child. Includes logging, dynamic filtering, and control over MSN Messenger and Hotmail. Can optionally integrate with a Windows Live account to let you control settings remotely..
  • Parental Control Bar: Adds a browser toolbar with a switch for child mode/parent mode. Only works in Internet Explorer and Safari, so could easily be bypassed if the kids used a different browser.
  • Norton Online Family: Monitoring, logging and blocking. Can send you email alerts. Can monitor some chat applications.

All of these products are different, some of them are very parametrable, and one or all of them should answer your needs.


realistically there's very little you can do. You can block at the dns level or content filtering level, but any reasonable kid will get around such a measure.

You can enforce operating system restrictions, but then youll have to avoid them booting off a usb pen into their own O/S.

You can block at the network level, but there's nothing to stop them using wifi to steal your neighbours connections and downloading whatever they want.

You can even do do all of the above, and then they'll use their iphone to go to the sites you wanted banned.

Point is, you can try all sorts of things but the likely outcome will simply be resentment and causing them to look for ways to break the measures (with success in all likelyhood).

The best measure you can take is education, teach them whats good and whats bad, and why. Teach them how sites can infect them, how viruses work, and why computer laws exist.

Do this, and you may even steer them into a career.

edit: Oh, and i'd say theres FAR more harm done by using a computer 15 hours a day sat on your butt every day than viewing adult material. Being smart will prevent their brains being destroyed but a destroyed body is a lost cause.

My summary: Limit the time on the machine, not the usage patterns.

  • Well Trying to educate my brother is what I did first but he cant seem to get the point. I think I am gonna sit beside him when he uses my computer. – subanki Sep 9 '10 at 10:32

So far people have given good answers to solve the Online access problem.

Although I know of no application that can recognize pornography or other inappropriate content offline, you might want to have a look at NetWrix Usb Locker which allows you to block access to USB devices.

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