All of you might be well aware about Parental Controls. In the case of Mackintosh, this feature lets you control every content and apps, which a user may view or use. In other words, it is a secret portal. "Parental Controls" also enables an admin to notice all incoming and outgoing emails (via Gmail, Yahoo mail, Rediff mail, Hotmail and so). iChat can also be controlled with this feature. A cool task which one can execute with Parental Controls feature is, setting time limits on on the computer usage. This allows a specified usage of Mac. Thereby, in simple words we can say that Parental Controls feature can advocate a complete report of what, why and how one's system was used and for how much of time period. But, aren't you able to set up this feature on your Mac? Follow the step by step procedure given below to do so:
Pre-installation settings for Mac
Before attempting to activate this feature on your Mac laptop/computer, note the following:
1. It is only available on older version of Mac Operating System i.e. OS X 10.5.x. Have this OS loaded on your Mac to enable the feature.
2. You must either login as an admin or provide admin account password, when instructed (in guest mode).
3. Don't get tired. It will take some minutes (about 10 min) to set up Parental Controls feature.
Setting up Parental Controls on Mac
After ensuring the above precautionary points, follow the guide below to set up Parental Controls features on your Mac. [It is a bit complicated.]
1. Click on the System Preferences icon, located in the dock. You can also select "System Preferences" from Apple menu.
2. Navigate to "System" section > "Parental Controls" icon.
3. The Parental Controls preferences window will appear on the screen.
4. You will be seeing "Lock" icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the window. Click on it.
5. A security managing dialog box will appear. Provide administrator username and password to proceed.
Now, you have entered the set up phase of Parental Controls feature. The window is divided into 2 sections/areas. You are supposed to mess up with left side area housing Account panel in which all the managed accounts on your Mac are listed.
Managing access to applications and other system functions
Follow the steps given below to manage access to applications and other system functions:
1. Select the account for which you want to set up Parental Controls feature.
2. Navigate to "System" panel located on the top side of the right window area.
3. You will see a list of many options for controlling variety of system functions and applications including
• Use Simple Finder
• Only allow selected applications
• Can administer printers
• Can burn CDs and DVDs
• Can change password
• Can modify the Dock
4. Make selections of any or every option by simply hitting their check box (located supplementary to their ride side).
Now move toward the next panel i.e. "Contents". This section allows you to manage the web pages and browsers. You can block the websites and even, you can manage them with respect to the users who may visit. To prevent any access to profanity, this section lets you filter the dictionary app.
Setting up content files
To set up and manage content files in Parental Control, follow the steps given below:
1. Navigate to "Content" tab/section.
2. Mark up the check box next to "Hide profanity in Dictionary" option. Placing a check mark on this option is indeed, optional.
3. If you want to restrict the users from visiting some certain web pages, do so by marking any or every option. Those include
• Allow unrestricted access to web sites
• Try to limit access to adult web sites automatically
• Allow access to only these web sites
Navigate to "Mail and iChat" tab. By this, you can limit the usage of Apple's Mail and iChat applications. Every approved contact can be limited with Parental Controls feature.
Setting up Mail and iChat list on Mac
To do so, follow the steps provided below:
1. This tab contains two options, Limit Mail and Limit iChat. When you place a check mark on them, the approved Mail and iChat contacts will be highlighted respectively.
2. Use (-) button to remove a contact and use (+) to add one.
How to add an entry to the approved list
1. Hit (+) button.
2. A sub catalog will appear before you. Enter the first and the last
name of the individual.
3. Provide email address (if to be added to Mail list) or iChat name (to add him/her to iChat contact list) of the individual.
4. Select the type of address you have entered (Email, Jabber or AIM) by using the drop down list.
5. At the end of Allowed Accounts field, click (+) again to add additional accounts of the same individual. Leave it, if he/she doesn't have multiple accounts.
6. Ensure the checking of "Add person to my Address Book" check box, if you want to add the individual to your personal address book.
7. Hit "Add" button.
8. To add more individuals to approved list, repeat the same steps.
Following is the "Time Limits" tab. You can when and for how much time will your Mac be available for usage. Within this tab lie 4 options, "Weekday Time Limits", "Weekend Time Limits", "Prevent Computer Use on School Nights", "Prevent Computer Use during Weekends". To enable any or every option, follow the step by step procedure given below:
Setting up Time Limits
How to set up weekday time limits
Under the quote of "Weekday Time Limits" option,
1. Check "Limit computer use to" option by clicking on the check box located before it.
2. Set a time limit of 8 hours to 30 minutes by using the slider.
How to set up weekday time limits
Under "Weekend Time Limits" option,
1. Check "Limit computer use to" option.
2. Like that while setting weekday limit, use the slider to set a limit of 3o minutes to 8 hours.
How to prevent Mac use on school nights
Under "Bed Time" quote,
1. Click on the check box to activate "School nights".
2. Set the time by which the option will get activated on your Mac.
3. Also, set the ending time of "School nights" after activation.
How to prevent Mac use during weekends
Here also, under "Bed Time" quote,
1. Place a check mark next to the 'Weekend' box
2. Like that in who to prevent Mac use on school nights, here also, set the starting and the ending time (hours/minutes) to get the option activated and deactivated, respectively.
Lastly, move into "Logs" tab where from you can maintain a report for every action done on your system. Let's check out;
Viewing Parental Controls Logs
In order to view Parental Controls Logs, you need to follow the steps given below:
1. Navigate to "Logs" tab.
2. Select a time frame to be viewed, simply by using "Show activity for" dropdown menu.
3. There you will find many choices including today, one week, one, three and six month, one year and so on. To determine how the log entries will be displayed before you, use the 'Group by' dropdown menu.
4. Navigate to "Log Collections pane" and select the type of log you want to see. Those include Applications, iChat, Websites Visited and Websites Blocked. The log which you selected from the options will be shown in the Logs pane (on the right area of the window).
Now you all know how to set up Parental Controls on one's Mac. Get started now as it is fairly easy to set up and manage its parameters. This was a brief wrap up regarding Parental Control feature and how to set it up.
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