<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/mcghead.png” />I have used OpenDNS in the past for monitoring children and employees. Now I am here to tell you how important it is to safeguard your children online. I have also said in the past that the Internet is a great place for kids to learn and a computer can be their best friend. See my post on Baby Smash and Nick JR’s website here.
Today I will be showing you a free spy software download put out by the same people who brought you the McGruff crime dog from the 1980’s. Do you remember him? He had the slogan “Help us take a bite out of crime!”
Well he is back and he is spying on your kids Internet activity. He can email you if your child does something that trips the alarm. These things can be a stranger “friending” them in an online social network. It could be them or one of their online buddies using “dangerous” acronyms like LSD or PCP.
To start we will need to create an account.
After creating a “parent” account using the form above we can move on to install the free spy software download on the computer your little one uses. We need to select the types of alarms you want installed. They include: bullying (being bullied or your child being the bully), sexual terminology, curse words, alcohol and drug talk, loneliness or suicide watch words, violence and strangers talking to them. You can see the full list below:
Now we need to physically install the software. Don’t worry if you are not in front of their PC. You can click No to the following question and have the link emailed to you so that you can install it on their machine. If you are on their machine click yes and continue.
Go ahead and click OK on the next screen to install.
It will take a few minutes for the software to check your built in firewall and security software for compatibility. They might give you recommendations on how to deal with them. For me I was good to go.
Select the first option and then point it to the account we created at the beginning.
When you are finished hit next. That will take you to this screen telling you that a McGruff icon will appear on the child’s computer. If you click on the button labeled why it will tell you how important it is to talk to your children about Internet safety but there will also be a button to remove the icon from there, for the sneakier of MakeUseOf readers.
Now you can view how many unique websites have been looked at on this machine. You also have the option to view the websites browsed to, prior to the installation, by hitting the show details button. You can see what mine looks like below:
The next check box will not allow your children to view inappropriate websites. I skipped this step as I want her to have free range but also be able to see what choices she is making. This will help me guide her in understanding the World Wide Web.
Next up we see the notification screen. This is where you can set up how you want your snooping data statistics delivered. You can have it emailed to you or view it online (or both). You can also be alerted instantly via email to “dangerous browsing activity”.
Here is a quick glimpse of my control panel and how much data it actually aggregates and gives you access to.
How do you keep your little ones safe online? Do you always watch them while they use the computer? How young is too young to be left alone online?