Thursday, May 30, 2013

Keeping Kids Safe

This title is a misnomer.  I'm not a helicopter parent and encourage my kids to be as independent as their age and responsibility allows them to be but I do worry about the internet.  I'm totally shocked when I search for something seemingly innocent on a website like Pinterest and up pops all sorts of things that "offend" me.  I know my kids are going to see stuff like this and I doubt its going to harm them for life.  On the other hand, I don't need to make it easier on them.  

I also have issues with TOO MUCH computer time.  I've tried several different types of software and all of them have had drawbacks.  Because I am a working mom, there were times when the kids needed access to a particular website or needed to work outside the time limits I had set but  because I wasn't at home to "fix" their computers, they just had to wait.  Waiting isn't a bad thing.  Just inconvenient sometimes.  

And then a few months ago my subscription to the last type of software was expiring and I went looking for something else.  I didn't have high hopes but figured that I at least might be able to find something equally as good/bad and maybe a little cheaper if I did some hard shopping.  Enter Qustodio.  I still don't know how to pronounce it and I think they are located in Spain but WOW.

Here's a screenshot of the page that allows me to set up the time/usage limits.  I can limit how much time is spent on places like Facebook or completely block them.  Websites can be allowed or blocked.  When time limits are reached, I can block internet use only or everything.  I get regular emails showing me which websites have been visited and when they have hit their limits.  Since it's all web-based, I can adjust on the fly when I'm away from home.  

I'm not one to easily recommend any product but I have to say, this one has me sold.  I'm very happy with it and with a very strong password on my end, Motocross Boy/Man has yet to hack into it.  :)

Here is a link:  Qustodio

I'm not out to make any money but for full disclosure, this link is an affiliate link and I think they do give me a few cents or something.  They do have a free version and I have used both for almost a full year now.  If you don't have much in the way of installed software type games, the free version is fine.  If your kids use installed computer games, you might want the paid version which gives you more options.

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