Of course I trust that you will look out for the best interests of your kids, never had a doubt. I was just scared that your experiences with the system might have scared you into not trying yet again.
I applaud your *work around* solution. If the techies at Borders determine there are *inappropriate* links/history, they will make good witnesses.
Sorry if you thought I doubted.
Ugh. It just doesn't get any less complicated as the days go on, does it?
Please know that we all know here at SI that you are doing everything you can to protect your DD, and we know that you know the situation best.
I think we all get our Mama/Papa Bear hats on and start firing advice at you. Kwim? As always, take what helps you and leave the rest behind.
We know you've got this.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Here's a couple of sites I found:
Look in the settings, see if there is a restrictions setting where you can password protect internet access and/or content. I can't imagine Nook hasn't set that up as they have a separate reader app on the iOS platform for parents and kids- no other large ereader company has that AFAIK. To me that shows they are trying to make sure the kids can be separate from adults while still sharing accounts. Setting up the Nook parental controls will help while the kids are out of the house.
Meanwhile use the Nooks to document whatever the lawyer tells you to. I know the excuse can be made that the store messed it up when they set it up, but IIRC the younger kids don't have the same level of access to your XH's accounts. That screams grooming to me.
As for the wifi- change the password. I recommend a hard to guess password, longer than the usual 8 or so characters. Use lower case & capital letters. Use numbers and characters. Here's an example:
(Oh beautiful for spacious skies...you get the drift).
Using song lyrics and replacing letters with numbers will help you remember while keeping it harder to guess (and hack).
I just set our system up on OpenDNS.com. It provides free filtering on the entire network, not just a device. You can also search for your router and find out how to change the security on it. During the school year I had my router deny access to DS's devices between certain hours.
You have more control than you might think.
If you haven't already, read Protecting the Gift by Gavin Debecker. I'm sure there are other sources out there that can help prepare your kids for the grooming that is happening or will happen.
Here's the rub. Absolutely you can wipe and deregister the device and set up their own accounts. The Nooks are set up to B&N accounts, not gmail accounts. The B&N accounts do require a email account and a CC, I think that is where it may be getting confusing for you. So you can totally set up different accounts for them, BUT:
1)They would not have access to all the stuff he bought them previously. You would have to repurchase them all, and if there is a game they all use, once for each Nook.
2)Their purchases would not be connected to his CC, unless he gave you that info (yeah, right!)
3)There is nothing to stop him from wiping them again and putting them back on his account.
Honestly, the best suggestion I can come up with is buy an iPad or tablet with better parental controls they would like better so the Nooks would naturally be abandoned for the shiny new toy. I know that is probably not financially feasible for you, but maybe a family member/guardian angel out there might be able to do that for you.
Also side note - my previous post was not intended as any poor reflection on you. You have done everything you could and were supposed to do in this situation, IMHO. I just wanted to educate others how all this works because I am SURE there are other members that have had their Disney Dad/mom Ex's buy their kids stuff like this and they need to know how to avoid the very stuff you are going through now.
My kids have begged me not to do anything that will wipe out the games they have on their Nooks, particularly Minecraft, Temple Run, and a few others. If I'm understanding things correctly, if the kids get their own accounts (which might be possible now because I set up Gmails for them) but the Nooks maintain my ex's info for the Playstore, then no wiping of games will be necessary. I'm still not sure on this point.
My hope is that we can separate the kids into their own accounts, they keep their games, I enable the parental controls (because my ex seems unable to do so) and share the password for that with him (because these are his devices), I am in charge of the Chrome & YouTube settings (because I have created the new Gmail accounts), and hopefully we can carry on without my ex's filth contaminating the Nooks again. And since I'll have access to the kids' browsers and YouTube accounts, I'll be able to see exactly what they are viewing & handle things if a problem arises.
I think I have this hoped for course of action in my mind pretty well.
NOW I NEED TO COMMUNICATE THIS TO MY EX. Anyone want to bet that he gets mad at me? Shall we make predictions on the various ways he will declare this to all be my fault? Shall we guess the ways he's going to accuse me of making a big deal out of nothing?
It would look suspicious for him to refuse to place parental controls on their Nooks. You could insist that if they are HIS property they should stay at HIS house. But better for them to come home with them so you can monitor them.
I think in this case just setting it up so he's not aware and can't take countermeasures is better. Especially since there's a visit before you see the lawyer.
IMO this is a case of "better to ask forgiveness than permission".
He has a visit with the kids before I speak with the new attorney. In regards to the new attorney, I have no idea if this first visit will be anything other than getting my payment info and basic facts. I have no idea if they will give me an opinion or any guidance whatsoever. It angers me that for all intents & purposes only those with large sums of money (which was me long ago) have access to legal representation.
These Nooks are not my property.
The B&N account is what supplies the book files and apps to the Nook. Not any sort of Gmail account. The only info required to set a B&N account up is a valid email address and a valid CC number. Asshole has that account name, password, email, and CC number and you would not be able to change those. The only concern you really have with the B&N account is if he is buying porn books, or maybe porn videos or videos that are not appropriate for children on his account for his Nook. Every time he buys something on his account, if it is hooked up to his personal Nook, it could show up as downloadable into their Nook unless the parental controls can prevent that. When those show up, you can archive them so the kids can't see them but they may still be able to find a way to get them.
The apps on the Nook that run Gmail, Facebook, email, chats etc are completely separate from the B&N account. You can load whatever email you want to be connected to those apps. It won't affect the B&N account at all, and they can retain all their apps and games and books and whatever else. I think THIS is where you are seeing his email and such, so changing the B&N account won't affect that. If you are seeing his email in the browser, it is because the cookies are retaining his password and such - clearing the cookies would take care of that. You can easily change any apps to be connected to the Gmail accounts you set up without disrupting anything.
Honestly I would not discuss the email apps with him. I would just change them. I am willing to bet he doesn't even know they are set up that way. Worst case scenario he changes them back, and then you know it is intentional. But to be honest I can't imagine why he'd do that, he has nothing to gain from doing so.
Just change the email on the Gmail app, any email apps, facebook, etc. They won't see his emails any more, and they can keep all their games and he can still buy them more. If you are seeing his email on the browser, clear the history and cookies (assuming you don't need them for evidence), and you won't be able to see it there either. You may have to check each time they come back from a visit if he is using their browser to check his email. You don't have to touch the B&N account that supplies the books/apps to the Nooks at all.
Does it make sense?
I do think that until it's determined that there will be no investigation, the info on the Nooks needs to be preserved. Actually, I think it should be preserved in any event--because at some point, enough evidence will be amassed that SOMEONE, somewhere, will pay attention.
You can preserve the data so that, even if your ex chooses to scrub things later, you have evidence.
I know you've been "talked" and "talked" to death about this, and it's NOT my intent to add to your burden. Please---feel free to bypass this long post. I do share some info from my daughter, who works at B&N--it might help, but is not something you have to tackle today or tomorrow or even at all. I just want to help. Again, I fully trust your judgment. (The main takeaway from Barnes & Noble, if you want to read just one sentence rather than the whole missive: You can save the info from the Nooks to the cloud to preserve as evidence.)
Needless to say, I'd suggest holding off on making changes to the Nook until you preserve any potential evidence that might EVER be useful.
I would not ask your ex to modify his Nook settings or separate accounts just yet. Nor would I change the settings until I'd archived things the way they are.
Don't tip your hand---let him hoist himself with his own petard. (Well, I'd rather he be hoisted by something else....) He can delete everything in a keystroke, and prolong your battle to protect your babies. Best to be one step ahead of him and get the data archived.
I know there are practical matters associated with withholding the Nooks from your kids long enough to figure out whether they will be used as evidence, and to archive evidence from them. I know the devices are not your property. But he's placed this evidence in YOUR possession. It's a sick, sick gift--but one that might ultimately help you protect your kids. And it only will take a quick trip to B&N (if that) to preserve the evidence.
I know that your kids will want to play the games Dad gave them--any kid would. If you have a Smartphone you can download the Nook app and let them use your device to play the games. Or you can get the Nook app on your computer. That way, they won't complain to Dad that they can't use the Nooks--which will buy you a little time. And a little time is all you need. Maybe little enough that they won't even notice.
Once you archive the data, you can ask your ex to separate accounts so your kids will be spared. But get your evidentiary ducks in a row, first.
My daughter sells Nooks at B&N. She can make a device safe for your child---but only until your ex makes it unsafe again with new porn (or until they download what's been archived to the Cloud to their devices again). For real safety, they need an account separate from his. Given his grooming history, I'd argue that the account needs to be one to which he has no access. I realize this is grossly unfair to you--it's an expense you did not choose to incur.
I'd make a trip to B&N and have them archive the data to your Cloud. Once your ex knows something's up, he can delete the information permanently; you want to save this, in its current state, ASAP. You probably can do this on your own, but I just spent 10 minutes with my Nook, and even though I'm pretty tech savvy I couldn't figure it all out, so I would want help from a Nook manager at B&N.
Once you've got the data archived, then you can breathe a little more deeply. The evidence will be preserved. You can then let things unfold with CPS or the police or whatever, and ask your ex to separate accounts. I'd check with the lawyer about this, but I'd wager that because they were gifts to your children, YOU can close the account and create a new one, if he won't.
Again, I know you are doing your best, and will continue to do so. I really do trust that. I am only sharing this in case there is a tiny nugget of something that might help. I know you've examined all angles, and that this is unlikely--but ...well. Your kids. You. I care, you know? That's all---I care. I don't doubt you, even a little.
Okay, a too-long addendum, and I apologize in advance. I texted my daughter the following question, and her response follows--it includes information I did not think of, involving the aforementioned saving evidence to the cloud. It might help a little. Again, your call--take what you need, leave the rest. We all do trust you. This is not about that.
Me: Hypothetical question: you're working Nook and a mom comes in with her two kids' Nooks, which are linked to her ex's account. You find the ex's porn on one child's Nook. I know that you are a mandatory reporter. Would other B&N employees be required to report to CPS? Would they scrub the device--and if they did could it be forensically recovered if needed?
DD: I know I would have to report. I don't know about other employees, but I will ask a manager. (My addendum: the manager said that employees are not mandatory reporters; if they choose to report, they are supported by management.)
We can reset the device (anyone can, it's in the settings) but if you just delete it, it's gone forever. You can archive it to the Cloud, but then it can be re-downloaded by the kids. Best bet, in my opinion, is to deactivate the device so it's no longer linked to the ex, start a new account for the kids (they'd have to restart their libraries, though)....
DD later: Manager just said the same thing I just did. Best bet is to re-register under a new account and rebuild the library so there's still evidence (my note: he can delete this at any time if you don't save it now) but the kids can't see it. And report to CPS or lawyer.
As always, a million hugs to you and your kids.
Until you know for sure that this is going no where I would not touch those Nooks and I would not confront your XH about anything. Leave him in the dark for now.
It is what it is.
And personally, if it were me, I would just put the parental controls in and provide the PW to him only if he asks. My take is he either doesn't know enough about it to notice, or if he is using their Nooks for inappropriate things, he's going to change the controls anyway. So I'd just play it nonchalant and only respond if necessary. Otherwise he will make it a power struggle and worse for you. "Oh, I saw inappropriate stuff on there, so I just fixed it so they couldn't do pull it up again. Let me know if it causes a problem with stuff they normally are allowed to use and I can adjust it."
The upside of all this is that I've been having some amazing talks with my kids about porn, internet safety, and the line between right & wrong. We've talked about how sometimes people do things that are very wrong, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad person or that we should judge them. Of course I haven't told the kids about the extent of their dad's perversion, I've only kept it to this very age-appropriate level of information.
So child protective won't investigate when a child says they saw their Dad masturbating at the computer and their is now porn on the laptop?
I'm so sorry.....
You were saying about not having your previous counselor anymore....do you have a domestic violence center nearby? Ours is for anyone who has every had DV. ever. and emotional abuse is DV. THere are indiv counseling, children's, group, etc and it's like $1.00 a visit....I'm just thinking it would help to have them in your corner, and many of our counselors have been victims of DV....