Need Help Blocking Chat software!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mojothemonkey, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. mojothemonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #1
    Hi, I know there are a lot of knowledgable people browing this forum and I thought it would be a great place to start.

    My brother (9th grade) is basically addicted to Instant Messeging, and its cutting into his study time dramatically and his grades are dropping as a result. He uses the internet legitimately for his homework (research, online "blackboard", etc.), but as soon as iChat opens, all progress stops. Threats, punishments, and other means dont work (its that time of life) and also because he goes on there when my parents are out of the house. I'm living away from home going to school, so I'm not there. They are desparate to find a way to block is IM usage.

    Computer at issue: iMac G4, latest OSX version
    Users: Just my brother (we're prepared to restict it to just word/safari)
    Connection: LAN - router (new netgear router, supposedly lots of features)

    My brother isnt computer savvy, but he knows enough to be able to install a program that is deleted, or download an alternative chat client to get around a specific block. I've heard of ways to block ports that take care of this problem, and I guess thats the solution I'm looking for.

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated. thanks everyone
     
  2. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #2
    There is a parental thing in Tiger.

    Also if your parents reformat the HD and create their own Admin account, they can create an account for your brother that can only access certain programs and not able to install programs as well.

    Its in the options for creating a second account

    but if your brother learns how to use AIM Express (can't remember if that needs AIM installed or not) but if he can use it, your screwed if you let him use Safari, as it is AIM through Internet and not a separate program
     
  3. mojothemonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #3
    Thanks, but this fails to incorporate the threat from aimxpress (website-based chat application that doesnt need to install any program - i think it runs through java).

    That is a good idea, and I suppose that the router could be used to block that specific website, but he's got a lot of mp3's, pictures, work, etc on his computer. Its not backed up right now (i know, always a terrible idea), but I think that can be fixed.

    Also, does the HD need to be reformatted? I thought you could create a new account any time.

    Great idea, I'll keep it in mind as a last resort. Thanks
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    You can also create a new admin account from within the existing admin account, log out, and back in as the new account, and then de-admin the old account and drop it down to the limited programs / simple finder mode. In Panther, I decided to drop my main account from admin for a while to see if it had any security benefits, and then lost interest. :)
     
  5. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #5
    ah didn't know that.

    Still don't know if AIM Express needs AIM installed or not
     
  6. mojothemonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #6
    Will the features available in the standard parental controls be able to prevent the install of an alternative client? (ie: can it prevent user from installing <any> applications?)

    Sorry for the seemingly find-out-for-yourself questions. I'm not typing from a Mac right now. I know them well, but my lawschool requires a PC laptop to take the tests... :(
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    I don't think it does. MSN has msn2go also.

    As far as built in controls, though, if you make his account an administered account with parental controls, I believe you can limit his navigation to only websites that you have bookmarked for him (I think it gives access to the whole domain, so that you can navigate within, say, the New York Times, if you have access to it, but if it sends you offsite, it will be blocked). You could use this to block msn2go and AIM Express.

    That feature is described in brief on the Apple website, but I have never used it personally, so I don't know exactly how it works.
     
  8. super mini (mac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    UK, ENGLAND
    #9

    does he have his own account?


    make sure he does, and make settings to only administrator can add programmes etc. so he is only linited to normal stuff
     
  9. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    I'm pretty sure that with a limited account, you won't be able to install any alternate programs. Here is more information about parental controls. You can also limit access to Safari, this is what it says on the Apple website.

    Start your kids’ Web exploration off on the right foot with Safari Parental Controls. Specify exactly which websites your children access by bookmarking only those sites on the Safari Bookmarks Bar. With Safari Parental Controls enabled, your kids browse only the sites on the Bookmarks Bar. New web addresses typed into the address field or non-approved sites linked from approved sites will not load on Safari. Instead, an error message appears, giving your child the option to request approval on blocked pages.
     
  10. mojothemonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #11
    Thanks for the speedy, on-point, and helpful information guys. I just got off the phone with my father and he's in the process of implementing the changes discussed above.
     
  11. super mini (mac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    UK, ENGLAND
    #12

    no probs, and good luck
     
  12. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #13
    Ok, heres what needs to be done:

    Block the use of iChat and installing of new apps (using Tiger's parental controls).

    Block access to aim.com (your router should be able to do this, and no one really uses this site except to download AIM or use AIM Express).

    That should prevent him from IM'ing without making everyone else in the family suffer. If he gets really savvy and starts to use MSN or Yahoo! chat, just block those sites too (on the router, assuming no one in your house is using MSN or Yahoo! on a daily basis).
     
  13. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #14
    I think Apple's Parental Controls will let you block specific websites....so just block www.aim.com and www.aol.com
     
  14. cjc343 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    In the apple store, in front of a G5.
    #15
    I haven't personally used Parental Controls much, but as far as blocking individual sites goes, add a line to /etc/hosts that redirects the site to 127.0.0.1

    You need Admin access to modify /etc/hosts so your brother would not be able to change it.

    Exploring Parental Controls is probably the easiest way though...
     
  15. Chacala_Nayarit macrumors 6502

    Chacala_Nayarit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, Washington
    #16
    Make him get ajob pumping gas, bagging groceries, et cetera, and then ask him if he wants to do that for the rest of his life? :O
     

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