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Mac’s Parental Controls

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Earlier we have mentioned about how you can make use of the parental control capability of Windows (Vista) systems to keep an eye on your kids computer activities. We’ve even mentioned about how to use your iPhone’s parental controls to restrict iPhone usage for your kids. It wouldn’t be fair if we don’t demonstrate the better parental control capabilities of your Mac (if you use one).

Before the Parental Controls to implement on your Mac, make a perfect configuration of your Mac. Suppose you have a child who uses your Mac that you want to restrict the use of the computer. It does not matter whether your child with your Mac or use of his own. All you need is an account of two users of parental control to implement. One for you as an administrator on your Mac to configure it. The other account for your child, as a standard user. If you already have this setup, you’re all set to green light to perform parental control – you can skip the next section.

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If you haven’t done that yet then use System Preferences > Accounts to create separate user accounts for each user of your Mac. Use the “+” button at the bottom of the dialog to create new user accounts. Create as many as you need. Make sure to create those user accounts as “Standard” accounts.

Once you have accounts established for each of your children, you can configure each user a different level of parental control settings. You, as administrator of the computer, you can configure all the power to refine and adjust these settings for your child needs. To your surprise, unlike Windows, Mac offers exceptional support for parental control, which is fairly easy to implement. Let us begin.

2

Get back to the Accounts dialog (under System Preferences) and choose your kid’s user account. On the right-side of the dialog you should be able to see parental control options. Check the “Enable Parental Controls” option box and then click on the “Open Parental Controls…” button.

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This will open the dialog box Parental Controls. As you can see above, there are five different tabs that you have to jump through the complete set of parental controls on your Mac. You do not need all five tabs, but the more the better .’s start you want to control the parameters of things in the tab, “System”. It allows you to force your child, Simple Finder as normal. It also allows you to have applications selected in the list. can choose addition, you, use it to manage your child to printer, burn you change CD / DVD or your password. Select the options that match your needs.

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Under the “Content” tab, you should be able to control the use of dictionaries and websites. You can hide in the dictionary of swear words, so that your Mac limited access to specific words in the dictionary. This is more important, you can also restrict the sites your child to attend. Choose one of three options that meet your needs. If you want your child access to certain websites that you add these sites to the list and your child is not able to access all other sites.

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On the “Mail & iChat” tab you can limit the usage of Mail app along with iChat if you wish. If you wanted to enforce a much stricter rule when it comes to email you can also restrict to whom your kid can email. On the backdoor if your kid tries to send emails to people not on the list you can key-in an email address where you can be notified of such an attempt.

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Moving on to the “Time Limits” tab, this tab let you enforce time limits on your kid’s computer usage. You can set time limits for weekdays and weekends along with bedtime settings for school nights and weekends.

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The last configuration tab “Minutes”, you can specify what type of activities you want it recorded so that you have an idea of what happens to your child’s computer to get. It was the log entries of access to Web sites visited, blocked sites, applications used and iChat session information.

As you can sense by now parental controls on Mac is very strong and simple to implement. It has a feel of giving you full control over your kid’s computer activities if you configure it properly and use it strictly. I hope this shed some light on what you can do with the Mac’s Parental Controls. If you have any questions/comments regarding this please share it on comments.

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