(Editor’s note: Please welcome Tom, who brings very helpful information for monitoring online activity. Keeping track of your children can be ever more difficult as times and technology change so quickly. Thanks, Tom!)
As a parent, you can use filtering software designed to monitor the online activity of your children. These tools can help to protect your children from predators who use tactics to lure unsuspecting children. There are a number of software programs to help keep you informed about what your children do while surfing the Internet. Additionally, various types of software programs will safeguard your children’s privacy and block pornography from the computer.
The industry term for this type of software is computer monitoring programs. The programs run invisibly in the background while your children are on the computer. The following list is an example of the various types of programs available.
With SafetyWeb, you cannot only keep your children physically safe, but you can also protect their online reputations. For only $10 per month, SafetyWeb provides a summary report of the social networking sites where your children have accounts. The report shows the type of information and photographs your children share on these sites. You can also find out who are their friends. The program will send you alerts whenever content has negative information such as profanity, bullying, substance abuse or depression.
SocialShield goes one step further in identifying your children’s online friends. The program checks each name against over 50 databases to ensure friends are not associated with illicit activities online. Suspicious friends warrant an alert that you receive from SocialShield. You also receive alerts when your children engage in discussions about sex, violence or suicide.
Issues that are less threatening but may require your attention are posted in the parent dashboard. All discussions are tracked, but important issues are highlighted so you do not have to completely invade your children’s privacy while finding out about possible concerns. The dashboard also tracks pictures posted by your children or pictures that others have posted of your children. This program also costs $10 per month.
NetNanny has been around for over 10 years and is available for instant download online for $39.95. Considered the world’s leading parental control monitoring program, NetNanny was developed and perfected with the help of law enforcement, child advocates and parents to keep children safe on the Internet. The program allows you to monitor and restrict Internet access.
By using NetNanny, you can block obscene material from the computer. Often, your children may unintentionally encounter this type of material while surfing the Internet. NetNanny can integrate with all of the major search engines to prevent your children from accessing pornographic and other material not appropriate for children.
IamBigBrother 9.0 monitors emails, chats, instant messages and visited websites on the computer. For only $39.95, you can monitor all online activity. The program runs undetected while capturing what your children are doing online and who is interacting with them.
PC Pandora allows you to monitor everything that your children are doing and sends alerts before a potential problem can escalate. PC Pandora records chat interactions, websites visited, emails and keystrokes. This computer monitoring program helps you to maintain control over your children’s safety with access to all online activity.
You can capture login names and passwords with PC Pandora and prevent activity that may lead to a catastrophe. The price for PC Pandora is approximately $69.95 and it is available from various vendors.
If you work during the day, you are not there when your children get home from school. WebWatcher is a computer monitoring program that allows you to monitor your children’s computer anywhere. This is a web-based monitoring program that gives you remote access to the computers at home.
For around $100, you can have secure access to computer and Internet activity while you are away from home. The user-friendly program provides real-time monitoring and blocking features. The program also monitors all email activity on the computer.
GoGoStat Parental Guidance
GoGoStat is a parental guidance app that works with the popular social networking site Facebook. You will receive alerts when potentially harmful activity occurs on your children’s profile page. Obscene language, personal information, becoming friends with older people or negative photos is brought to your attention. The app is free and allows you to select some or all of these issues for notification. Whenever any of these activities occur, you receive notifications on a dashboard display.
Tom mainly deals with Epson cartridges and other printer cartridges while at work at Cartridge Save, but when he isn’t doing that, he’s learning more about photography, design and the latest tech news.
Photo provided courtesy of Jason.Hudson via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.
Earnest Parenting: tips for parents who want to safeguard their children.
I’d like to introduce you to a new product, ScreenRetriever. ScreenRetriever is the only product that provides parents LIVE access to their children’s computers. The purpose of ScreenRetriever is to help parents teach safe, responsible, appropriate computer use. Parents are able to check in on their child’s computer use where ever their child’s computer is located in the home with one click of an icon. It’s very similar to a parent taking a look out the kitchen window when kids are playing in the back yard. If everything is o.k. then mom goes about her business, if things aren’t o.k. mom takes a closer look and intervenes. This is parenting 101. We believe that parents need to parent online the same way they do offline. When parents aren’t home their is a recording feature.
Check us out at ScreenRetriever.com
All fantastic and useful applications for protecting children from online threats. I might also recommend protection directly at the source if using a wireless networks in the home. These days wireless routers and access points are equipped with great “parental control” and “access security” features that will actually allow limiting the times at which the internet can be accessed, all setup and password protected by concerned parents. Simply add another layer of protection.
Thanks for the suggestion, Tony! We also use openDNS.com which has been handy.
I have tried many tools and products. They do help you to protect your kids but you should make sure that those products are secure and encrypt the data they gather. That’s why my favorite one is Argos Monitoring.
Whatever you choose among mentioned, I advise you to try this one to check what your kid is doing on his PC time to time