View Full Version : blocking aol im
05-09-2003, 11:52 PM
Is there anyway to block AOL IM? The scenerio is that I wish this
as punishment for rather egregious misbehavior on the part of
my 16 year old daughter. Obviously, I can just delete the program, but then she can just download it again. She is 16, and I don't want to be constantly checking on her, but would like someway she would not figure out to disable this program.
Anyone have any suggestions or concrete information?
05-10-2003, 12:12 AM
Even if you did "block" the program, she could just use AOL's net version of Instant Messenger which doesn't require one to download and install it. Your best bet would be to lock the computer up completely.
05-10-2003, 12:23 AM
Nah, that's really not an option because the net is used for alot of useful stuff at the house. This is more of a temporary thing, like no AOL for a month. She is not really that computer savvy and may not know or think about the net version of IM. What about something like Norton Internet security. Would that allow me to block AOL?
Go to Parental Controls and edit her IM controls. She can not override this unless you have her screenname set for Master access. You can prohibit Chat, also, if you so desire.
If you are really in the mood for punishment you can set all her access controls to the lowest level.
05-10-2003, 02:16 AM
You could find the hosts.sam file in your windows directory, open it with notepad, and add the following lines:
and then save the file back to the same directory as just "hosts".
That should do a pretty good job of breaking AIM. Just delete the hosts file when you want to allow her to use it again.
05-10-2003, 02:17 AM
^^^ This is assuming she uses the standalone AIM or AIM Express. If you guys use AOL, then I don't know if it will work.
05-10-2003, 04:57 AM
Thanks, I will try that tonight. I will try to figure it out. Tonight I will probably be asking you exactly how to get there though.
We are not AOL members, but use standalone AIM. I looked for something called Parental controls, but could not find them. I assume they exist only for Aol subscribers.
05-10-2003, 05:02 AM
I am at work now and using their networked computer I easily found host.sam. It gives some information and then lists
I won't hose my computer or my internet access if I follow your instructions, right? What does localhost mean?
05-10-2003, 05:07 AM
Aha, that is a special IP address that just loops back on itself for testing. After I do this, if she attempts to use AOL IM the request for IP access for that will never leave the machine. Am I correct in this assuption?
05-10-2003, 06:56 AM
Correct. The hosts file is used as an alternative to DNS, and is looked at by your network stack first. You could make straightdope.com point to google's IP address, and never post here again. :D
I'm unfamiliar with the exact workings of IM, but if those two machines are vital in the way Joey G says they are, what you say will happen.
Some people use the same method to avoid banner ads, (adding, say, "127.0.0.1 doubleclick.net"), but this usually means your browser ends up waiting on your own machine to reply (which it never will), causing annoying 30-sec long freezes.
05-10-2003, 07:49 AM
Do you know her password? Change it temporarily. :)
05-10-2003, 07:07 PM
Ok, but when I search files "host.sam" I get what appears to be information about that rather than someplace I can add to the 127.0.0.1 list. How do I go about finding the right place to do the modificatons?
05-10-2003, 09:59 PM
dauerbach I went to all sorts of lengths to block
A.I.M. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=150675). Some of those mentioned here work, but if the kid is savy at all, they'll figure it out and defeat it.
I hate AIM because it conflicts with other programs and makes my computer run crappy. Now days limiting computer use as a punishment is pretty efective though.
05-10-2003, 10:19 PM
I don't know the password so that is out. Fooling with "hosts" sounds perfect, but I still need some more specific info in how to access it. I understand what to change and why. My daughter is not particularly computer savvy and I am sure that would have her stumped. I am slightly more computer savvy than she, but still a dolt when it comes to these machines.
And pkbites is right. Disallowing A.I.M. is a great punishment these days. Too bad they make it so damn hard to do. Maybe I should upgrade to XP so that I can use administrator privledges and stop her from downloading anything. I really like the idea of just being magically able to disable the thing though.
05-10-2003, 10:44 PM
Does she know about the SDMB? Should we be on the look-out for a "Why won't AIM work?" thread? Are you going to tell her that you've disabled it, or just let her think it's broken?
dauerbauch, you can simply add the lines that JoeyG provided to your hosts file. You don't have to remove or replace anything that's in your hosts file now (in fact, don't)
Simply append them. If you're worried that you'll screw up and break something else (very unlikely!) make a backup of the hosts file before you add the two lines given. Hope that helps - and I'm feeling eerily disgusted with myself for helping a parent punish a child by blocking AIM. Am I maturing?
05-11-2003, 01:05 AM
if you are using just aim, would you have access to her e-mail account? you can simply click on the "forgot password" on teh sign up screen and they'll e-mail the password to her. check for the e-mail, change it temporarily and delete the e-mail so she has no idea what happened. would it also be possible to use a program like zonealert or something similar to that and prohibit that from accessing the internet or simply unplugging your computer from the jack, so that it will turn on but won't be able to access the internet?
05-11-2003, 04:54 AM
OK, I think I know what to do now. My question is, how do I access my hosts file? How and where do I find it?
05-11-2003, 05:06 AM
You know, any child that can't disable their parents attempts to limit their ability to use a computer (baring physically preventing them from getting on the machine.) is probably too dumb to be let on the internet anyways.
05-11-2003, 05:26 AM
Having grown first buying a TI computer that used audio tape as a storage medium I have found that while my kids can powerpoint rings around me and smash me at Snood when it comes to even a rudimentary understanding of how a computer actually works, and what computer code is, even I know significantly more than they do, and like I said, I know very little.
05-11-2003, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by dauerbach
OK, I think I know what to do now. My question is, how do I access my hosts file? How and where do I find it? I've emailed you the hosts file you need. Just put that file in your windows directory on your C drive.
05-11-2003, 06:09 PM
BTW, AIM will sometimes freeze up when it can't reach the server.
05-22-2003, 02:45 AM
Any luck, dauerbach?
05-22-2003, 06:13 AM
You could use zonealarm (free firewall program) and have it block aim (but easy for her to allow access again unless zonealarm can be password protected).
Also if you use a hardware firewall/router/switch/whatever to split a high speed internet service to multiple computers you should be able to set filters or port blocking, which should disable aim - but I don't know how to actually do it but also know it's quite easy.
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