Surfari Internet-Information Gem #7
Gem #7 - Internet Explorer Content Advisor

Several subscribers have suggested that you can check up on your kids' surfing activities by looking at the History folder after they get off the Internet. This may work with some kids (the ones who just started using the Internet four hours ago), but savvy kids will delete the History files before they shut down.

Another possibility is to open Windows Explorer and check out the Windows\Temporary Internet Files folder. They may not have heard about that one yet.

You're probably better off using Content Advisor (under View, Internet Options, on the Content tab) to keep them from visiting all those forbidden sites in the first place. If you get tired of entering your password over and over again, just disable Content Advisor while you're surfing and enable it again when you're ready to shut down.

A very useful article showed up in the Feb. 17 issue of InfoWorld tha details the Content Advisor that is implemented in the Internet Explorer. This feature allows parental control of various levels of sex, violence, language, and nudity while browsing the web. Although this is not an all inclusive method of controlling content, it is quite effective for use on the web.

If you want to set this up for use, run Internet Explorer (this does not work with the WIN31 version) and click on the View pull-down menu, then select Options. This will bring up a multi-tab control box, select the Security tab. The top portion is the Content Advisor, click on Enable Ratings and you will have to enter a password (this will be discussed in a moment). Enter a password, not the one you use to log onto the internet with, but one that only you will know. Click OK and you will get a dialog box indicating the Content Advisor has been turned on.

Click ok, then click the Setting Box, you will now have to enter the password that you just set the Content Advisor up with. Once successfully entered, you will be presented with another multi-tab control box. There is a listing of 4 categories that come with Internet Explorer, Language/Nudity/Sex/Violent.

Clicking on one of the categories gives a sliding scale to allow you a range of protection, from least to most offensive (with a general description of what each range is rated at). Select the minimum protection you desire for this particulary category and click on the next category to adjust.

When finished setting categories, click on the General tab. This tab will give you more options (as well as a location to change the supervisory password). Ensure the top selection "Users can see sites which have no rating" is checked, otherwise you won't be able to get into many sites (only sites with questionable content are actually rated).

When done, click on Apply then OK. This establishes the ratings for the Content Advisor.

What happens if I forget my password. Although I hesitate to leave this information on the web, it can be found in a number of locations if you really look for it. This process isn't foolproof, nor is it guaranteed (any time you modify the WIN95 registry you take a chance of messing up your WIN95 system, always *backup* the registry before trying this process).

Shut down Interenet Explorer and run regedit (registry editor). Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Policies/Ratings and delete the key in that folder. Open a DOS session, changing directories to the C:\Windows\System (or wherever your Windows\System is located at) and type in: deltree ratings.pol. Exit DOS and shutdown/restart your WIN95 to make sure things are running well.

Here's more info I dug up:
"Corrupt or missing content advisor information" can also be fixed by:

1) In IE click on View->Options->Security
2) Click on Settings, when asked for password leave it blank and click on OK
3) Set all 4 settings to the highest (4), click on OK
4) Click on Disable Ratings, when asked for password leave it blank and click on OK

Here's an additional update just received:
If you have children and want to restrict the Internet content they see, go to View, Internet Options, choose the Content tab, and click on Enable. You'll be prompted for a password, and once you've entered it, you can define the limits you want to set.

With the Content Advisor enabled, you'll have to supply the password to access sites with ratings that fall outside your acceptable limits (including all unrated sites). This is all well and good--until you forget the password.

There is a way to delete the password and start from scratch, but it requires some serious fooling around with Windows 95. Before you begin, open Windows Explorer and the move to the Windows folder. Locate System.dat and click on it. Next, hold down the Ctrl key, locate User.dat, and click on it. Use the right mouse button to drag the two files to another folder on your hard disk, where you can find them if need be. These two files represent the Registry content, and you need to make these copies before you mess with the Registry.

Now to mess with the Registry. Click on Start and choose Run. Type in RegEdit and click on OK. Now click on the little plus sign to the left of H_KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Now continue to drill down, always clicking on the plus sign at the left of the named key, through SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, and Policies. Now click on the Ratings folder. In the right pane of the RegEdit window, you'll see an icon called Key. Click on it and press Delete. Now choose Registry, Exit to exit RegEdit.

You've just deleted your original Content Advisor password. Restart the computer and run Internet Explorer 4 again. Choose View, Internet Options, click on the Content tab, and click on Disable. When asked for a password, don't enter anything, just click on OK. This will disable Content Advisor, since there's no longer a password. You can enable it again as soon as you think up a more memorable password.

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