Saturday, April 04, 2009

Parents Be Forewarned About Internet Explorer 8

Parents do you know that Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 (the latest version) has a feature you may need to become aware of?

There is a brand new tool available for the first time for Internet Explorer with version 8. It is something called "In Private" browsing.

I hope you realize that in normal situations (not counting add on parental software you may own), that with the usual browsing, the browser captures the history of the sites visited. They are stored in the 'history' section, unless manually deleted, or if someone in your home has set the browser to automatically only store a certain number of day's worth of data in the history.

Well this new "In Private" feature allows a user to open a special browser window where nothing will be tracked anywhere. No history, no cookies, nothing. It is easily used by clicking on "tools" and selecting "in private browsing". All browsing done there will never be revealed to anyone.

This is bad news for parents who want to make sure their young children or teenagers are not visiting sites they should not be visiting. Also children or teens who have rules imposed upon them for rules broken in the past need to know of this new feature.

I read a bit online about it and the two reasons I see noted for this are so that employees can surf for new jobs at their current place of employment without anyone knowing and also so employees who are not allowed per employer's policy to view pornography while at work can view it without getting caught.

I have not yet seen any mention of parents unhappy with this new feature.

Even after reading the information that Microsoft provides about "In Private" browsing I can't find a way to disable it completely so my children cannot access it at all.

If this is not a reason to install a third party parental control software, I don't know what other reason we need.


audrey said...

Thanks for the heads up on that. It's disappointing that it can't be disabled.

Likely, we'll just keep IE7 on the computer that ds uses, then.

Microsoft.... they "think" they're helping, but often, they're just not.

Luke said...

You can overcome this with good accountability software. This is good not only for monitoring children but also monitoring ourselves so that adults can hold one another accountable.

See my post about these so called "porn modes":

Also my post about how accountability is a good tool for kids:

Crimson Wife said...

I wonder if the person who dreamed it up is being unfaithful to his (or her) spouse/significant other. I've heard of cheaters being caught via a check of the computer's Internet browsing history...