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Firewalls anyone

Question for you geek type people. My boss has a grown son at home who is mentally challenged. He has an IQ of about 52. He's able to be home alone with minimal supervision but sometimes has a hard time telling when people are trying to take advantage of him. His mother would like to find some good software that will allow her to filter out the spam that seeks to take advantage of him as well as blocking the porn sites but will still allow him to get to the websites she feels it's safe for him to visit.

This would take a lot of stress of her and help relations between the two of them.

Any ideas? I told her I'd do a bit of research for her.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)

Please contact this website. Tim & Joe write software and build PC's and are friends of mine. Their grandmother is a very good friend of mine too.

Please tell them that you are my (Judy) friend on LJ and I referred you to them. Just send them an email.

Also note that any computer comes with restricted sites which are factory set that automatically filters out porn sites. The only way to get to them is to get in and know what you are doing with the settings and to 'allow' "restricted" sites which are marked in red to be viewed.

As for spam, I think one of the programs Tim & Joe wrote filters out all spam. Again, just email them and you will have an answer tomorrow. Their software is reasonably priced and Tim gave me a 2 hour lesson today and did some installations and changes. You can trust them.
Mar. 20th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
If you email them tonight, they will be in touch with you tomorrow, I guarantee this.

Aside from saying I referred you, just copy and paste what you wrote in this post and send it to them. They can and will help you.
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Will do, thanks for your help!

Mar. 20th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC)
Does he have a credit card? If not, I'm not sure how anyone will be able to successfully take advantage of him over the internet.

As sexual relationships can often be problematic for people in that IQ range, I feel kind of bad for him that he's being shut off from a potential private source of sexual satisfaction. It seems like seeking out some sexual education for him to help him understand the difference between fantasy sexuality and appropriate behavior in everyday life, as well as appropriate privacy boundaries, might be a better way to deal with the issue. He's a grown man and has legitimate sexual needs and desires, even if he has a hard time intellectually processing what to do about them.

I know that's not what you were looking for and you don't need to feel like you have to pass this on to your boss. It just got me thinking. If your boss has religious objections to porn or something like that, I can understand why she's not comfortable having her computer used for it. I'm not a big fan of it myself, but that seems beside the point when it comes to other people's choices. And I am a big believer in choices for people who live with developmental disabilities.
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
I don't know if he has a credit card or not. But he has a hard time knowing whether people are lying to him or not. He lives with his Mom so he's somewhat sheltered. But he gets a slew of SPAM that starts out with lines like "Hey [Insert son's name], check out this cool wrestling site!" So thinking it's a cool wrestling site, he clicks a link and is directed to a bestiality site. I don't think his mom would object to him viewing normal porn. Nor does she want to cut outthe computer for him altogether since it's one of his primary links to the outside world when she can't be with him. She just wants him to be safe and not get too confused or scared about what he sees on the net.

Mar. 21st, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I can understand that.

I gotta say, my Yahoo spam filter catches almost all my spam. I only get a few a week and just about all of them are stock "tips". So I hope they're able to find a filter that works well for them. I would think that a lot of the filters marketed for parents/kids would be good candidates.

When I worked with adults with developmental disabilities I was always trying to get them to understand that it was okay to ignore the spam folder!
Mar. 20th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Microsoft Internet Explorer has built-in content filtering. Some other web browsers do, as well. Windows Vista and Mac OS X v10.4 and later also have content filtering options. Many ISPs offer content filtering and parental controls, as well.

Additionally, there are a few products on the market specifically designed as censorware. The one that comes immediately to mind is a product called Websense, which is used mostly by public schools, libraries and businesses. I would imagine that true censorware products would be not be affordable in this case, however.

Some of those content filtering options will work on email as well as websites, but for email spam filtering... Most ISPs offer at least this much. I also use a product called Mailshell AntiSpam (http://www.mailshell.com), which runs about $30 a seat list price. It operates on an internet blacklist scheme, as do more ISP-based solutions. Additionally, it's possible to set up many email clients to allow only mail from locally-maintained whitelists. (In other words, allow mail only from those addresses or domains I know and trust.)

If she hasn't done so yet, I'd recommend she contact her ISP first and ask them what options they provide. That may be all she really needs.
Mar. 20th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
...I might add that social networking sites like LiveJournal and (especially) MySpace can be horrible sources of spam and other questionable content. Most censorware will have trouble with such places, though often they can be individually blocked. Supervision will always be the surest solution.
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Re: also...
Thanks for your help my friend.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )