Windows 10 – Edge browser lockdown for kids

A nephew of mine is getting a nice new Toshiba laptop for Christmas and I was asked to help set it up for him, so I obliged.  I opened the box and I was greeted with Windows 10. Alas we meet!

I have mixed feelings about privacy concerns and Windows 10 since listening to Steve Gibson’s “Security Now!” podcasts. Luckily, Episode 520 pointed me to that has screenshots to walk you through setting up Windows 10 for privacy.

True in the world of Facebook and Google+ people give away some of their privacy and it allows Facebook and Google to generate revenues. So, I really can’t knock Microsoft for trying to do the same. However, I figured I would leave it up to my nephew’s parents to decide what would be appropriate.

The overall setup went fine until I got to the Edge browser. There is no Content Advisor in it like the Internet Explorer (IE 11) browser. So, I dug up IE from Windows 10 apps list to replace Edge. Next, I searched around IE’s options and content but there was no Content Advisor. Then I decided to edit the registry to try to force it to show up:

reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main”  /v ShowContentAdvisor /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

No luck.  Then I tried:

reg add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main”  /v ShowContentAdvisor /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Again, I had no luck. Changing tactics I executed this from the admin Command Prompt:

RunDLL32.exe msrating.dll,RatingSetupUI

AWESOME! The Content Advisor popped up as a stand-alone GUI… I must be getting somewhere. I review the settings, making them strict so I can test it out. I pull up IE do a quick search…and no. It failed.

Finally, I come across K9 Web Protection during my internet searches. A first heard for me regarding the FREE product, except I do recognize the company that makes it: Blue Coat Systems. When I go to download the Windows version it only lists 7 & 8. But it worked just fine on Windows 10. It was able to intercept searches in Edge, IE and Firefox.

Just be warned that you need to review K9’s settings to make sure it suits your needs. Know that for some of its functionality to work, it will convert things like Google HTTPS searches into HTTP so K9 can scan it.  K9 warns you (the administrator) about it and does allow you to configure it as you desire.

Now,  I wonder…is there a point where adding content filters and monitoring software you might as well have not worried about privacy settings with Windows 10? If you end up giving a good amount of your information to 3rd party vendors, then I think yes. You might as well share that same information with Microsoft and enable Windows Family Safety.  You just need to find that balance that makes sense for you.



Research Nugget: Use for quick cursory checks on companies.

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