When i was a kid, i learned couple of things to hide content on my computer from my parents. Although in this post I will talk of ways to avoid parental surveillance on your computer, This post is actually meant for parents. This post would help you to know how your kids might use the computer in a way which you didn’t approve of.
#1 Web Browser Privacy Mode
Nowadays every browser has this feature, the privacy mode. In this mode any activity on the browser will not be stored in the form of history. Your browser wont store any browsing data in this mode. As soon as your browser is closed, every single piece of browsing data is deleted. Hence it cannot be retrieved.
Privacy mode doesn’t even store any permanent form of cookies. So even if your parents visit the site which you have logged into previously, they won’t be directly logged into your account. Instead they will be asked to insert the password. For example, if you are using facebook in privacy mode and close the window without logging out. Then your parents cannot access your account on visiting facebook dot com. They will be instead taken to log on page.
Note: In Google Chrome browser, the privacy mode is named as Incognito Mode. While in Mozilla Firefox there is an option saying “Start Private Browsing”.
Tip for parents : Certain High End Routers with built in parental controls can help you to monitor all the activity even if your children use privacy mode.
#2 Proxy Servers
Proxy server act as intermediate between your computer and the remote computer. If you are banned from a certain site and want to access that particular site, you can use a proxy. Suppose you visit a proxy xyz.com and request for facebook dot com. Then facebook dot com will be loaded on that server first. And then it will be loaded back to you.
So if your parents have blocked a certain site. You can just use a proxy server to access that particular site.
Note that proxies should not be trusted. They can be really dangerous. For example, if you are accessing your facebook account through a proxy then basically you are providing your password to that proxy server. Because all the requests will be first loaded on the proxy server and then sent to the remote computer.
Tip for parents : Well blocking proxy servers can be tricky. You can’t determine which proxy server your kid is using especially if hes switching proxies daily. But you can track which all sites he has been visiting and then figure out what each site does. If its a proxy then use your parental control software to block that specific site. That’s it.
#3 User Account Restrictions
If your parents have a administrative account on your computer and have set your account to limited mode so that you wont be able to install any undesired software on your computer. Then you can use certain boot software to reset the password like Linux Live CD’s, etc or just re-install windows.
Tip for parents : You can set a BIOS password and disable boot from CD option in the BIOS. That would help to stop your kid from doing any undesirable changes to your computer.
Note that : Removing and Reinserting the CMOS battery from the computer will Reset BIOS as well as BIOS password.
#4 Our Secret Desktop
Your parents might know about the CTRL+ALT thing (which has probably saved millions of lives lol). But they don’t know that you are using a software which helps you to hide open applications. And you can just bring ’em back on screen with certain key combinations.
Tip for parents : Check the list of installed programs occasionally and make sure you know what each program does.
#5 File Encryption
File encryption simply means to make or transform a particular information in a format which is unreadable. This is only readable to those who possess the key. The key can be a password. On entering the key, decryption(un-encryption) takes place and the information is converted to readable format.
You can use a third party program to encrypt your required file. And this file will be only accessible on entering the password. Anyone who doesn’t have the password cannot access the file. Well they can, if they have a super computer to check all the possible password combinations (also called as brute forcing).
Tip for parents : If you suspect that your kid is using encrypted files then you can ask them to de-crypt it. Or you can just use a Key logger which will log all the key strokes on your keyboard, thus recording everything which is being typed on the computer by your kid.
I hope these tips were helpful to you. 🙂 Thanks for reading.