I have two Macs. One is running Mac OS X Panther, the other Mac OS X Tiger. They both have Safari and Explorer. I have kids that want to spent alot of time on myspace.com. I have heard that you can use Unix to redirect URLs by changing the host file. If you could help me I would apreciate it.
You could ostensibly go into the /etc/hosts file on the computer in question and add:
which would effectively stop them being able to visit the site. (Note: you’ll need to restart your computer for this to work)
But they’ll also perhaps figure out a workaround, so you might consider some sort of monitoring solution instead?
My favorite Mac software directory site VersionTracker has a number of interesting matches to a search for parental, notably including the following:
- SafeEyes which blocks by category, keyword, key phrase or specific sites you’d rather your children avoid.
- Intego Content Barrier X which blocks “adult web sites, sites with subjects not fit for children, and even blocks chats when predatory language is used.” A nice benefit: it works with multiple users so your older children might have permission to visit some sites your younger children cannot.
- GURL Watcher doesn’t actually prevent your kids from visiting sites, it just records every URL visited. You can have the program email you a site list if you’d rather not save it to a file on the computer too.
- Kids GoGoGo X which gets my award for best name, hands down. Kids GoGoGo has a frankly terrible Web site but the featureset of this application are terrific: it blocks Web sites, RSS feeds and even objectionable podcasts.
Please note that I haven’t tested any of these, but I really do understand your concerns regarding the phenomenally popular MySpace site. Indeed, I have a friend who is alarmed to find that her young teen daughter has a half-dozen male penpals through the site and is naively sharing her full name, city of residence, and other information. Most likely it’s innocent and safe, but there’s no question that there’s an unsavory subset of MySpace members who you really don’t want your kids mixing with.
Good luck to you with this. My kids are too young for me to worry about yet, but soon enough I’ll be in your shoes too.