Has my child disabled Net Nanny?

Net Nanny 5.1.x • 28 October 2004

This article refers to an older version of this product.

If you have Net Nanny v5, and the icon is no longer appearing in the lower right hand corner by the system time, try restarting Net Nanny. Find this folder and run NNSTART:

Program FilesNet NannyNNSTART.EXE

If the files or folders no longer exist, or if the program produces errors when you try to run it, it has likely been deleted or tampered with.

To protect Net Nanny in Windows XP, 2000 or NT, simply leave the "Windows Users" at a "User" level (compared to a Administrator or Power user in Windows). Note: these settings are for Windows users, not Net Nanny users.

If you have Windows 98 or ME, Net Nanny can only be as strong as the operating system allows for, and the weaknesses that are a part of the operating systems also affect Net Nanny.

One thing you can do is to make the files "hidden" so that they can't be easily viewed. First, go to Windows Explorer by right-clicking your Start button and selecting 'Explore', then:

Find the folder C:Program FilesNet Nanny on the left hand side. You may have to "expand" C: down to this level.

Select the Net Nanny folder with a left-click, then right-click it and select "Properties" from the menu.

Under the "Attributes" section, select the "Hidden" button and check it. Click, Apply, click OK.

Then, in Windows Explorer, go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View Tab.
Find the button "Do not show Hidden Files or Folders", then select it. Click Apply, Click OK.

This should make it "disapear" in the Explorer menu.

Another "log" exists in Windows for visited sites. If you're wondering about where the kids have been recently, check the History folder:

Documents and SettingsLocal SettingsHistory

In addition, check your logs for instances of "Time Tampering" listed.

Beyond those steps, however, there is little "file level protection" in earlier versions of Windows. By allowing the family to "share" a personal computer, Microsoft wanted to open the computer experience up to the whole family. In more recent versions, they have implements user logins and protection, but in older versions of Windows, the security is limited by the design of the operating system. With that in mind, there are several things you can to help enforce computer usage within the family.

Put the computer in a family room, not a bedroom
Increase screen resolution to 800x600, so you can read the screen from a distance

Let the kids know they can ask about the crazy things they see online, ask that they alert you immediately if they have any questions.

Consider more serious steps to contain anti-productive behavior with the family's computers, including using the "Level 3" settings to restrict their access to a small number of sites.

When searching the Internet, use Net Nanny Search at http://search.netnanny.com. It is the most "family friendly" search engine and generally won't display inappropriate results.

There also products available to "lock the desktop" for older Windows versions. Try looking on www.download.com for shareware/freeware additions to your computers' security, many people and companies have attempted to tackle the complexities of personal computer security.

Depending on your concern and the technical knowledge of your family, you should find one that will work for you.