Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

Kids, a Malware / Spyware creators dream.

, posted: 4-Sep-2006 21:56

Malware and Spyware is an everpresent danger although all who have a wee bit of experience on the net tend to take at least minimum precautions to prevent infection.

however, I have found in my experience, fixing friends and work associates work computers, and through my own experience, the biggest threat for spyware and malware is:


thats right, kids.

if you briefly hunt around the web, you will find that a lot of websites aimed at kids and teenagers are chock full of spyware.

now, I have discussed this with many people who say, "why would a spyware agency want to look at a kids habits" - of course they dont.

they get in with the kids, and spy on the parents.

even if you have four anti spyware programs, and a hundred antivirus, a lot of this stuff will still get in, because a lot of it is _technically_ legal.

this is because it is an "opt-in" however to run the game or access the site the kid needs to click yes.

and yeah, you could constantly watch over your child and pay attention to every single thing on the web, but lets face it, they need to be given trust - taking into account their age, trustworthyness and "nous"

so really its once they start getting to 10 or 11 and really fly ahead into their internet browsing, game playing and Instant messaging.

- yes I know there are plenty of kids flying ahead with internet usage and gaming who are younger, however they should still have fairly constant supervision.

so one might ask, how do I deal with the "tweens" (10 to almost 13 year old) and teen's need for privacy?

I had a think about this and I believe I have found the solution.

this will take some technical ability so if you are a bit worried get your kids to do it...

how it works.

step one:

head on over to microsoft and download virtual pc 2004
this is a piece of software that allows you to run a second "virtual" machine within your current one.
much like the offering of vmware, however microsoft couldnt compete with vmware (apparently) so they are now offering it for free.

once you have downloaded virtual pc, you need to install it, there is an absolute abundance of documentation on this.

step two:

set up a base image.
as mentioned before there is an abundance of documentation on how to do this, bascally you want to

- install an operating system
- install all your childs aps.

step three:
backup the image.
    take a copy of the image for restoring.

step four:
set up your actual pc to be a host and set up internet connection sharing with the virtual pc.

step five:
set up a user logon on the host OS that directs straight through to the virtual pc that has been created.

and you are done.

now you may ask why the involved process?

from this point forwards you can allow them to use the computer, with reasonable impunity in the knowledge that should your firewall be set up correctly you should be relatively free from child-inflicted spyware and malware.

then instead of your actual pc being crippled by the dodgy software your children have downloaded it will be the virtual pc. which using the backup image you can rebuild in seconds.

then you will only have yourself to blame if you get shut down by malware and spyware...

even if it does remove a very convinient scapegoat, thats got to be a good thing for most of us.

always ensure you do your updates, (ensure you disable your "Windows Genuine (dis)advantage") run a good spread of anti malware,

My Personal List is:

* Ad-Aware:-
* SpyBot Search & Destroy:-
* Windows Defender:-

and anti virus is of course, AVG Free edition, available here:

Other related posts:
Internet Censorship, Guilt by accusation, I'm Angry. very angry (S92a - etc)
Privacy laws get long overdue tidyup over Motorist Registration (NZ)
Thailand vs Youtube.... "team Google, world police"??

Comment by freitasm, on 5-Sep-2006 01:03

Just remember that the guest OS needs to be licensed (in case of Windows) and Virtual PC (or Virtual Server) are just hardware emulation and not a license to run a copy of your current OS.

Also, I don't think there's a login feature that will take the user directly to the guest OS. There is however, a software for Windows that will "undo" or limit what a user can do on a computer. Have to look for it.


Author's note by inane, on 5-Sep-2006 01:57

yes the guest os does need to be licensed,
just as a second pc would be.

the undo or limitation software has its limits.

if your child gets to the point of obtaining enough rights on the host machine to use it and gain access.

its time you bought them their own pc.

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I'm a professional Geek, and also in my own time, I am likely to write about all manner of things on this blog.
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