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blocking dating sites and porn

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Bob is correct about installing spyware or malware. Not a good idea. But there are ways of seeing what someone else is doing or has done on a computer.

If you have access to another computer there are several pieces of software that enable you to look at the other computers screen without them knowing. One is remote control pc .com there are many others. The software is intended for the user to control his/her computer for anywhere. A side benefit is that just being connected and NOT MOVING your mouse will enable you in real time to see what's going on. That is spying.

I presume that your son will be using private browsing, which is a function available on all major browsers. But if he is careless and does not clear the history, you can see the websites visited. You can also check the cookies and see if anything shows up there.

You may also like to read this article. (http://www.timeatlas.com/news/security/annual_report_on_your_data_and_our_server_logs#.UZ3htJWzPA4)

I'll end by saying that the best route IMO would be to confront him in a polite and gentle way. You may do more harm if he finds out you have been spying on him.

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Good advice from AitchB and Bob Williams.

I would just add that if you do decide monitoring / blocking software is appropriate then be aware of its limitations.

From a technical point of view, almost all software like Net Nanny can be circumvented with a little knowledge and remote connections can easily be disabled. Even if your son doesn’t know how to do this, chances are one of his friends will.

You should view this monitoring software as a single layer of protection that makes it slightly more difficult for your son to view porn, is he really going to give up that easy.

From a parental point of view, when your son does find a way to access those sites again does he know how to stay safe.

Is he aware of the dangers associated with posting personally identifiable information or inappropriate material or meeting people from these sites?

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I agree with what AitchB said, about confronting your son. I remember when I was younger I could tell my mom was snooping around my bedroom. I would always have a fit and end up yelling at her, because I had ways of knowing she was. She thought I was doing something when I wouldn’t ever consider doing it, like smoking or drugs, something like that. It might be an uncomfortable situation when confronting him about something like this, but if you remain calm and show him respect, I think that will go over a lot better than if he finds you spying on him.

If you still decide to spy on him, there is a good chance that no matter what you do he will find out. As people already mentioned there is software you can install on the computer so you can view it from another computer. Although if you bump the mouse at all while you are spying, it will move the mouse on his end. Depending on the application you use, it will also place an icon on the taskbar or next to the clock when you are connected, so if he sees this icon he can close out of it and you will lose your connection and can’t see what he is doing. This icon too will help him figure out if you are spying or not.

I would say the best route though would be to talk to him first, just try not to get mad at whatever it is he says, because it will only cause a fight and nothing will get resolved, and possibly cause a lack of trust issue when your son wants to come to you for something in the future (because he might not come to you with future issues or questions, if you get mad about his answers).

Zines

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By coincidence after we all answered your question, Sky News put up a report that you should read.

I feel I must add that I too was very annoyed at my Mum and elder sister spying on me when I was about 11 or 12. I haven't forgot it although I had forgiven them a long time ago. I am nearly 70 now!

(http://news.sky.com/story/1094975/warning-over-kids-raised-on-diet-of-porn)

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