Busy Mom

Monday, February 23, 2009

Norton Online Family Review and Giveaway

My kids are, for the most part, free to use the Internet, and they are very well versed in Internet Safety. While I'm not one to subscribe to the "Internet as Bogeyman" theory, I do want to know what they are doing online. Very simply, I want a thorough and convenient way to make sure they are behaving appropriately online (even after they learn to delete their history).

The good folks at Symantec, known for their online security products have just introduced Norton Online Family.

Norton Online Family is a suite of controls that lets parents monitor their kids' computer usage. It's more than just a key stroke recorder or a blacklist, it's an entire suite of parental controls to oversee kids' Internet usage.

The first thing you need to know though, is that you need to have a separate user accounts for each child who will be monitored. I don't speak Apple, but if you need to know more about it in Windows, here are the XP instructions and for instructions for Vista.

Once you've got that done, it's simple to proceed. and the interface is quite user-friendly (I'm a sucker for a little black dog). :

1. Create your Norton Online Family Account A simple registration lets you create a login and add family members. If applicable, be sure to "Add Another Parent" so that both parents can access the account.

2. Next, you install the Norton Safety Minder on each computer the child will be using. Safety Minder provides the real-time reports on the Internet activities of each of your children.

From there you can set up "house rules" and profiles for each family member. You can have different monitoring levels for each child which is important to me as the mother of a high schooler, a middle schooler AND a 1st grader.

The holder of each monitored account is informed that they are being monitored and they can easily access the "rules" by clicking the icon in the system tray.

One handy feature is that you can view a child' activity by logging into any computer. You can adjust the "notify" settings to e-mail or text you when certain events on the computer occur.

With Norton Online Family you can:

* View the Web sites that each child has visited.
* Block a Web site that you think is inappropriate for your child.
* Monitor all the Internet searches that your child performs with most search engines.
* Monitor the time that each child spends on the Internet.
* View all the social networking sites that the child has visited.
* View all the instant messages that your child sends and receives.
* Block the personal information that the child attempts to send.

If you're just not sure that you're doing it right, or you need some help, there's a great help center.

The reports are easy to understand and it's quite flexible and simple to adapt to meet your monitoring needs.

And now the fun part!

To help get the word out about Norton Online Family, Norton along with BlogHer are giving away 10 Ipod Touches!

To enter to win of them here, please leave me a comment below, telling me how you stay in the loop with your kids and whether this new software will help you.

You may leave a link to your post or twitter message about this contest in the comments for an additional entry.

The contest will begin at 12:00 a.m. (PST) on Monday, February 23, 2009 and will end Monday, March 9, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. (PST). Make sure your email address is valid!


* No duplicate comments
* This giveaway is open to U.S. residents
* Winners will be selected by random draw (using a random number generator) and will be notified by email.
* You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
* See the official rules for details: Official Rules

Good luck and be sure to visit me at Busy Mom Blog!