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!


  • Sounds like a good product. But our main course of action is to have the computer in a room where we can see what the kids are doing at all times.

    By Blogger Karen, At 6:47 PM, February 23, 2009  

  • I have an easy time staying in the loop with my girls (6 & 8) because they usually want to use my laptop since it is faster than our desktop. I'm hoping they get their own laptop soon (I'm tired of sharing - LOL!) and the Norton Online Family software sounds like it would be a wise investment when that happens.


    By Blogger deanna, At 7:10 PM, February 23, 2009  

  • I tweeted about the contest - http://twitter.com/deanna_j/status/1243107188


    By Blogger deanna, At 7:20 PM, February 23, 2009  

  • I don't have much of a choice than to be in the loop with my kids. I am a stay at home mom and homeschooler. The feature of this software that would help me is being able to track everything my kids do online. I also like the ability to allot time for them to be on the internet and how they need your approval to have more time.

    By Blogger millaa, At 7:37 PM, February 23, 2009  

  • This is great if you can't always watch where your kids are surfing. I had a bad virus from a site my daughter visited! Expensive mistake!

    Dawn Rockford hunnymail(at)hotmail(dot)com

    By Blogger Hunnybee, At 8:07 PM, February 23, 2009  

  • My Baby just left for College in Aug.. so this would have been great a few years back. Gotta keep it in mind for the future.. grandkids ya know..
    I always kept an eye on my kids internet escapades. I had major parental controls on the computer and NO computers in the bedrooms.
    talk talk talk to your kids!

    By Blogger LeslieVeg, At 9:50 AM, February 24, 2009  

  • LeslieVeg Left a tweet on Twitter,
    here's the link


    By Blogger LeslieVeg, At 9:53 AM, February 24, 2009  

  • I have our computer in the middle of our house. Everyone can see what everyone is doing on it. Which makes Christmas shopping a little difficult!

    However, as the kids get older, I can see their being more of a problem. This might be helpful.

    By Blogger Becki, At 10:26 AM, February 24, 2009  

  • No kids here, but if I did, they would be monitored to death! This program sounds like it would help an awful lot. Thanks for the review. guill888 at yahoo dot com

    By Blogger guill888, At 3:46 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • My son is 13 and it is getting more difficult to keep an eye on him and what he is doing. i really need to get this product for his computer - thanks so much for the blog article

    By Blogger Skinny Minnie, At 3:47 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • i Tweeted http://twitter.com/jtrophy/status/1246597193

    jtrophy at aol dot com

    visit my blog at www.icoulduseadeal.blogspot.com I am trying to build my subscribers ! you'll love it !

    By Blogger Skinny Minnie, At 3:49 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • My son is way too young to even worry about this yet, but this would be a great product for my two brothers in high school. Both of them are pretty responsible, but I know my parents have had trouble keeping tabs on what they're doing.

    By Blogger The Hansen Family, At 4:34 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • @melodymarie33
    I tweeted!

    By Blogger The Hansen Family, At 4:36 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • I've made sure I talked to my 12 year old daughter about the dangers of online strangers and to come to me if she has any concerns. She just did...she has memberships to kid-friendly sites like Club Penguin and Toon Town and she told me that she suspected someone online there was an adult posing as a child.

    Even with having my daughter's passwords, checking the history, keeping the computer in the main room, and approving all online friends...your children still aren't completely safe. Software like this gives parents the edge and helps keep kids safe. I'm all for it!

    shel704 at aol dot com

    By Blogger Shel, At 5:11 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • I tweeted:

    shel704 at aol dot com

    By Blogger Shel, At 5:12 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • what a great review and great giveaway. We constantly give reminders to our kids regarding what is OK and not OK to access online and when it's ok for them to be surfing the internet. We talked about naughty things that are available and showed them how to use the favorites buttons to keep good websites available and easy to get. I also just simply try to be around when they are online--never leave them to it alone, never at night, never when a babysitter is here, etc.

    Thanks for the chance. =)

    By Blogger Amie, At 7:02 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • The girls are still young enough that they need help to use the computer. I can see how wonderful Norton will be for the future when the girls get more freedom. Our computer is also in a central area so anyone can see what's on the monitor.

    By Blogger lace, At 7:15 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • Can't wait to try this product. I already use Norton and this would be a great addition.

    By Blogger Bridgett, At 8:48 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • I'm so glad software companies are making thing kid safe & family friendly. I know I can end up a questionable websites without trying, so I'm sure my kids could/would too. Thanks!

    By Blogger Am I doing okay?, At 9:17 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • I think this would be great for kids of all ages. Not just teens but even younger ones.

    By Blogger mom2three, At 9:26 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • Tweet Tweet. I twittered http://twitter.com/millaa1/status/1247974533.

    By Blogger millaa, At 10:16 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • I already use Norton, so once my little guy is of age, no doubt this will be on our TO BUY list!


    By Blogger LaskiGal, At 10:51 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • I don't have kids of my own yet, but I teach. Any computer time (very little) is monitored by me though. I can see something like this being useful in schools.

    viperemily at hotmail dot com

    By Blogger Joyful Abode, At 11:01 PM, February 24, 2009  

  • We haven't had to worry about the internet with our child yet being that he is still a preschooler, but this would be great when that time comes!


    By Blogger The Wade's, At 10:35 AM, February 25, 2009  

  • Looks good.


    By Blogger Kim, At 11:00 AM, February 25, 2009  

  • So - with something like this I could actually hook the kids computer back up to the internet - that privilege was killed after the "MySpaceIncident"

    By Blogger Cursing Mama, At 11:22 AM, February 25, 2009  

  • This product would be super helpful. My son is starting to spend more time on the computer and I can't always monitor him. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    By Blogger Anna Resnik Pickelsimer, At 12:07 PM, February 25, 2009  

  • I currently have no way of monitoring other than checking history!

    By Blogger vwestermeyer, At 3:09 PM, February 25, 2009  

  • We have a 2 yr old who loves "surfing the net", shhh, don't tell her the mouse she's using isn't actually plugged in!

    Of course it's not gonna be like that for much longer and this product sounds terrific for busy families!

    By Blogger Amy in Ohio, At 3:34 PM, February 25, 2009  

  • My kids are grown, but to keep my granddaughters safe, we only let them on the computer when we are with them. Looks like a great product.

    By Blogger grams, At 3:59 PM, February 25, 2009  

  • This software would totally help, as currently I use the windows parental controls, which are sadly lacking.

    By Blogger Kmommy, At 4:38 PM, February 25, 2009  

  • My kids are not yet on the computer! I am dreading the time that they are...This looks like it might be a big help in keeping them safe!! Thanks for the review!
    Sarah T

    By Blogger I live IN Jesus, At 9:35 AM, February 26, 2009  

  • I am the mom of a preteen son and a ten year old daughter. My daughter is pretty limited to Nick.com, Club Penguin and Disney. My son, is a whole different story. He used to be limited to sports sites (Sports Illustrated, team websites etc). However, he recently discovered YouTube. YIKES! Right now, our security system consists of either me or my husband sitting in the room with him. I would love a program that allowed BOTH of us a little more freedom.

    By Blogger Becca, At 11:20 AM, February 26, 2009  

  • I like being in tough with my son at all times so it is nice have cell phones. Thanks for the contest

    By Blogger shorty, At 7:43 PM, February 26, 2009  

  • Wow this sounds like just what my husband has been looking for! Both of my girls, 12 & 14 received laptops from their grandparents for Xmas. We have installed wireless internet to accomodate all 4 of our systems but it is hard to keep track of what they are doing all the time. They end up with a bunch of junk on there -- spyware, adware, viruses, etc. Just got both of them cleaned up and a good antivirus...now we can add this to the arsenal and always be able to check in on them.

    Thanks for the info!

    By Blogger AJ, At 2:06 PM, February 27, 2009  

  • My son is only allowed to access the Internet under my supervision. This software would be a great tool to give me a break as well as peace of mind. Thank you for the great giveaway!
    beatspammer at gmail dot com

    By Blogger icefairy, At 3:54 AM, February 28, 2009  

  • My tweet!
    beatspammer at gmail dot com

    By Blogger icefairy, At 3:57 AM, February 28, 2009  

  • We currently only let the kids surf the net every once in a while and at 6 and 4, they really aren't 'surfing'. We put them on the site of choice (Dreambox Learning, Noggin, etc) then keep an eye on them.

    When they get older, a program like this will be very helpful.

    By Blogger Nicole, At 12:00 PM, February 28, 2009  

  • We employ a system of parental controls, keeping the computer in the family room and shoulder surfing to stay in the loop. We could definitely use another layer in the ever growing quest to protect our kids.

    By Blogger Reva Skie, At 7:15 PM, February 28, 2009  

  • We're using Norton as of this weekend. Troubles with our previous online security program, and the Norton Online Family is fabulous.

    Please enter me in the draw. Thanks.

    By Blogger ~ Melody ~, At 8:32 PM, February 28, 2009  

  • Thank you for sharing this software with us. These kind of programs are essential when you have kids. Many times I myself have been googling a subject and end up at the wrong site. Just imagine what a child could do. I only wish the government pushed to have these sites on their own domain.

    By Blogger Joshua, At 9:27 PM, March 01, 2009  

  • I would love to win this software to put on our home computer as another line of defense to keep my kids safe. They both use the computer a lot for school and you can't be too careful nowadays. Thanks for the giveaway!

    By Blogger bargaingirl, At 1:02 AM, March 02, 2009  

  • I think this sounds great for when my granddaughter comes to visit.


    By Blogger Nancy, At 3:59 AM, March 02, 2009  

  • My blog post here:

    By Blogger millaa, At 7:46 PM, March 02, 2009  

  • My son (8) uses the internet a TON, but he's pretty cautious. We have rules like: no internet searches without a parent present, and no YouTube searches, either. I can definitely anticipate a time when we'd need more monitoring, though.

    Enter me in the drawing, please! I'd love an iPod Touch!

    By Blogger Aliki2006, At 11:07 AM, March 03, 2009  

  • I have an easy time watching what my kid views on the internet. 90% of the time either my mother and i are in the room watching her and i regularly check up on her internet history to see what sites she's browsed. i trust her, but i definitely do not trust the internet.

    By Blogger Adaeze, At 1:08 PM, March 03, 2009  

  • I keep in the loop with my kids by checking the internet history and talking to them about where they are allowed to go on the internet. I think this software would help alot with keeping tabs on what they are doing, better than just talking to them or looking at something that they could have deleted items from. hollyollyberry(AT)gmail(dOT)com

    By Blogger Holly, At 12:38 AM, March 04, 2009  

  • My boys are grown and gone, but it would have been nice to have when they were kids.

    By Blogger Mary Ann, At 1:41 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • Just to let you know that I tweeted it.

    By Blogger Mary Ann, At 1:49 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • My oldest is pretty much free on the internet and like yours is well versed on safety of net use. My youngest is rarely online. I also would love to be able to see what either was up to or where they were visiting while online.

    This sounds great. The iPod Touch would let me sync my Mac stuff (like calendars!!) and make me more productive while away from my computer. :)

    By Blogger KiniWoman, At 5:37 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • My son is three so I monitor every second here's even near a computer. I'm also a teacher and think this would be a great idea for schools since it does such a super job of monitoring the very specific movements of kids when they're online.

    ringldr at hotmail dot com

    By Blogger buddha_girl, At 7:05 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • Kiddo is getting older all the time and it is harder and harder to keep watch on the internet time. It was so easy when all he knew how to do was click the links I had set up for him. We keep a close eye on him when he's online, but sometimes you can get distracted. Shiny objects and all.

    By Blogger Jennifer, At 7:05 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • anything that helps keep my budding social networkers safe is good with me :-) sign me up!

    By Blogger HomeSlice, At 7:46 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • I always try to keep the computer they are working on inview... but they have been browsing off of PBS Kids lately so Norton Family Software might be our next option.....

    since dinner has to be cooked by someone tall enough to reach the stove;)

    By Blogger 3 for Me!, At 8:40 PM, March 04, 2009  

  • We stay in the loop by keeping our computer in a room where we can watch our son's activity. For the times we can't, this software would really help.
    cat at 3kidsandus dot com

    By Blogger Cat@3KidsandUs, At 2:28 AM, March 05, 2009  

  • Since my kids are still young, I usually am sitting right beside them when they are on the computer. But now that I know about this software, it will definitely become a part of our computer use as they get older and venture into more independent computer use. Thanks for the great contest!

    By Blogger Heather, At 6:51 AM, March 05, 2009  

  • Luckily my son is still too young to use the computer, but i am thrilled to see such good reviews from a product I know will help me in the near future. Thanks!

    By Blogger doughmesstic, At 10:16 AM, March 05, 2009  

  • My son is only 2 1/2, but when he goes to preschools (2 half days a week), but I always talk to his teachers to see how the day went. When he is old enough to use the internet, I would LOVE to have this for our home!

    By Blogger crystal, At 2:08 PM, March 05, 2009  

  • I just Tweeted about this giveaway. My username is ctb0520.

    By Blogger crystal, At 2:09 PM, March 05, 2009  

  • Our son is only one, but we've already agreed to move the computer into the kitchen/family room when he's old enough to start using it, which I'm sure will be WAY sooner than I think! That software sounds like a great idea because you can't watch them every second of every day.

    By Blogger Mama Bub, At 10:11 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • My kids have both come to me when they are suspicious of something they come across on the web or through email, so I feel pretty safe knowing that they are aware of the dangers and willing to get me involved at the firt signs of something going wrong.Having the computer in a visible area does help, too.But the Norton software would add the extra bit of security "just in case."


    P.S. I tweeted about the contest, too. http://twitter.com/organizergal


    By Anonymous Virtually Organized, At 10:19 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • Great information. I was just looking for such a product as my kids (9 and 12) are getting more proficient...and more curious. Can't wait to explore it further.

    By Blogger wordoutlet, At 10:21 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • My children are young, but love the Internet. We insist they use the computer in a visible public spot in the house and we always check their "favorites" list. We also block sites we think are inappropriate.

    By Blogger Ann, At 10:32 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • Our computer is in an open room so I can see and hear everything my children are doing on the computer. Plus, we have linux that is less likely to get viruses. The best thing we do is that the kids have to ask permission to get on the computer in the first place, so I know when they are on there and where they are going.

    By Blogger Jen, At 10:33 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • iPod Touch!!!!

    By Blogger Newscoma, At 10:37 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • I unfortunately don't have any kiddo's yet, but in the near future - when I do, I do however plan to be very watchful of what they are doing on there because I know how I was. My parents (mainly my mother) was very updated with the internet happenings, however they next carefully watched exactly what I was doing... and knowing myself what I was doing, I would not want my own kids to be subject to that (i.e. Chatrooms, chatting with random people, etc).

    So, with that... I'm going to tweet about it too, I think it's a very important thing that kids need to be aware of!

    email: krystle dot weihrauch @ gmail dot com

    By Anonymous Krystle, At 10:54 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • Hmmm ... I just happen to have the iPod Touch on my wedding registry. Wouldn't it be cool if I won it this way?

    By Blogger LissaKay, At 10:59 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • We only have one computer connected to the internet and it's in the living room where we can see what the kids are doing online. I was on Facebook before 14yoDD was and we just set up blogs on the same site. I know her passwords and we often share what we are reading on our bookmarked favorites. I do think this new program will be a big help as we also have 3 sons (13yo, 9yo, and 7yo)that are just now starting to want to do things online and it will be nice to be able to control what sites pop up when they do searches.

    By Blogger Wantasew, At 10:59 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • just tweeted about the giveaway - http://twitter.com/ratherbsewing

    By Blogger Wantasew, At 11:08 AM, March 09, 2009  

  • All our computers are in the same room, I can see what they are doing. They can't really use it for other than for homework on weekdays anyway. When they are older and the PC is moved to their own room, then this software will be pretty useful.

    By Blogger Liz, At 12:06 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • My eldest child is years so the years where I need to monitor the internet are quickly approaching. This product sound like something we will consider in the very near future.

    By Blogger LauraF, At 12:40 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • Our PC is in a spot (husband's office) where I can't monitor it and I am usually on the laptop, so this would be a great safekeeping device. My older teen would have a fit about it, but there is still hope for my tween. He's a wild card though and I just may need this to keep him in line, online!

    By Blogger Ginny, At 12:52 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • I have two kids and I think this software will work great. I downloaded it onto my laptop and desktop. Now it's time to track what they are up to. :) Thanks Norton and Busy Mom.

    By Blogger Tamra, At 1:40 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • Tweet Tweet Twiddle Dee Dee - http://twitter.com/WithourHands/statuses/1301612330

    By Blogger Tamra, At 1:41 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • I only have one laptop, so that makes it easy for monitoring!

    I really like the idea of setting up profiles for each member, this way your older kids can have more freedom then the younger ones.


    By Blogger LoveMeKnot Creations, At 1:47 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • Re-tweet love extended!!!


    By Anonymous Scott, At 2:16 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • my kids are 4 &2 and know about the internet. so far the only site the 4 year old has been on is pbs.com I think this software would be great for us in the future! I am going to need all the help I can get with my already tech savy kids.

    By Blogger How I Pinch A Penny, At 5:13 PM, March 09, 2009  

  • I tweeted! twitter.com/HowIPinchAPenny

    By Blogger How I Pinch A Penny, At 5:17 PM, March 09, 2009  

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