Playing it Safe: Accessing Like an App

As a mom, I’m always looking for ways to monitor internet access for my toddler. I want her to be able to play her favorite games and access kid-friendly sites — without fear that she may run into, well, let’s just call them ‘unsavory’ sites.

Let me guess — you feel the same way?

Prism is a free software package from Mozilla Labs that lets you run your favorite websites on your laptop or desktop computer just like an app on your smart phone or tablet. Prism runs separately from your Internet browser and stays open — even if your browser doesn’t. So I can set-up as an “app” on my desktop and the Bug can access it without being able to inadvertently venture into the world wide web.

Here’s how it works:

Go the Prism Website and download the software for either Windows or Mac OSX.

Install the software package according to your operating system instructions & launch the application.

Insert information about the website you’d like to access as an app. It will ask you for the website URL, what you’d like to call the site, and where you would like to place the shortcut icon. For me, it’s easiest to place it on the desktop.

It will pull the Favicon associated with the website you’ve selected as a shortcut image (that’s that little image on your browser toolbar that shows up when you access a website). But you can choose any image on your computer as the associate image.

And viola! Looks just like an app and can be launched without having a browser open.

Special thanks to fan KB Aimee Santana for the Prism suggestion! Be sure to check out Aimee’s blog! Stay tuned for more “Playing It Safe” tips and tricks on Kneeblogger. Have a tip to share? Email me at and your playing it safe tip might be featured, too!

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2 Comments to this article

  1. Oh wow, thanks for the shoutout!

    For the record, you can do this from Chrome as well. Go to the website you want and click the option button (the one on the right of your navigation bar that looks like a wrench.) I believe it’s under “tools” and says something like “Run website as application.” From there, you can set it up with desktop or start menu shortcuts.

    I like Prism because I’m a Mozilla nut and like being able to hit F11 and have the “app” run fullscreen.

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