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What is the best way to prevent kids from using webcam without an adult present?


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#1 ANWD

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:06 PM

I want to create a guide for parents to prevent their kids from using the computer's webcam when the parents aren't present. My idea is to implement a nationwide, or even worldwide, webcam safety feature. I began by asking myself (and other people) the easiest way to prevent one's kids from using a webcam. An answer I got was:

1. Disable the webcam in device manager.

This is decent, and can be done quickly, but tech savvy kids can figure out how to re-enable it. It isn't secure enough.

I want kids to have to type a password to use the webcam. So when a parent is home and in the room, the parent can type the password to start the webcam for the kids. But I want this to feature to be available in every Windows computer that already exists, so parents do not have to install anything new to get it started.

I have been brainstorming, and I think the answer is in user accounts. But in order for this feature to be as easy as possible, the setting needs to be in place by default when a new computer is bought. I created a new user account which would be my mock "child account." I fired up the webcam, and the webcam started immediately. This isn't safe, because most parents are not going to take the time to figure out how to secure the webcam with a password. It's just too complicated for the average user. To actually make a significant impact on child safety and gain widespread use Microsoft needs to deny access to the webcam by default on non-administrative accounts.

Access is already denied when trying to install programs, delete certain files, and even run the battery manager on a laptop. Why on earth are non-administrative users allowed to use the webcam? How difficult is it to deny access to the webcam as well? Why doesn't Microsoft do this by default to give parents a quick solution to protecting their children on their computer?

Punch a hole in that idea, and provide me with any ideas that might be better.

As it is, I am currently trying to deny access to my webcam without a password on my laptop, and all I've been able to do so far is disable the webcam in the device manager. This isn't good enough.

Edit: Moved topic from XP to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 cogs10

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 05:31 PM

what program are they using the webcam with?

#3 ANWD

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:21 PM

Microsoft Life Cam, and I will set up a password if it has that option in the software somewhere, but I still want a solution that has broad application (not cam-specific), so I can write a guide for parents to follow the same steps. Basically I want people to be able to make their webcam safe within 15 minutes of reading the guide. This is another reason I think Microsoft should do something on their end to make the process of securing a webcam as quick and easy as possible. If it's too complicated, parents just won't do it.

If I can't do that, is there a way to specify applications that can't execute in non-admin accounts? Setting up a user account for other members of the house is easy, but Microsoft LifeCam executes without a password.

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:11 PM

unplug it and put it away. Or better yet, dont let them on the computer without supervision, a BIOS password is very effective.

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#5 Eyesee

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:11 PM

http://webcamsafety.org/
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#6 Drovers Dog

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:19 AM

:thumbsup:

Eyesee: That is a wonderful Link that ALL Parents should show their children, no matter what their age, in a nice gentle supporting manner. I certainly have Bookmarked it and will pass it on to other Parents.

the_patriot11: Spot on advice, Mate. Password in the BIOS is the Killer. Bit hard for the little Gurus to get around that one.

:thumbup2:

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#7 the_patriot11

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:41 PM

Though, I might add the best preventative is good parenting-because no matter what security software you use-including the BIOS password, can be got around and in todays world, kids are pretty smart. For example, my parents had a computer for my then 13 year old computer-but they didnt want him installing stuff on it without their permission or using it. So they put a bios password on it, and only gave him access to a user account (windows XP) without admin rights-and didnt give him the admin password either. Using youtube videos on a friends computer, he learned not only how to bypass the bios password, but how to bypass the admin password through safe mode. So my dad, disabled safe mode on his computer. So he then, learned how to hack it through ms dos prompt, to which he then had to disable that. kids are pretty smart. . .the best way to prevent stuff like your girls being taken advantage of over a webcam is through good parenting, and being involved in their lives.

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#8 Drovers Dog

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:14 PM

Absolutely right, that is why I love Eyesee's Link. That really gives parents a good tool to gently educate their kids of the dangers involved on the Net.

Ray.
What ever you give to others, you will get back doubled, Just make sure you only give Nice Things?......DD saying

There is a saying, "You just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" it means "to be happy with what you have and not look for the impossible"......DD saying

The "Spirit" of the people who died, on that terrible day 9/11 will NEVER REST until such time as the "Imbeciles" that caused it, are eliminated through out the World.....DD saying

What is a Dog?




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