Teenagers and Macbooks

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zeekles, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. zeekles macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2015
    Hi all,

    I'm completely new to macbooks - I've just bought one for my 15 year old daughter and am now trying to configure it so that it works for her for what she needs, but still allows us some semblance of control.

    Ideally, I want her to be able to do pretty much everything EXCEPT change the parental monitoring settings I've put on her account (I've limited web access, set time limits etc), and change her password. I still want her to be able to install programs etc.

    Is this possible??

  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Welcome to MacRumors, zeekles!

    Allowing her to install programs is a bad idea. My daughter spent an enormous amount of time trying to hack around parental controls so she could run iChat at night after I caught her iChatting with a boy 2 years older than her at 3am. I used an app called Logorrhea to dump all her iChats so I could examine them for suspicious activity. I had a lengthy conversation with that young man's parents and that particular incident never occurred again.

    She copied iChat.app at least 7 times trying to fool Parental Controls into letting her launch it. Finally I had to do a merciless wipe of her machine to get it stable again after all her jailbreaking attempts. Bottom line: if a 15 year old can install apps, this means they have admin access and you might as well not bother with Parental Controls.

    Another approach is to use a DNS based filtering approach. When my kids were living at home, I used the free (at the time) OpenDNS and their filtering feature which allows me to block certain domains (chat sites, violence, pornography, hate, etc) either by category or by blacklist. Now that OpenDNS is owned by Cisco, I'm not sure how much longer it will be free. I'd say get in and hoped to be grandfathered. Using OpenDNS I could also whitelist sites I wanted my kids to get to despite them having fallen under one of the blocked categories. When my kids tried to go to something I deemed inapproprate, they got a picture of scooby doo and the text "blocked by dad". They were not amused but they got over it. As they got older, junior in high school and older, I removed Parental Controls though I still did not give them admin access. I still have OpenDNS running, with filters and when they come home from college there are always growns and smirks when they try to go to one of their so-called "study" sites. ;)

    The nice thing about Macs is you never have to repair anything, so keeping admin rights over half a dozen machines isn't the 20 hour+ a week workload such a thing might turn into with Windows. In OSX, stuff (almost) never breaks. For games they had an xbox and a ps-something and I discouraged them from playing games on their Macs, except of course the game I author: Rocketland Quakeworld mod (yes a Quake 1 mod).
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Set a firmware password to stop her changing the admin password...

    Instructions here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204455

    Make sure your happy with the settings you've allowed and let her get on with it!

    As above do not allow apps to be installed and it'll save you so many headaches.

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