We all know it’s important to be ever-vigilant about what our kids are doing on the internet. And while we KNOW that, and KNOW that the best way to do that is to supervise every moment, in reality, that’s easier said than done.
As eclectic homeschoolers, we use the internet – a LOT. We’re busy, active people; we’re not always home at the same time. It just isn’t practical or realistic to think that every moment a kid needs to use the computer, an adult is going to be in the house, let alone in the same room, occasionally peering over their shoulder.
- Access Control – This allows you to shut down the computer from elsewhere if you need to.
- Activity Notification Alerts – The software sends you alerts via email or texts when questionable activity is detected.
- Activity Video Recording – Up to 60 hours of computer use is recorded – you can see exactly what was happening on the computer while you were away. (This is pretty hard for the kids to argue with! It’s time-stamped, too!)
- Time Allowance – So you can specify what times during the day when the computer can be used.
- Site Blocking – Blocks inappropriate sites or sites you’ve chosen not to allow access to.
- Content Filtering – Filters out unacceptable material during searching.
- Keystroke Logging – Captures all usernames and passwords – especially important if you have a child that’s into keeping unsafe secrets.
- Chat and Email Logging – Ensure that only safe conversations are happening, and have a record of conversations later, “just in case”
And just a few words about our personal experience with Action Alert:
Installation - I was a bit nervous about installing it. I haven’t had good luck with parental control software in the past. I installed on a fairly new Windows 7 computer. Installation went well, was easy, no conflicts.
Setup - Fairly straightforward. Reading the instructions helped. Re-reading them helped even more. The instructions are clear; it was my assuming I could figure it out without them that wasn’t so good.
The kids’ experience with it - It creeps out one of my teens. He didn’t like the fact that I could “see everything”. Of course, the friend he complained to told him that her mom could, too – so that pretty much ended the complaining. The younger kids didn’t care. Nobody really cares for the start page, and I’ve been meaning to see if I can change it, but haven’t yet. (I don’t have the one I want to change it to ready yet.) Also, we had one Log Error – but more on that in a moment.
My experience with it - It’s ok. I don’t really care for having to sit and watch the video – that’s tedious – but I’m not sure what a better option would be. (I don’t have texting, or get email on my phone.) Now that I think about it, I wish the video was divided into sections by webpage or computer program. (And yes, I realize that’s probably wishful thinking. But half the video on there one week was me installing firefox plugin updates, all mixed in with kid use!)
We’ve had one Log Error that was promptly remedied by the program once I entered the password. Other than that, no technical difficulties. Very happy with it.
Action Alert comes highly recommended. It’s been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, and won awards, including Disney’s iParenting Award. It’s the only internet safety solution endorsed by The Child Safety Network.
Action Alert is available in two versions, Free and Maximum Protection
The Free Version includes everything you need to set up a kid-safe computer in seconds. The Maximum Protection version, $29.99, is fully customizable, offers multiple user protection, and full social network monitoring.
To see what other crew members had to say, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Action Alert.
**I received this product for free as a member of the 2011-12 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**