Bill MacKenty

  Home     Computing     Teaching     Bushcraft     Games     Writing     About  

disabling private browsing: a pain in the neck

Posted in Educational Tech Design Security on 03 - February 2011 at 04:51 AM (13 years ago). 223 views.

I was working with some parents last night discussing internet safety.  These parents had children in our elementary school (ages 6 to 11). 

Parents want to know where their tweens are going online, and were shocked to learn all major browsers support private browsing. Of course, we discussed putting the computer in a public place, making an agreement with your child, looking for furtive gestures, etc… But part of being a good digital parent is snooping.I know, kids can install a USB-based browser, or revert your changes, but all kids aren’t as savvy.

If you are on a public terminal, I can see the utility of private browsing, but for the cases of home computers, the only reason I imagine private browsing exists is to look at adult sites.

I have discussed filtering at the router as a great solution, but many parents simply don’t have the technical skill, time, or inclination to set that up.

The options for disabling private browsing are a pain in the neck, more technical than filtering at the router, and in some cases may actually break the browser, but for the curious:

Disabling private browsing in Safari
Looks like you actually can’t disable private browsing in Google Chrome
How to disable private browsing in Internet explorer
How to disable private browsing for Opera

All of the solutions above are highly technical. For a slightly better solution parents might want to check in with open DNS.