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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you have young kids, Tiger's Parental Controls (in the Accounts preferences panel) offers choices like Simple Finder and pictures in list of users. The kids just click on their photo and then on the leftmost folder to get to their games and such.

Since a password is too difficult for most pre-schoolers to use, it's best to create these accounts without passwords. For anyone with access to the machine, this means they'll be able to login easily (but with Parental Controls enabled, they probably won't be able to do much harm).

But it is quite a comfort, then, that the Remote Login feature (i.e. ssh) is disabled by default for any no-password accounts. No one else can try to hack these simple accounts remotely...
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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: raider on Jun 23, '05 12:56:05PM
I have been struggling with this sort of thing since 10.2.

Something to watch out for though: I like to make disk images of my kids' games. That way they don't have to insert the CD to play them. I have the images mount on login, and it works GREAT! Almost every kids game requires the CD to play...

I found, that in Tiger, if I set the user to a restricted user that a couple of the games won't "see" the mounted CD. When set as a "regular" user they work fine...

I have tried making sure that the "restricted" user can use "Disk Utility" and the applications themselves, and making sure permissions were wide open on the disk images... Nothing works when set in retricted...

Just a heads-up.... Something is working different enough to confuse the games.

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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: larkost on Jun 23, '05 01:21:33PM
It might be that you need to allow them to use the tool that actually mounts disk images: "DiskImageMounter". It is located at:
/System/Library/CoreServices/DiskImageMounter.app


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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: raider on Jun 23, '05 01:37:22PM

I will give that a try, although the images themselves mount OK, and all but a couple of the games work fine.... There is something that the broken games are using to "see" the images that is being blocked, and I am not sure how to find out what that is....



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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: istumbler on Jun 23, '05 12:57:39PM

For an extra measure of protection you can disable the shell for an Anonymous account by setting the users shell variable to '/sbin/noshell'. At the command line you type:

sudo nicl . create /users/anonymous shell /sbin/noshell

This will prevent the user 'anonymous' from opening the Terminal application (it checks the users shell on startup and politly refuses to launch) and getting a shell at all, very usefull to sandbox anonymous users and kids.

---
iStumbler -- Wireless Intelligence -- http://istumbler.net/

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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: englabenny on Jun 23, '05 01:11:30PM
There is no file /sbin/noshell. Use /usr/bin/false like the system users without shell use.

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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: xcgr on Jun 24, '05 12:03:01AM

I think you meant /sbin/nologin. It's designed for exactly this purpose.



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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: RobertBen on Jun 23, '05 05:31:28PM

I found a completely non-tech solution to this a long time ago: I set our house number as their password.

Not only they can remember this easily, they'll never forget the number anymore ;-)

(BTW, our number is 96, of course this might be harder if it's in five digits or more)



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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: taxi on Jun 24, '05 04:19:08AM

Whilst ssh will not allow null-length-passwords, telnet is quite happy to.

Luckily, telnet is disabled by default...but if you have turned it on, then be aware of this.



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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: jhirbour on Jun 24, '05 07:50:45AM

Not to sound like I'm shamelessly plugging a product but if you have kids and want a SAFE web experience and might be willing to spend some $ check this out:

http://www.freeverse.com/bumpercar2/

It's a very KID-SAFE browser that supports all kinds of limited web access things. Content filtering... white/black lists, "number of links away from this site" etc....



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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: PeeweeJD on Jun 24, '05 08:35:47AM

There is something like this on 1.03 also (I haven't gone to tiger yet ) I have found that it works great.

I have fast user switching on, and my kids just pop over and switch to their account.

I also set them up their own itunes library (located in a shared folder so I can easily add songs to it) so they dont mess up mine.

My biggest gripe is that when my ipod in in the dock charging or whatever and the kids log in, itunes asks them if they want to synch my ipod with their music library. More than once I have put on my ipod at work and been presented with Sesame Street songs, or some other kids music.

I wish there was an app/setting that would look for our ipods and eject them as soon as they mounted (or not mount them at all).



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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: KenaiTheMacFan on Jul 13, '05 09:00:11PM
I hate the new "Parental Controls!" This 'feature' only allows you to govern how much time they get, who they can talk to, etc. on only five Apple apps. I liked the old way of doing things much better. Back then it was possible allow/disallow usage of any app!!

---
Ian

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10.4: Create safe, simple accounts without passwords
Authored by: andesco on Jul 14, '05 12:45:32AM

You can still control the use of any app. In Parental Controls, click on the Finder. There you can set all restrictions on any app you want just like you are accustomed too.



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