said by battleop:
So who just lets their 9 year old do what ever the hell they want online without seeing what they are up to? My 8 year old has his own laptop but he isn't allowed to install anything he wants or go to any site he wants.
Not everything you download is what you asked for no matter what the description says.
Many parents understand LESS about technology than their children do. I completely agree with the locked down laptop approach, but it isn't as cut and dry. As a technical person I am sometimes asked to help friends out with their computer problems.
A colleague at work had a problem with her 12 year old daughter's computer. She had the laptop pretty much locked down, and installed parental control software that would not allow her to go to unwanted sites. Mom had her own user on the laptop to install software.
The 12 year old however figured out the Administrator password (user Administrator was not in use and disabled) could be reset and the account enabled with a bootable CD, and this is how she installed loads of software that shouldn't be on there. She went to all sorts of MP3 download sites using the Administrator account, and eventually got infected on that account which how the laptop ended up with me.
A simple step that was forgotten: Enter BIOS setup, disable booting from anything but hard drive, and then password protect the BIOS.
This is a single (divorced) mother, trying the best she can do. She is smart, knows enough about computers to get most things right, but 99% of all parents do not know what a BIOS setup is, nor do they know any reasons to disable booting from other devices.
Kids are outsmarting many, many parents.... I was raised with a 12-channel tube color television and a record player. I got my first computer - a Commodore 64 - when I was around 15 or 16. I Got my first cell phone when I was 25. Nowadays 8 year old kids have to teach their parents how the iPad works, and that a physical CD is becoming as old fashioned as records became in the late 80ies.--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"