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Portable Linux for school kids

welcome to the forums, good first post please pop into the introduction forums, and tell us a bit about your self, your chosen Linux, and your kit.

It's less about control or hacking and more about the ability to be in a safe environment to explore and experiment on your own. The issue of child abuse on the Internet is much bigger and more aggressive than most people think. My daughter has had a cell phone for about 10 months. And already she gets sms and WhatsApp messages from strangers who want to make "friends" or send her dubious links. I have technically secured the phone and also educated her, but the reality is - if an intelligent adult can fall for phishing, you should not be so stupid to believe that a naive and curious child will not click on such a link. There is a documentary "Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror", I believe on Netflix, that left even me flabbergasted. What is shown there is extreme, but still this is reality. And one thing you can believe me ... a child with access to IT and the Internet, will certainly be confronted with child pornography before the age of 16 (probably even before 14). It doesn't matter if the child clicks on a link, becomes the target of a pedophile, someone shows something on the cell phone in the schoolyard, or it gets unwanted pictures and videos via messenger. It is impossible to prevent this, but I believe that you can protect the child from the worst, even without restricting too much.

My daughter is quite tech-savvy, which I want to encourage. Therefore, I want to create a system that she can use and explore unsupervised and still be secure.

I already protect the internet traffic mainly with a DNS-sinkhole (Pi-Hole). Therefore, it is important that the VPN works well. On the cell phone, this already works really good.

The other problem is installing software or running scripts. And I am sure that if she finds or gets an USB stick, she will put it in the computer out of curiosity and try it out, no matter what dad and mom told her. That's why I thought about restricting access to unknown external drives. But in the meanwhile I think that the risk is small enough so this restriction is not needed.

Then the point of a robust and stable system with automatic backups. Well, kids break things like all the time. Her mother and I live apart, and she doesn't know anything about IT. So I will often have to help remotely, and hope that the system otherwise runs as stable as possible.

Her mother would prefer our daughter alone not having access to the Internet at all. And to be honest, I understand that. Most parents don't have sufficient technical knowledge to set up good protection. Besides this I think we should take care of our children by helping them with their homework, I for example don't have enough time to do this so I compromised and decided to use this source https://paperell.net/write-my-literature-review because my children are not good in literature and also I think this is quite a little useful for their development, this source really saves me a lot of time and nerves. I am very glad that there are guys who do my literature review. What do you think about this? And from 14 or 15 the kids are so fit that they can bypass all technical barriers if they want to. By then, you should have managed to teach them sufficient media competence and have created enough trust that they will tell you what happened before shit hits the fan.

How do you handle this with your kids, especially in the 10-14 age range. And I would be more interested in practical approaches than theoretical or even philosophical ones.
It's essential to balance providing a safe environment for children to explore and learn with protecting them from potential online dangers.
Hi, my daughter meanwhile needs a computer for her homework from time to time. I am thinking of creating a bootable USB stick for her. That way she would have her own portable desktop on each computer, and you wouldn't have to worry about her deleting or breaking your stuff.

So it would be something like Tails, but child-friendly. Here are a few key points that came to my mind:
  • Preferably a similar desktop design as MS-Windows
  • Very simple to use (e.g. no overwhelming setting menus)
  • As compatible, robust and stable as possible
  • No extensive administrator rights for the child
  • Persistent (programs, layouts, wallpaper, settings etc.)
  • Custom VPN that cannot be changed or switched off by the child
  • However, the child should be able to log into a Wi-Fi network by itself
  • Remote maintenance preset (so that I can always help remotely)
  • A "shared" area (e.g. a FAT32 partition), so that the USB stick can also be used normally for data exchange
  • Access to a 2nd USB stick for data exchange (I'm not sure if this should be limited to a specific second USB stick, or if access to all external flash drives is okay)
  • No access to the hard disks of the PC
  • Automated online data backup
  • Encryption of course (in case she looses the stick or forgets it somewhere)
  • And it would be nice, if it would be easy to restore, in case of ... well ... kid :D
Does anyone have an idea, if something similar already exists? Or a suggestion how I could do it best myself (distribution, partitioning,...)? Are there any how-tos that you can recommend?

PS.: And yes I know she will need her own Laptop one day. But it's still too soon, too expensive and because we (her parents) are separated, she would always have to lug the laptop back and forth between Mom's and Dad's home. It was a challenge to write a new type of assignment that I recently had to finish. I found a credible research proposal online that met my demands, and I was satisfied with the outcomes. This helped me conclude my research proposal on time and at the acceptable standard.
Thank you, it's relevant for me too
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