Instant Messaging
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Thread: Instant Messaging

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Instant Messaging

    My searches both here and online have not yielded a clear direction at this point - hence this post. If it's been addressed already (& recently) then let me know...

    I have triplet daughters - age 12- who have discovered that IM is the coolest thing w/ their friends. I want to accomodate them as much as possible - given the usual security concerns of course. They each have an XP machine sitting behind an IPCop box. My question basically is: Is there a (inexpensive) secure IM client out there or is that an oxymoron (sorry - couldn't help that)?

    I have them on limited accounts in XP - does that help on limiting potentially nasty downloads with IM? I have no experience with IM.

    Normally I try to do a thorough research effort rather than post but then I more or less promised them I would get them up and running this w/e.
    \"If you give me six lines written
    by the most honest man, I will find
    something in them to hang him.\" C.R.

  2. #2
    I wouldn't recommend AIM, I hesitate when suggesting Gaim, maybe give trillian a try?

    Gaim has never had solid file transfer ability (it has never been functional IME) which is a plus for security (I guess, unless it foreshadows bad code ). Gaim kept releasing versions with a font bug which made me think twice about using it.

    They will probably end up asking for the official AIM client when they see the differing functionality between clients.

  3. #3
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    So let me get this straight, you want to limit your daughters' ability to download nasty things with IM?

    Well, having a limited XP account does help, but not much. I suggest just letting them have AIM (which i'm sure most of their friends use) but thats just IMHO and using good AV and anti-malware software, and giving all three of them a good speech about bad and unknown things. That's what I do in my house, and my problems have been very limited, the trick is educating them about the dangers.

    But if you want to go another route, I beleive there are all kinds of software that restricts users' ability to install programs on a computer, on purpose or accidently, which helps prevent 'nasty' downloads.
    I am the uber duck!!1
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  4. #4
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    My terminology was imprecise.

    'Nasty' = links leading to viruses, spyware, etc. I have AV and an assortment of anti-malware on each of their machines.

    I've gome through all of the talks but they are twelve. Seems the perfect target for enticing or free offer links...
    \"If you give me six lines written
    by the most honest man, I will find
    something in them to hang him.\" C.R.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    well I would definetly recomend setting firefox as there default brower, that will help stop popups offering the free things. But when it comes to thing like this I have to agree that educating them is the onlyway to stop them from doing it. I know when I was that age if my parents were to install a program like that I would have attacked it till Icracked it, even If I didnt want what the links went to, I just liked the challenge.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

    http://think-smarter.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    well I would definetly recomend setting firefox as there default brower
    agreed, but go to extra extents in disabling the current IE... ie zones, auto-defaults, deleting iexplorer.exe :P
    http://sfx-images.mozilla.org/affili...88x31/take.gif
    If You\'ve Done Something Right. People Wont Know You\'ve Done Anything At All - God (futurama)

  7. #7
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't deleting iexplorer.exe just cause problems? Don't you need iexplorer.exe ?
    I am the uber duck!!1
    Proxy Tools

  8. #8
    Regal Making Handler
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    From experience you have to monitor what they are doing and who they are chatting with. Having them have a restricted account is a good start. This may sound draconiun, but don't allow them to be online from their bedrooms, I apreciate that maybe difficult. Supervision is the key to keeping them safe though. So the ideal would be for them to use a family room. Left to their own devices they will learn from there on line friends to bypass what ever secuity you set up.

    Make sure you lock them out of the bios setup by setting a password. Install some thing like netnanny or otherparental control softwre to protect them from inapropriate matterial.

    I can't help with the best IM client, I simply don't know which is the securist......personaly, i think they are pretty much all the same, security wise for young children.

    Educating them to be wise to the dangers of the net can be a bit of a battle but is very important. My eldest daughter is quite adept at spyware removal now but it's taken me about two years, to get through to her that all the joke emails and sites with games on that her friends point her to are not allways friendly.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  9. #9
    Developer Extraordinar
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    As SoadP said, GAIM is a secure client, and their file transfew does work. However AIM should be fine, no need for a third party client. I suggest you sit your daughter down, and talk to her about it. "Don't accept files from people" etc. Install another firewall on the local computer, get a good AV/anti-spyware/whatever else program. Also make sure you XP is uptodate (blah, blah, blah...).

    microburn
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  10. #10
    Dead Man Walking
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    The best protection you have is actualy being a parent. And Im not criticizing you in any way when I saw that. Just a blanket statement. 12 year old kids have no right or reason to expect privacy when it comes to computer activity. Discuss with them the dangers of chatting with people they dont know and also the danger of accepting files and what files are acceptable and what isnt. Teach them how to check files for virii when they recieve them. MOST importantly though is make sure you know what they are doing and who they are talking to. you wouldnt leave your kids in thier bedroom with some stranger off the street so why leave them alone in thier bedroom with some stranger off the net. That networking cable doesnt make it any safer than it would be on main street.

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