Internet safety is a hot button topic for any parent with young children. There are so many tools and settings at our disposal and it is so hard to navigate through the choices. I have spent time over the past 9 years trying to find things that work for my children, yet provide the level of restriction that makes me feel comfortable. I have never actually found the perfect setup.
Most recently I have been using Trend Micro’s Online Guardian. I was given a year subscription to try out and I have to say that I appreciate the reports and the security level it offers. Their key features are: Monitors Online Social Networking activity, Protects against Cyber Bullying and Predators, Filtering out adult and inappropriate content, and limiting internet time and setting a daily schedule. It is one of the better options given the age of my children 11, 9 and 7. While I have enjoyed it, I am not sure that I am willing to commit to the $49 a year to continue after my complimentary subscription runs out. Which will put me back in the market.
Over the years we have used:
- KidRocket which is free and was great when the kids were younger and when they had a PC. The limitations on websites and the switch to Mac knocked this one out for us.
- Zoodles which is great and offers options for almost any device you could want. So it’s a great one stop shop. But again, my kids have kind of aged out of this type of service. But if you have preschoolers this is a great one to check out.
- KidZui my kids didn’t like. We ran into a lot of issues with needing constant parental approval for everything. I would approve a website only to have it prompt them for approval for each subset page. While I appreciate the intent, it was not “smart” about filtering at all. Perk. It’s
- Kido’z is another one similar to KidZui but again is not the right fit for our family.
- bsecure is one that looks great and is suggested by Focus on the Family. Until recent;y it was not available for Mac, but now it is. I like that it is a one time purchase for $49.95. Based on the comparison from Apple Controls and their controls it looks very appealing
So that is my quick and not dirty spiel on a few of the options out there for making your computer more child friendly. Would love to hear any other tips you might have!