Couples Under Cover: How To Keep Your Private Life Private!
By Katy Terrega
Okay, okay, I admit it; even though my husband and I are old enough to have raised two teenagers, we actually do have a sex life. My children, however, would be mortified to learn that the two of us still have healthy libidos, so, for everyone's sake, I'd just as soon they remain completely clueless.
The problem, of course, is keeping said sex life private. It's bad enough having to sneak around like two love-starved.well.teenagers when we want to have a little fun. But now, with two techno savvy kids in the house, we have to be very wary as to what we keep on the computer, as well.
Like many couples, my husband and I have been known to peruse adult sites together - for one thing, we've found that it's a great way to get ourselves in the mood - and we have our fair share of favorite pictures and videos that we've collected over the years. We've even occasionally put our own e-camera and video camera to use (with very satisfactory results) and edited the final product on the computer.
It's here, however, that we've run into trouble. One computer, two teens, dirty pictures. Can you hear the screams of anguish (on both sides) from here?
Luckily, over time we've figured out a few ways to keep ourselves and our kids safe from the shame and horror of discovery. Here are our secrets; hopefully you'll be able to benefit from our hard earned wisdom and avoid any screaming of your own.
Fake Folder Names
This can work when your kids are young. Put all of your fun pictures and videos into one folder, hide it in some hard to reach place and rename it something completely boring, like "Taxes2005" or "Favorite Recipes." If your children do, indeed, stumble across the folder, they'll be bored to tears and never venture near the file again. Of course, the main disadvantage here is that even children too young to know better have been known to click on files out of curiosity or by accident. And older children are too smart to be put off by "Pictures of Aunt Gertrude" for long.
Create a Separate User Account
If you're running Windows XP, you've got another alternative. Create separate user accounts, along with unique desktops, for each member of the family. (You can do that by clicking on User Accounts in the Control Panel.) Each person can customize his or her desktop, making a little room of one's own, so to speak. Make it a rule that each member of the household has to stick to their own desktop, however, so that no one accidentally ends up in your space. The disadvantage to this system is that, even though everything seems as though it's in a separate place, it's actually all on your hard drive, and a computer savvy teen could find your secret files without too much effort.
Zip or Encrypt Your Files
Both of these methods provide a fairly safe alternative for keeping your secret pictures and videos private. Zipping files is easy; in XP you can simply right click and follow the directions, then password protect the file. Same with encryption software, which can be bought or, in many cases, downloaded free. Then it's a matter of putting all of your naughty material into one place and following the software specs.
The disadvantage to these two methods is that a lot of time is spent un-encrypting and re-encrypting, which is hardly a sexy way to spend those precious few moments alone. And one big warning: Your file names *will* end up in your media player's playlist. What this means is that when your teen pulls up Green Day's "American Idiot," he will be able to see that someone else has been playing something called "Raging Lust!" Good luck trying to explain that one away.
By far the best way to keep your sexy files away from your all-too enquiring teens, hackers or even computer theives, is something called the CoupleBox (http://www.couplebox.com). Basically this nifty new software is a password protected media player of its own, which means that it isn't just a place to store your files, it actually plays your videos and displays your pictures in an artful way. The big advantage here is that your video titles stay out of all other media player playlists, which is a definite plus if your children are old enough to be listening to music or watching videos on the computer. And your jpg and mpg file names won't come up on any searches, either. But best of all; it's fun!
You can create playlists of your own and organize your pictures and videos into favorites and albums. You can even customize your CoupleBox with "moods" which are cute (or sexy) alternatives to that oh-so-boring blue media player you've been using. It's also got super security; as long as you keep your files in CoupleBox where they belong, no one, not even your computer-geek-in-the-making teenager, will be able to access them. The only disadvantage is that while you're using CoupleBox in play mode you don't have access to your desktop, which means that you can't check your mail or surf while you're watching your favorite sexy movies or looking at those pictures that you took of each other on vacation. On the other hand, no distractions equals more fun, so maybe that's a good thing!
Just don't tell the kids.
About The Author
Katy Terrega is a mother, wife and freelance writer. Luckily for all concerned she recently stumbled over the CoupleBox (http://www.couplebox.com) site. Her children will be grateful someday...