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Nanny Linux: Parental Controls on Little Tuxes - page 2

Live Parental Controls

  • October 13, 2009
  • By Matt Hartley

The GUI bundle is known simply as WebContentControl. As you can see from the following screenshots, WebContentControl provides a concerned parent with a multitude of tools to take control of an individual computer's web content usage.

Now here is where WebContentControl separates itself from router/web-based filtering solutions: WebContentControl uses its own settings and configuration locally.

This means it's sticking with the computer and the temptation to merely connect to another network is not going to allow a child to view questionable content.

Then there are the available features.

  • Filter out individual specific IP addresses
  • Control url whitelists or blacklists
  • Work with presets rather than trying to configure everything by hand
  • WebContentControl can be set for children or young adults, depending on what is referred to as the "naughtyness" limit.

For someone not interested in using something to filter web content hosted remotely, this is a fantastic option. Sort of like a NetNanny for Linux users.

And considering it was created to tide Ubuntu users over until a permanent solution known mysteriously as gChildCare is built and distributed, it is sure a lot better than nothing at all.

Lack of clear commercial options in this space

Even when taking everything that I have highlighted above into consideration, there are still going to be those concerned about the obvious lack of commercial options. To these individuals, I would point out the following.

  1. No single solution is going to replace strong parental interaction.
  2. No single software title is completely fool proof. All one needs is a LiveCd an access to the Internet to bypass most parental control software.
  3. The software listed above, while not as attractive visually as proprietary software, works pretty well overall.

So one might as well ask the question: does desktop Linux distros such as Ubuntu provide worthwhile parental controls that are easy enough for most people to use? Considering my experience in evaluating the options available, I would have to say yes. There is no question that the options above address the needs of most people out there looking to gain better parental control over the Linux PCs being used by their kids.

Put simply, these solutions work. All that is left for those wanting to take more control over their Linux boxes for the benefit of their kids is to utilize the tools I have presented here today.

Article courtesy of Datamation

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