It is an eternal dilemma. How do you let children access the vast amounts of information available on the Internet while protecting them from the pitfalls of unsavoury elements and risque content? Both traditional—looking over their shoulders—and high-tech methods have their pitfalls. You can’t really sit next to them every moment they are on the Web. And software applications that filter their online activity can be cumbersome to use, especially if you need to maintain lists of allowed and banned websites.
A new, simple, remotely-managed solution from Symantec could change all that. The software, OnlineFamily.Norton, combines Norton’s traditional strength in security and Internet safety with an easy, Internet-based interface to let parents monitor and manage their children’s surfing habits from anywhere: the office, an Internet cafe, or even from the business centre in your Hong Kong hotel while your children are at home in Delhi. “OnlineFamily is unlike other softwares used to protect families. In most cases, parents use them to spy on their kids and secretly see what they’re doing on the Web,” explains Effendy Ibrahim, consumer business lead, Asia South region for Symantec. “OnlineFamily makes everything more transparent. Children know that parents are controlling their online access and parents can keep track of activity down to the names of people their kids add on chat clients and messengers.”
Available for download and for free use till January 2010, the software can be used on both Windows and Mac computers. The software can be adjusted for each child in the family and Internet use is automatically restricted to sites suitable for each age band. Parents can also set time limits for Web use. “You could restrict access to just 3 hours a day on weekdays and 5 hours a day on weekends if you want. The software lets you do that,” adds Ibrahim.
If children need to access restricted sites, they are given the option of seeking their parents’ permission. An email is sent to the parent immediately and he/she can then use the software’s online interface to do the needful from anywhere.
Detailed logs are maintained of all activity including search queries.
To download OnlineFamily.Norton visit: https://onlinefamily.norton.com.