Tag Archives: security

Top 10 Free Parental Control Software and Browsers

These days, children are far more adept at using computers than their parents. The biggest worry is how to control the information they receive without completely removing their independence and having to look over their shoulders.

With the rise of the internet predator and the proliferation of pornographic sites on the web, children’s online safety is of paramount concern to parents. It is therefore comforting for parents to know that there is a range of free downloadable online safety resources available to them.

Basic Protection

Windows 7 or Windows Vista come with some parental controls built into the operating system. These have to be turned on and the settings adjusted to your particular needs.

Parents can set time limits on PC or laptop use, allow or block access to certain games or programs and get information about a child’s computer use. However, these controls don’t monitor internet use and additional parental controls from another provider will be needed.

These may be available, for example, as part of your broadband and satellite television package and can be added to the Windows Parental Controls already installed. You can visit Broadband Expert for satellite TV provider information.

Google has its own online safety tools which parents can access and set to their own requirements. For example, Google SafeSearch screens sites that contain sexually explicit content and removes them from search results.

Google safe search
Google safe search

Children will not, therefore, accidentally stumble upon pornographic images when searching the internet. Parents can choose the filter level and can even lock it with a password so that children cannot turn it off or bypass it.

Once locked, a very striking image of coloured balls is visible on the search page, even from across the room, so parents can easily see that the SafeSearch lock is still in place.

For later versions of Internet Explorer, Parental Control Bar is a free download that prevents access to adult content. It can be locked with a password but is not suitable for use with multiple Windows user accounts.

If you’re happy to have one account only on the family PC then this software offers adequate, if rather basic, parental controls.

Chat and Email Monitoring

Windows Live Family Safety is a freeware download for Windows. It may already be included in your Windows 7 package but can otherwise be easily downloaded from the Windows website.

You will need a Windows Live ID but once you have set one up, setting the tool to your requirements is easy. It is suitable for use on multiple Windows user accounts and once the settings are arranged, the server will filter the content available to your child’s account.

The beauty of this tool is that instant-messaging and email monitoring are included too.

K9 Web Protection can be downloaded and installed free of charge and provides parents with an activation key which doubles up as the password for each control task.

K9 Web Protection
K9 Web Protection

Parents can choose categories for the websites they want to block, including everything from abortion to violence. Adult pop-ups can also be blocked. However, online chat and email monitoring is not part of this freeware program.

KidsWatch Family Protection Suite is a free control tool which has a paid-for upgrade too. KidsWatch blocks inappropriate site content and pop-ups, but also alerts parents to undesirable chat conversations and email content using a keyword-monitoring system.

Parents can view the entire dialogue of instant-message and chat conversations. Individual settings for each child mean that children of different ages can have their own user accounts with suitable settings for their age group.

Along similar lines, Online Family Norton also blocks inappropriate sites and content and allows parents to monitor chat, instant messaging and emails. Again, settings can be attributed to individual user accounts depending on the age of each child in the family.

Child-Friendly Browsers

If you have concerns about your children using the usual internet browsers, then you might want to consider one or two of the child-friendly browsers available. Kidzui is a web browser that comes preloaded with suitable content for kids and is perfect for younger children.

There is even an associated child-friendly video content site called ZuiTube which children can be encouraged to visit instead of YouTube, ensuring that they are not exposed to any risky media.

Buddy Browser Blocked Page
Buddy Browser Blocked Page

Another similar internet tool is Buddy Browser, which also comes filled with suitable YouTube video content for kids. Buddy Browser also detects undesirable content in real time and blocks it instantly. It also offers safe social networking for children.

Broadband Provider Parental Controls

It is also worth examining your existing broadband package, as many satellite television and broadband providers include free parental control tools with their broadband services. Visit Broadband Expert for satellite TV provider information

There are many resources available to parents to ensure their child’s online safety, but none of them can act as a replacement for parental supervision. Parents should always be fully aware of their child’s online activities to be absolutely sure of their safety.

About The AuthorSarah James is an expert in broadband and satellite television services and writes on technology for a variety of websites and blogs. She recommends that you visit Broadband Expert for satellite TV provider information.

How Open WiFi Networks Can Compromise Your Security

These days nearly everywhere one can find a free or open WiFi network, it may seem like a great facility at first to be able to surf the net for free but after taking a closer look you may not be so eager to use the free internet.

There is always a catch with things are too good to be true and the same applies for free WiFi networks. Your security is greatly at risk in such environments.

One problem is that you don’t know who else is on the network with you, secondly you don’t know what the person’s motive is who created the free or open network in the first place.

Your files can easily be manipulated, stolen or damaged by the person who has created and allowed you access to the free WiFi network, and other people that maybe on the network with you can also quite easily spy on you and your activity while you’re connected.

How Can My Security Be Compromised??

Once you have connected to an open WiFi network, your device together with all the other computers on that network are in fact connected to a main computer (server) which has put the network out in the first place.

WiFi Security (image by Cloned Milkmen)
WiFi Security (image by Cloned Milkmen)

This main computer does have access to all the other computers that are using the network, all that is required for the main computer to see what you are up to on the network, is software such as Wireshark.

Wireshark allows one computer to access all data that is being transmitted to and from the connected device. The degree to which your information is secure and kept safe online is dependent on the site you’re browsing and how safe that site wishes to keep your information.

For example if you are surfing an unsecured site, any data which is transmitted between your computer and that site can be viewed by a third party with the use of softwares like Firesheep.

It would be a good idea to review which information of yours is shared and can be viewed by others, as not every site has the same security and some sites and networks don’t have much security at all.

How Easy Or Difficult Is It To Spy Me??

For a network administrator to get a piece of malware of possible PC spyware, on to your connected device isn’t a very complex or difficult task at all.

A problem seen in many networks is that people can be redirected. For example, you search on some site but end up at another, which is full of ads and is definitely not what you are looking for.

Open WiFi can be used to spy you

Even sites that you would consider credible, like Google or Yahoo, could in fact have ads on them which are links to spyware and clicking on them would get your computer infected with PC spyware automatically.

PC Pandora 7.0 is a prime example of software which, if on your computer, can do plenty of harm. It is a covert piece of code which lies hidden in your computer & is very difficult to trace.

This software can provide the installer with a lot of information from your computer, like screen shots and login credentials as it also acts a keystroke logger among its many other features. It’s a Spy’s paradise…

This software and its likes are the sort of things that can infect you through a public WiFi network, and these malwares still keep working even  when you have left the free WiFi environment.

About The Author: Natalia David contributes towards Computer monitoring software and keylogger technology. She provides tips, tricks and news about computer and internet security. You can also follow her on Twitter @NataliaDavid4.

How To Track Children with Mobile Tracking

Being a good parent is the most important job anyone will ever take on, but parenthood can be a challenge when teenage children are concerned.

With technology allowing the free flow of information and communication, how can parents keep their kids safe while giving them freedom?

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that most teenagers are naturally drawn to excitement and risk. This creates a big problem when it comes to finding a happy medium between safety and freedom.

Talking on Phone

With frequent use of the internet and social media sites and their complete reliance on mobile phones for communication, monitoring who your teenager talks to and what information he receives can seem like an insurmountable task.

However, you can’t realistically expect to deprive your children of the gadgets that most adults have. Nor should you limit all independence.

To begin with, doing so could seriously affect their ability to communicate with friends or get in contact with family members if they need urgent help.

Future career prospects might also depend on their ability to use the latest technology and communication tools.

Benefits and Risks

Allowing teenagers to have their own mobile phone can, of course, have many benefits, especially in the case of an emergency. A teenager’s mobile can be something of a thorn for a parent.

Though needed for safety reasons, the phone is also a child’s ticket to freedom. Sometimes freedom must be curtailed.

Parents who are not quite up to speed with new technology will be relieved to learn that there are a few options available to them that could provide help.

It is possible, for instance, to monitor mobile phone usage and even track the phone’s physical location using GPS.

If you are confident about taking matters into your own hands, you could consider seeking out a handset that includes tracking technology as standard. These are available from a few private companies and the phone is supplied without a SIM card.

You can then fit the handset with your own SIM card, install the provided software onto your home PC and track your child’s location.

Parental Control

There has been talk of a SIM card that will soon be available that has a built-in capacity for parental control. Parents will be given the power to switch off the phone’s network at certain times (e.g., during school hours or late at night).

They can also monitor texts and calls and even control contacts, blocking calls and texts from unknown or unwanted callers. Internet use and data downloads can also be controlled and monitored, as well as picture and video messaging.

Purchasing a SIM card without a handset will, of course, give you the freedom to keep up with your teenager’s rapidly changing tastes by enabling relatively low-cost replacement of the handset as often as you please.

In the case of the pre-fitted tracker handsets, this will allow you to purchase updated handsets as they are released.

It’s Easy to Get your Location Leaked

Location-based services for mobile phones have been around for a while, but have come into more regular use with the rise of the smartphones using GPS and Wi-Fi technology.

Many of the social networking sites used by teenagers have integrated applications that use these technologies, which allows users to share their location with friends.

Applications such as FourSquare or Google Latitude, part of Google Maps, also use this technology to locate users and show both their location and that of friends and family on a digital map.

Before you think about this as an easy way to locate your teenager, it is worth remembering that this information is not only visible to you, but to just about anyone who wants to find it.

Quite often, a teenager’s social networking friends will include people they may not have met before and this technology will effectively allow your teenager’s whereabouts to be common knowledge to strangers, possibly putting them at risk.

Subscription Services

Perhaps the safest way to look at tracking your teenager’s phone would be to use a subscription tracking service. A Google search for “mobile tracker” will give you a host of companies that, for a monthly subscription, will track a particular phone and keep you informed of its whereabouts.

You may also use apps like Where’s My Droid for Android, or BlackBerry Protect for BlackBerry to keep a track on your child.

BlackBerry Protect

This information is only made available to you.

Any tracking device or service will only be effective if the phone is switched on and it is only the phone or SIM that can be tracked, not the child, so if your teenager leaves his phone at home or it gets lost, you may still not know your child’s whereabouts.

Also, it is worth knowing that a subscription tracking service can only be used with the child’s consent, so parents looking for a furtive way to track their child may be disappointed.

About The Author: Sarah James writes regularly on technology for a wide range of publications and websites. For more information compare high speed internet providers in your area on this website.

That site could be stealing your information! How to stay safe

With the world having advanced to where it is today, majority of our activities are carried out online. From getting ideas for what makes up our dinner to booking a hotel, we pretty much rely on the internet for much of our daily activities.

While this is much of an advantage to us in the real sense of it, we can’t deny the fact that there are some risks involved in it too. And the risk one will be facing – should our internet security be compromised – might be dangerous to handle.

Don't be a target online

Many online users don’t even see internet security as an important thing. Many may even consider it something only necessary for those doing online business – but that’s not even half the pie…

Sites may steal/sell your details

Not all the websites are reputable and trustworthy companies. Some of them are just set up for the sole purpose of making money and can do anything to make money.

That includes selling your details (your address/email/bank credentials) to third parties.

So how do you detect a website that is trustworthy from a fraud one?

There are a host of factors one can use to determine how trustworthy a website is. Here are some ways:

Viruses/Malwares can send your info to Hackers (Crackers)

Another formidable thing you should be careful of before logging your details online is viruses/malwares. Viruses are so notorious and can spread really fast.

Any website that is not well maintained might carry malwares, and when you share your info with such sites, you risk having them exposed to crackers, loosely called hackers.

Nowadays, crackers use viruses as their means of stealing user’s information. This is why you must also have antivirus software installed on your computer.

Buy a Norton Antivirus with discount coupons or have a look at Top 5 Free Anti Virus Softwares if you can’t afford one even with the discount coupons, but remember, paid premium products offer great support.

Identity Theft Puts Your Photos at Risk

Finally, the major reason you should always be careful while providing your details to websites is to prevent identity theft. Scammers can steal your identity and use it to carry out atrocities on the internet.

On the long run you end up carrying the blame for a crime you did not commit.

How to secure Facebook Photos

Increase Facebook Security to keep hackers away
Increase Facebook Security to keep hackers away

Even if you restrict your Facebook albums to only friends/family, still your profile picture is visible to everyone. To ensure it stays away from wrong hands, keep your pic as small as possible.

With such small dimensions of your profile pic, if someone tries to edit your pic, they will have to zoom in, which will cause the pic to pixelate & blur, leaving your pic safe 😉

You may read How to Protect your Facebook from Hackers

Staying careful on the internet means following the tips I just shared in this blog post. If you are careful with how you share your details on the internet, you will enjoy a safe and secure online transaction always.

You can also purchase a monitoring program on the internet and don’t forget to look of a discount code.

About The Author:
Steve is a blogger who shows people how to use Norton Antivirus Discount Coupon and Norton 360 Premier Coupon to protect themselves online. The Norton discount coupons and Norton antivirus promo he has on his blog can help you save money on internet security.

Wireless Security Tips for WiFi Network

Wireless Security is a major concern these days, with terrorists using open WiFi networks to send bomb blast claims to the government, you could be in some serious trouble.

Although wireless networks are very beneficial, but wireless networking has many security issues. Crackers (loosely called hackers) have found it easier to break wireless WiFi networks. But this can be prevented by some pro Wireless Security Tips.

WiFi Security (image by Cloned Milkmen)
WiFi Security (image by Cloned Milkmen)

This article summarize the steps you should take to improve the wireless security of your home WiFi network.

  • Change Default Username & Password of your WiFi

    Most WiFi home networks have an access point or router. To set up these pieces of equipment, manufacturers provide web pages that allow owners to enter their network address and account information to boost wireless security.

    These Web tools are protected with a login screen (username and password) so that only the rightful owner can change this. However, for any given piece of equipment, the login credentials provided are simple and very well-known to hackers.

    change password

    Change these settings immediately to prevent your network from getting into the wrong hands & to level up your wireless security.

    Read How to change your Router’s Username and Password

  • Change the Default SSID (WiFi Network Name)

    SSID or Service Set Identifieris name of your wireless network. Most wireless routers have a predefined SSID like ‘default’ or the brand name of the router.

    Although changing it won’t directly improve your wireless security, but it will prevent hackers from directly knowing what type of router you are using and reduce the possibilities of an attack.

    Change SSID
    Change SSID

    Also, you might just change your SSID to Hacker Inside or Virus.exe to fend off amateur crackers.

    See our tutorial to Change the Default SSID (Wireless Name)

  • Disable SSID (Wireless Name) Broadcast

    By Default, WiFi routers broadcast the Wireless Network Name (SSID). This feature enables you to connect to set up your wireless network easily.

    But, after set up you don’t need this facility as your device will connect to your WiFi automatically. Thus, disabling it will prevent your network from being visible to the public and hence prevent unauthorized access to your network, +1 to your wireless security 😉

    Read How to Disable SSID (Wireless Name) Broadcast

  • Enable Wireless Encryption: best for Wireless Security

    All wireless routers have either WPA or WEP encryption to prevent unauthorized access to your network. WPA encryption is much secure than WEP encryption and hence is a preferred mode of encryption.

    If you find your router or your computer incompatible with WPA encryption then you should still apply WEP as something is better than nothing. A newer encryption, WPA 2 provides even stronger encryption than WPA but your hardware needs to support it.

    Learn More on How to Enable WPA WiFi Security for Windows

  • Filter Mac Address

    Every laptop, mobile or any other any wireless device has a unique address called MAC address or Media Access Control address. Most WiFi routers have a feature, which if enabled will allow only certain MAC addresses  to access the network.

    Thus you can restrict your router to only allow connections to your own devices. So only you authorized devices will be able to access your network!

    Check this out to know How to Filter MAC Address on your router

  • Decrease the Range of your WiFi

    Wi-Fi signals may leak out of your house and hence your network is detected by the neighboring receivers. To prevent this, you need to decrease the range of your WiFi router.

    This can be done by packing your router with an Aluminium Foil or placing the router in a box. You will have to experiment these things and then set it up according to your needs to minimize the leakage.

    You can add some holes to the box or aluminium foil wrapper if the range of your WiFi becomes way too less for even you to catch it effectively, it’s pure hit-n-trial 😉

  • Enable Firewall on your Computer and Router

    Firewall helps prevent unauthorized access to your wireless network.  Modern routers have inbuilt firewalls but many a times the firewall is turned off.

    Also set up firewall on each computer that connects to the network for added wireless security.

  • Turn off WiFi Router when not in use

    The simplest and the best good way for wireless security, is to turn it off when not in use. Such as when you go out for work or play.

    Turn off wifi & bluetooth to save battery
    Turn off wifi

    This prevents hackers and outsiders from accessing your network. Also, it keeps the router cool and prevents it from getting heated, not to mention the save in electricity bill 😉