My child’s figured out how to disable the Parental Monitoring Software
package Net Nanny by killing the process in Task Manager after hitting
ctrl-alt-del. He learned to do that just by searching for “disable net nanny”
on the web. Is there a way to make him stop? Perhaps a way to make Net Nanny
run without being detected?
Kids are just too smart sometimes, aren’t they? :-)
And even for those that aren’t able to figure out for themselves these nifty
ways of hacking around what you’ve put in place, as you’ve seen, there’s plenty
of information on-line. Kids helping kids against those “oppressive”
Unfortunately this situation highlights one of the reasons I don’t really
like parental monitoring software in general.
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Net Nanny is one of the oldest parental monitoring packages around.
Apparently it’s losing market share, but there are still a lot of people using
My very first recommendation is that you visit the Net Nanny website and
search their support information. This is a fairly obvious issue, and they do
have some guidance on what you can do about it.
And, for the record, whatever package you use – if they don’t address this
type of issue to your satisfaction either in their documentation or on-line support – it’s probably
time for a new package. This is exactly the type of topic I would expect every
good vendor of this type of software to be all over.
around it, no matter what you do.”
I’m not going to cover any of that here, you can read it on their site
yourself. The problem is that I don’t want to give you false hope.
And therein lies my problem with parental monitoring and filtering software:
it gives you a false sense of security. The fact is, kids will work
around it, no matter what you do.
My take on it is this: if you can trust your children, then you probably
don’t need it. If you can’t trust your children, they’re just going to
work around it anyway.
Have a peek at the search results for the very query your child used:
“disable net nanny”. The sheer volume of results in Google (186,000 as I write
this) should be eye opening. I’m sure that there are similar results for almost
any parental monitoring or filtering package. On top of that, sites like
PeaceFire.org, which documents how
political dissidents in foreign countries can bypass their government’s filters,
can be used to bypass pretty much any filter including those you might put in place.
Realize also that whatever you put on your computer is fairly pointless if
they have access to others – school and library computers might be locked down
or filtered (and subject to being hacked around also), but what about the
computers at your child’s friends home? Or anywhere else, for that matter?
I don’t want to get into a debate about approaches to parenting. What I do
want to make clear is that you should not fool yourself into thinking that a
monitoring or blocking program is a total solution. If used at all, (which I
obviously do question), it needs to be part of broader approach that includes
you getting educated about the tools, technologies and sites that your child
uses, open and honest communication between your and your child, environments
that foster good behavior (such as only having computers in public places in
the home), and a realization that no mater how much we might want to protect
our children, we cannot protect them from everything.