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Thread: Moniter My sons Computer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Question Moniter My sons Computer

    Needless to say sons can be a pain with technology. i have parental controls set up on the router and on his computer (both of us use ubuntu 12.04 lts) but i know there are ways around those (i tried to test and there are to many ways to block it all). now without being an it expert, while being able to figure out most problems is there anyway to moniter his activity online and off with out physically logging onto it? a program i can install or something of the same genre? mostly just worried about what he gets into on my router my wife works at a bank and im an engineer so we both use vpn's on our work laptops (windows) and would like to add some security/watchdog properties to the device network. Would just like to be able to check on it every once in awhile if you know what i mean. i feel bad for using a distro developed in openness and freedom to lock him down but he is 14 and dosent need to be into stuff like he has been.

    Anyhow let me know thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    I am also interested in this.
    ----------
    HTPC build (100% Linux): Ubuntu 12.04, MythTV 0.25+
    Mobo: Asus M3N78-VM, Video: Geforce 430, TV: HVR-1600, HVR-2250, HD: 3TB system

  3. #3
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    Here's something from around 2010. How to Create a Family Friendly Ubuntu Setup

    There is also DansGuardian, although I've never used any of this.

    Keeping the computer in a public place in the house is also a good idea. A hardware keylogger might be useful too.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2010
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    Thanks! I will check those out
    ----------
    HTPC build (100% Linux): Ubuntu 12.04, MythTV 0.25+
    Mobo: Asus M3N78-VM, Video: Geforce 430, TV: HVR-1600, HVR-2250, HD: 3TB system

  5. #5
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    Feb 2010
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    ...And what about some filtering created at the router level?
    ----------
    HTPC build (100% Linux): Ubuntu 12.04, MythTV 0.25+
    Mobo: Asus M3N78-VM, Video: Geforce 430, TV: HVR-1600, HVR-2250, HD: 3TB system

  6. #6
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    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubu_Fester View Post
    ...And what about some filtering created at the router level?
    Filtering with a network device is good if you want to filter traffic for a bunch of computers because you can centrally manage the filtering. You would probably have to install something like a web proxy like Squid with a blacklist and have traffic go through that server. So if you're dealing with a computer or two, you might be better off installing filtering software on the individual computers.

    However, I'm pretty sure OpenDNS has the ability to block certain sites at the DNS level. So you wouldn't have to maintain your own server, you could just configure each computer to use an OpenDNS server.

  7. #7
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    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    I guess we kinda need to know how computer-oriented you are, and how computer-oriented your son is.

    IMO your only real control will be:
    1. Lock your cable modem in a closet.
    2. Connect a transparent proxy between the cable modem and your switch/wireless router/the rest of your internal network into a closet and hide the key.
    3. Figure out what things to monitor, and make sure everything else of interest is accounted for.


    IMO if you could get a lot of information from DNS. I've never tried it so I don't know how hard it is to log requests, but here's what I would do:
    1. Lock dns down through the proxy, so that only your DNS has access through the proxy.
    2. Make that DNS server log all requests and which IP address they came from, and maybe a host name/computer name.
    3. Look at the log every now and then.


    To me, that would be the place to start. If you see names that worry you then you can decide to do something else. The thing is, many domain names are hosted on a single IP address, I know this because I had a domain name for my email and the ip address was the same as that of a porn site, both hosted by the same provider for two different clients. I was black-listed by nearly every mail server there was because they were spamming.

    So your son could be going somewhere legitimate which also happens to be hosting something not-legitimate, and you wouldn't know for sure. But if the DNS query shows something alarming then you know.

    Another thing you could do, but I don't know if you can do it with home equipment: On Cisco switches, you can define a single ethernet port which, read-only, mirrors another port. It's a monitor port. I had one set up to monitor the external connection when I ran the office firewall. Every packet going through that port was echoed to a computer on the monitor port, and from there I could see everything that went in or out of the office without any latency issues induced by a proxy.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

  8. #8
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    Sep 2012
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    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    so i have it locked down at the router through a couple different ways including Linksys' own parental controls. a couple of the ip addresses i have blocked but i have to keep others for certian forums and what not because of cross hosting. that article from 2010 i have some of it but not others so i think that will be a good place to start. as well as dansguardian will be. i have been watching my logs because we had a couple firewall intrusion attempts. i mean both the wifes and myselfs work computers are locked down really really well but it is a computer, and it does run windows and there are always ways around everything. as i read through logs and his web history if/when i get the chance i lock down prob a new site a week. its just bloody hard to keep up. i can leave my router in a n open place because funny enough the reset button doesnt work and its a combo unit. idk. thank you all for the suggestions they will make a huge difference im sure.

    is there still anyway to remote view his activity on his computer. like not at the same time but just a history?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    77
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    Thanks, this is helpful.
    ----------
    HTPC build (100% Linux): Ubuntu 12.04, MythTV 0.25+
    Mobo: Asus M3N78-VM, Video: Geforce 430, TV: HVR-1600, HVR-2250, HD: 3TB system

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    77
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Moniter My sons Computer

    Another question:

    I think I'll need something at the router level (D-link), since we have some wi-fi devices (iTouch and Android). ... really, a mix of a lot: Windows PC, Ubuntu PC, etc. Guarding against dangerous sites is time consuming -- and I've put off for too long....

    Thanks All!!
    ----------
    HTPC build (100% Linux): Ubuntu 12.04, MythTV 0.25+
    Mobo: Asus M3N78-VM, Video: Geforce 430, TV: HVR-1600, HVR-2250, HD: 3TB system

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