A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity

If you are a parent who has children who use the computer to access the internet it is very important that you educate yourself and your child about the dangers of the internet. It is important to have strict guidelines in place on their computer usage and a method to supervise and monitor their online activities. Do not fall for the myth that your generation is dumb about computers (and the internet) and today’s kids are computer (and internet) savvy. This is very far from the truth.  Let’s face it kids will be kids… Computers and the internet are a form of entertainment to kids, much like the television was when we were kids.

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To help you, as a parent, to take a bite out of the dangers of the internet, I would like to introduce you to McGruff Safeguard.  This application intelligently monitors kids’ internet activity such as internet chatting, search engine phrases, and social networking profiles (e.g. Facebook, My Space).  The difference between this application and many of the other applications out there is that McGruff Safeguard is a monitoring application and not an application that controls where your child visits. I actually prefer an application such as this to establish an open dialog about internet guidelines and to build  trust between you and your child.

McGruff SafeGuard is an authorized, licensed product of The National Crime Prevention Council and McGruff The Crime Dog, and the first and only service to electronically connect parents with law enforcement in their common battle against Internet sexual predators.

Monitors:

•  All website visits
•  MySpace/Facebook and social network activity
•  Chat and instant message conversations
•  Search engine phrases
•  Emails sent on popular systems, including AOL, Yahoo, MSN and Hotmail
•  Tracks total hours spent online

Alerts:

•  Intelligent monitoring automatically alerts you by email to potential danger
•  Get daily summary of activity
•  Report predators directly to Law Enforcement
•  Auto-monitors for hundreds of dangerous phrases
•  Create your own custom alerts

Search:

•  Your child’s activity by keyword and date
•  Your child’s activity by buddy name

Simplify:

•  Translates “kidspeak” abbreviations and acronyms
•  Choose your level of monitoring preferences
•  Installs on your child’s PC one time. Then, monitor remotely forever.
•  No need to sneak back onto your child’s PC.
•  Block specific people from talking to your child
•  Connect and cooperate with millions of other parents worldwide

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28 Responses to A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity

  1. [...] recommended reading: A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity “If you are a parent who has children who use the computer to access the internet it is very [...]

  2. techpaul says:

    Rick,
    I will be pointing my readers to this article.

    Another tip of my hat, sir. Important stuff, nicely presented.

  3. [...] children on the internet.   An early posting on this blog featured K9 Web Protection. Rick over at Whats On My PC just featured another excellent program McGruff SafeGuard which also helps to protect your kids [...]

  4. Tune Up says:

    I totally agree with that. Especially with all the social media and networking sites, it’s important that you monitor your kids. My biggest concern is all the crazy people these days on the web. I strongly suggest McGruff. I have another tip — let them use the computer one hour a day and let them play on the street or organize other kinds of activities for them.

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Rono,

      You just have shown what blogging is all about – “to share information”. I thank you for sharing these two resources that are available to help protect our kids. K9, I was familiar with. Visikid is new to me. Again, thank you and feel free to comment anytime.

      Rick

  5. harriere says:

    it looks nice..while i was searching for the protection for kids..in the ineternet..i came through your blog..its very useful…
    http://www.harriernet.wordpress.com

  6. SMallard says:

    Excellent, I’m always being asked for alternatives to paid subscription services. Thanks again as usual.

    Steve

  7. [...] recommended reading: A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity “If you are a parent who has children who use the computer to access the internet it is very [...]

  8. Nancy Lopez says:

    Where do i download this program?

    McGruff SafeGuard is an authorized, licensed product of The National Crime Prevention Council and McGruff The Crime Dog, and the first and only service to electronically connect parents with law enforcement in their common battle against Internet sexual predators.

  9. [...] A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity – This application intelligently monitors kids’ internet activity such as internet chatting, search engine phrases, and social networking profiles (e.g. Facebook, My Space). [...]

  10. Lika says:

    I control my child with Protemac KeyBag.

  11. Amelia says:

    OOPS! Caught the misspelling after I hit “send.”

    Hi, Will this work on Macs? I cannot get it to successfully download.

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Amelia,

      I just checked their site and The McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software must be installed on a Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. It does not work on Windows 98 or Windows ME or Macintosh. Sorry about that! Downloaded fine here…

      Thanks for visiting my blog.

      Rick

  12. [...] recommended reading: A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity “If you are a parent who has children who use the computer to access the internet it is very [...]

  13. josh dunkel says:

    I have custody of my 14 year old daughter. She spends every other week-end with her mom. Her mom set up a facebook account and won’t give me the password to check up on her. My 14 year old is using facebook every other week-end. She swears on there and talks to people of all ages. She wrote in her profile that she is out to have a good time and knows how to party. Her interest is in men. What do I do? How can I monitor this if I cannot even access it? What are my rights as a parent in Iowa?

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Josh,

      This sounds like something that you could possibly bring up as part of the custody… Not so much the daughter as it is the “ex”. Consult with your attorney on this one!

      Rick

      • Liz Carney says:

        I don’t understand how to download this to my computer so that I can keep tabs on gran’children. Could you please explain to me what to do. I am not real smart with things like this or much of anything else, however, my gran’children are very smart and that’s why I want and need to keep track of the things they do on facebook, myspace, all searches and internet googling…I also want to see their emails…They do use my computer. This is the only one in the house. I would like to instal this t’nite or by early morning.
        Thank you, Liz

  14. Liz Carney says:

    I’m sorry. Please notify me via email…My gran’daughters email is a yahoo acct and a gmail acct. she also has myspace and facebook. I want to know who she is messaging on fb, and chatting with on her email or emailing and who she is recieving emails from…
    Thanks so Much

    Liz

  15. Kris says:

    Hi. I’m a guardian of a 16 year old girl with some behavioral issues. Her grades are constantly slipping and we’re always taking her computer from her, but with school nowadays they’re starting to require her use of the internet for assignments and school work that is brought home.

    What I’m looking for is some advice on, preferably free, software that will allow monitoring of time spent on the internet, where she’s going on the internet, who she’s talking to, and basically what she’s doing.

    We allow her time to get her assignments done, but we’ve caught her surfing the web and doing things she wasn’t allowed to do, and we’ve taken her computer from her, but it’s getting harder to keep her from going to random websites, chatting, etc.

    Can you make any suggestions for this type of software? I don’t mind paying, but if something like that exists that’s free, I’d prefer that. I’m more partial to open source software.

    • Ramblinrick says:

      Kris,

      Windows 7 and Windows Vista both include a rich and powerful set of parental control features to help parents monitor, manage, and administer their children’s computer use-and help keep them safe. To learn more about this visit Microsoft’s site here:

      http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/childsafety-steps.aspx

      Also on the same page, you will see a link to Windows Live Family Safety. This software helps you filter information based on each child’s age. You can also limit searches, block or allow certain websites, and monitor what your kids do online. You also have access to guidelines on how to help a child use online communications safely or how to talk to children about inappropriate web browsing.

      Rick

  16. [...] you monitor what your kids see and do online? You might say, “My kids are good kids what could happen”? This video is a [...]

  17. [...] A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids’ Online Activity [...]

  18. James says:

    Is there any software like this that is free (not just for 30 days or whatever the case may be)? I’m looking for something that is virtually invisible on the users machine and will remotely report to another computer. It would also be awesome if there was an Android/iPhone app to go along with it. Any ideas anyone?

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