In this technological day and age, when many of our kids are more familiar with technology than we are, parents need all the help they can get protecting their kids while they are online. Let’s face it, we KNOW there are dangers out there, and while our kids may be savvy when it comes to working with the internet, they may not be all that savvy when it comes to dealing with some of the things they come across. Action Alert is a computer monitoring program endorsed by the Child Safety Network that is designed to make it easier for parents to keep their kids safe while online.
Action Alert provides a multi-faceted approach to protecting your children. The program will allow you to receive alerts on your cell phone or computer when something deemed inappropriate comes up. It will also allow you to shut down your home computer from your phone! The program logs user names and passwords and will suspend a user if suspicious activity is recorded. With the “safe search” feature, it only allows internet searches on certain topics, and you can set a daily time allowance for users on your computer, if you are worried about your children having too much computer time!
You can download the free version of Action Alert, which will provide protection, however the Maximum Protection version, which costs $29.99 allows you to provide customizable protection for multiple users. This is good if you share a computer with your children. You can add the Action Alert protection under their user name and customize as you want, but you do not have to add it under your own account.
I downloaded this program and assigned it to my son’s user account on my computer. It did work, but as I have often found with programs like these, it seemed to cause glitches on the computer in general. He was often frustrated by the “safe search” mode, as sometimes it would not allow him to search for something, even though it wasn’t something bad. We also had problems with the computer freezing up and other installed programs not running correctly. Like I said, I have tried other internet safety programs before and had a similar experience, so I’m not sure if the problem is just something to do with this type of program in general, or not.
At any rate, in our house, we closely monitor our kids use of the computer anyway. Our computer is centrally located in our house, so if my kids are on it, I can usually see what they are doing. My husband is pretty tech-savvy himself, and knows how to pull up the history on the computer, even if someone has attempted to delete something, and he does check the computer history frequently. My youngest son doesn’t use much social media yet (he’s only 10), but my oldest does have email and facebook. However, we have all of his passwords, and I do check his account, (as well as his cell phone 🙂 ) weekly. For me, the problems I encountered with this program would probably keep me from purchasing it. However, if you are concerned about what your kids are doing on the computer, and you want an extra set of “eyes” to watch them, you might like to try it. You can check out the website here:
To see what other Crew members had to say about Action Alert, check out the Crew Blog here:
*NOTE: I received a free download of this product in exchange for writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.