04-28-2009 06:09 AM
I have installed Safety Minder and restarted our sons' PCs. 2 are on Vista32 and one on XP. I have my child's settings on Chat Supervision = ON and below I have it set for BLOCKED. I have updated the local rules and restarted all. I have assigned his Login to his profile when asked to on his two machines- laptop and desktop and also on his brother's.
A few things jump out at me:
1. He can still Instant Message in the browser with Gmail/Google chat. We're using FF latet BTW. ???
2. The 'Chat Settings' say : NO IM Friends Found, NO IM Accounts found.....but he has Google Chat and AOL IM....???
2.5 AOL IM is giving a message that the user name and password don't work so I gather it's being blocked
3. Under Social Networking Settings it tells me he 'Has NO Known Social Network Accounts' and yet he has a Facebook page he accesses from this machine. Now he may not HAVE accessed it yet since I installed Safety Minder...is that the issue?
Websites seem to block OK. I tested YouTube, which I listed as a blocked site and it blocked him and emailed me as I had hoped.
Help appreciated...we're excited about the product but it seems pretty porous right now.
04-28-2009 07:49 AM
With respect to your questions:
(1) Current Online Family Safety version does not support Google's online chat (Google Talk Gadget). The only thing we currently support is GoogleTalk client application (which is available for download at www.google.com/talk). There are plans for including support for Google Talk Gadget in upcoming releases.
(2) Chat activity shows IM child conversations. Since we don't monitor GoogleTalk Gadget activity and you never logged into AIM (as you indicated), it is correct that you see nothing.
(2.5) Are you using the correct username\password? Can you log into AIM using the account somewhere Online Family is not installed? Disabled? What is the version of AIM that you use?
(3) We collect social networking data as child navigates social networking sites (such as Facebook). You should see the events once the child go to his profile.
04-28-2009 10:33 AM
Thank you for your detailed reply. I am disappointed to learn that the product doesn't yet address browser-based chatting. I am sure it's difficult to address as it's probably port 80 traffic, but with 1.6 billion people out there with web browsers that all but makes the IM/Chat tracking and blocking features useless. I could try saying, "Now Jimmy- always chat from the GoogleTalk or AOL AIM client software so I can permit/diallow or monitor your conversations!" but I'm thinking that won't help.
So #1 and #2 are explained.
#2.5- have not tried it anywhere else...I had it set to BLOCK so I expectd it not to work. I doubt it was a password error since that field was populated by the browser and usually auto-logs him in. Good enough- it's supposed to block it but he'll just go Aol.com and chat there I imagine. I guess I could block AOL and Google domains but that seems pretty severe.
#3 OK, I understand thanks. I will watch for that.
Thanks again and please let us know when CHAT and IM are really handled completely.
04-28-2009 10:58 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you find certain areas of the product disappointing, but, perhaps, we can make things working for you with what we have now...
1) With respect to Web-based chat blocking. Instead of blocking the specific URLs and domains, perhaps, you can block "Online Chat" category under Web settings? In the case child will be restricted from going to MEEBO or Google Talk Gadget etc. He'll have to use the client which we can monitor.
2) #2.5: I'm still concerned that AIM is not letting you in. It is probably unrelated to your chat settings and coincidental. Normally child should be able to log into IM client, but then when he tries to talk to a friend, a special block message should be presented. In your case something else is going on. So
- Could you tell me what AIM version do you use?
- When you log to Web portal, do you see any "blocked Web activity" for your child originated from the AIM process?
We do realize the popularity of the online chat sites. The support for them is not particular difficult and we're working on adding it for the next Online Family Safety release.
04-28-2009 12:08 PM
Thank you for your follow up message. With Gmail at Gmail.com, when you log in to see your email you get the Google chat panel in that same browser window ( I think) and over to the left. It's not that he is going to something like chat.coogle.com where we could block the discreet URL, rather he has the option to chat, as I do, when he checks his email and is logged in to Google and Chat in that same session. Below is a screen shot (with names obscured for security) of what I mean:
Do you see a way to prevent this from being accessible while still allowing him to access Gmail (short of forcing him to an IMAP client like Outlook etc)?
BTW, FWIW, this for when a child has temporarily lost their privilege to chat that I'd like to turn it off on both his PCs. Otherwise I'd be fine monitoring it but that seems not possible presently too.....open to your suggestions.
04-28-2009 02:20 PM
I've sent a request to categorize certain URLs on GMAIL as "Online Chat" (which we don't presently do). If you go to child's profile, Web settings and allow him to go to "Mail" category Web sites but block "Online Chat" then your child will be able to read emails but won't be able to use the Google's online chat feature.
It'll take 24-48 hours for my request to complete.
I suggest that you use the above configuration and install the actual GTalk application (see my previous posts). This way you'll be able to monitor your child's IM activities and he won't be able to use the chat from the Web.