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ConcernedParent
What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-10-2013
Location: US
Views: 7,119
Message 1 of 14

Teenage hacking

I need some help.  My teenage son has a Lenovo Ideapad laptop U series running W7 which is to be used only for school-related work and needs to last him 4 years.  No gaming or other non-school programs. (He has a home desktop for those other activities).  I set me up as the pasword protected Admin and he is supposed to be just a standard user account with parental controls operating.  However, he has managed to hack into the laptop, made himself the Admin, changed my account to standard user, removed all the parental controls, and  downloaded all sorts of games and programs which he plays during class instead of paying attention to the teacher.  Grades are suffering.  He's installed Unbuntu and all sorts of other programs and is not careful when surfing or downloading things.  I understand that ultimately, a determined hacker or techno-genius can defeat most everything a parent can install.  But, I can't give up, yet.  I would like to be able to block him from booting from an external devicie (USB and disc) and from installing any other OS or other program without me entering a password.  However, I don't want to have to enter a password just for him to start the machine or to boot to Windows because he'll need to do that at school.  Any serious suggestions?  Any other concerned parents out there?  Thanks.  CP

ibebyi
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-03-2013
Location: California
Views: 7,051
Message 2 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

Just for clarification: so your son has a separate gaming desktop where he has free rein but you need his laptop to be locked down?
Just as fair warning, I don't know how familiar you are with these online forums but you're bound to get really odd and possibly insulting responses to your question.

If he's doing things like installing Ubuntu (which you may be aware is a linux distribution) he could be demonstrating an interest in Computer science, information technology, E.E., or just computers in general. It's not something most users would have the skillset/patience to accomplish, as easy as it is (I work in I.T. so I see unbelievable levels of PC incompetence on a daily basis from otherwise intelligent people).

 

If you don't mind me saying, I believe your hard-line approach to limit his usage ability WILL be futile, as you've indicated, and possibly caustic to your relationship with him (teenage hormonal issues and bs like that Smiley Wink). I don't at all want to seem like I'm telling you how to parent your kid, btw Smiley Happy


I personally suggest spending your effort on trying to foster his interest into something productive (programming classes, web development classes, game development classes, you name it) and providing him with a road to knowledge and productivity; I think responsible PC use will naturally follow (out of a learned respect)

 

BTW - A hacker is typically someone who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data. I don't know you or your family but I think it's safe to assume your son isn't a hacker, but an enthusiast.

It's a big difference and if you want anyone to take you seriously here I'd choose a different descriptor, and thread title, and username...

This comes to mind: http://www.adequacy.org/stories/2001.12.2.42056.2147.html. Don't be that parent, please xD.

cbautis2
Bit Torrent
Posts: 958
Registered: ‎01-27-2013
Location: United States
Views: 7,038
Message 3 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

My suggestion is to set a BIOS password, but don't enable BIOS password at boot. Only enable it for any changes in the BIOS setup. Then Wipe off the whole HDD then reformat and clean install W7 and all of drivers. After that, make sure that the HDD boots first in the boot order list.

Lenovo Y470: i7-2670QM | 8 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM | Nvidia GeForce GT 550M | 500 GB 7200 RPM Seagate HDD | ASUS PCE-AC56 802.11ac Network Adapter | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Community Moderator
Community Moderator
Posts: 757
Registered: ‎06-20-2011
Location: US
Views: 7,006
Message 4 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

While a BIOS password is a good idea, do not do a "clean install". You would lose your One Key Recovery partition option, and all of the other functions that Lenovo built in to their OEM Windows 7 installation. Then you would have to contact Lenovo again to get back all the built in software  functions you wiped out. 

 

A clean install should be used as a last resort, if your hard drive fails, or other problems prevent you from booting with your current OS. All capable, experienced system administrators, use the System Configuration startup, and services tools, to disable those programs that you do not want to run. I'm using the Lenovo OEM distribution of Windows 7. I don't have a SSD installed, but using the Lenovo Boot Optimizer, I still maintain around a 30 second boot time.  When it gets above 30 seconds, I run the optimizer.

 

My advice is:

 

1. Back up all known school work to an external flash, or hard drive.

2. Restore the computer to the Factory Restore using OKR, or the discs you created when you received the laptop.

3. Create a new BIOS, HDD, and Admin password.

4. Create a new Limited User password for your son.

5. Use the Systems Configuration to stop all, what you determine to be, bloat ware.

6. Restore everything saved in number 1 above.

7. Do systematic weekly checks on the laptop to make sure your policies are being adhered to.

 

Number 7 is the most important. If he knows that you will put sanctions on him, if he attempts to get around your "Terms Of Use" requirements, the "hacking" should cease. If not, you have bigger problems ahead, and I'm not talking about just computers.

 

Cheers

 

DragonRider

 

_________________________________________________________________________

I'm DO'ing IT

Yoga 900 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6500U CPU @ 2.50GHz (Skylake-Y)

X1 Carbon 2nd Gen (20A8) ThinkPad/YOGA Tablet 2 Pro-1380F/IdeaCentre A520 All-In-One i5-3230M/Lenovo Y470 i7-2630QM/T420

Community Moderator
Community Moderator
Posts: 757
Registered: ‎06-20-2011
Location: US
Views: 7,001
Message 5 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

Here's my Boot Optimizer report for you sceptics. 44-44-50-(Run Optimizer)-27-26-26 Smiley Very Happy

 

 

Boot-7-9-13_44-44-50-27-26-26.PNG

 

DragonRider

_________________________________________________________________________

I'm DO'ing IT

Yoga 900 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6500U CPU @ 2.50GHz (Skylake-Y)

X1 Carbon 2nd Gen (20A8) ThinkPad/YOGA Tablet 2 Pro-1380F/IdeaCentre A520 All-In-One i5-3230M/Lenovo Y470 i7-2630QM/T420

LenBlazer
Bit Torrent
Posts: 5,332
Registered: ‎05-09-2013
Location: US
Views: 6,969
Message 6 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

Deleted! Sorry, the link applies to windows 8 only.

Community Moderator
Community Moderator
Posts: 757
Registered: ‎06-20-2011
Location: US
Views: 6,954
Message 7 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking


@LenBlazer wrote:

Here is a link that explains how to implement microsoft's parental control.


Umm... Does that apply to Win 7? Smiley Surprised

 

EDIT: I think this link has more of what she needs:

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/looking-for-web-filtering-and-activity-reports-in-window...

 

 

DragonRider

_________________________________________________________________________

I'm DO'ing IT

Yoga 900 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6500U CPU @ 2.50GHz (Skylake-Y)

X1 Carbon 2nd Gen (20A8) ThinkPad/YOGA Tablet 2 Pro-1380F/IdeaCentre A520 All-In-One i5-3230M/Lenovo Y470 i7-2630QM/T420

LenBlazer
Bit Torrent
Posts: 5,332
Registered: ‎05-09-2013
Location: US
Views: 6,926
Message 8 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

Deleted! It is not relevant.

Community Moderator
Community Moderator
Posts: 757
Registered: ‎06-20-2011
Location: US
Views: 6,908
Message 9 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking


@LenBlazer wrote:

@dragnoak wrote:

@LenBlazer wrote:

Here is a link that explains how to implement microsoft's parental control.


Umm... Does that apply to Win 7? Smiley Surprised

 

EDIT: I think this link has more of what she needs:

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/looking-for-web-filtering-and-activity-reports-in-window...

 

 

DragonRider


If you read the title it says windows 8. Aside from the title the images are definitely windows 8. And it's Microsoft's latest improvement on Parental Control.


The OP said the laptop is Win 7.  That's why I asked.

 

Following your lead in posting the "How-To Geek" web site, may I suggest this article in her Win 7 OS:

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/10524/how-to-use-parental-controls-in-windows-7/

 

Not to be disrespectful, when a user asks a question about Win 7, reply in a Win 7 OS link solution. 

 

DragonRider

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

I'm DO'ing IT

Yoga 900 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6500U CPU @ 2.50GHz (Skylake-Y)

X1 Carbon 2nd Gen (20A8) ThinkPad/YOGA Tablet 2 Pro-1380F/IdeaCentre A520 All-In-One i5-3230M/Lenovo Y470 i7-2630QM/T420

ConcernedParent
What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-10-2013
Location: US
Views: 6,895
Message 10 of 14

Re: Teenage hacking

Thanks for all the responses.  And while I don't want to turn this into a parenting forum, to ibebyi, all i can say is if you don't have kids, then just wait.  And, if you do have kids and you've used a libertarian approach to childrearing and computer use and it worked out great with trustworthy kids, then congratulations.  Or you've been very lucky.  Every kid is different.  And i am no soupnazi or Marine drill seargent when it comes to house rules.  But, our son needs rules and structure, otherwise he pays no attention in school, won't do homework, and just wants to surf and play video games or watch gamer Youtube postings.  Now, turning to the tech question, I found this page on Lenovo's site that discusses three different password options on Thinkpads: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=HT036206.  A Supervisor Password, a HDD Password (which would have separate passwords for a Master and User), and a Power On password.  However, when accessing the BIOS setup and configuration pages in the Ideapad, i see only the option to set a Supervisor password and HDD passwords.  I set a Supevisor password, but when i also set a HDD password (to "lock the HD" i am told), i find that when starting the laptop, one must first enter the Supervisor password (in this case i made it the same as the Master HDD password) before the machine will boot up at all.  Obviously, this won't work when our son is at school.  I don't see a Power On password option in the ideapad BIOS, but that too would not be necessary in my case.  I understand how to set parental controls.  The problem has been that our son boots from an external device and by-passes all the Windows settings and erases the passwords, then changes his user account type and then removes the parental controls.  And, not being a techno-wizard, i use the term "hacking" loosely, in the sense that he is "hacking" into this laptop to by-pass all the protections and restrictions I want to be in place when he is at school.  So, it appears that with a Supervisor password, he can't make changes to the BIOS, but is there a way to block booting from an external source (USB, CD, internet, etc.?) on this machine?    Thanks again.  CP

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