Online Circus

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Give Your Kids Safe Access to Their Online Websites

The latest attractions for my six years old are the "Webkinz" and "ClubPenguin" websites. The first takes your real-world webkinz pet doll and places it online, Tamagotchi style. The latter is your toddlers first steps into virtual worlds.

I thoroughly endorse her excursions into the online world, and I was looking for a simple and safe way to let her access it. Even when I'm not near her to supervise.

As a Windows user, the simplest way I found was to use Internet Explorer's built-in "Kiosk" mode (IE7+):

  1. Make a copy of your IE's icon - copy your IE desktop icon and paste it back on the desktop. Rename the icon to your toddler's favorite online website, e.g. "Webkinz"

  2. Right-click the icon and select "properties".

  3. At the end of the "Target" field, currently pointing to iexplore.exe, add "-k [website]", e.g. "-k"

  4. If you want to change the shortcut icon to the website's icon, just save the website's favicon.ico (e.g. somewhere on your computer. Right-click your IE shortcut. Select properties->Change Icon, set it to the saved icon's location.
Show your kid where the icon is. When he'll click it, his favorite website will open in a full-screen, no address bar mode, for a safer online playground.


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