Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CyberPatrol Review

Just in case you don't already know, I have three boys, ages 13, 7 and 2. That transition from "tween" to TEEN seemed to go smoothly, but not entirely without problems. One of the issues that just keeps coming up between myself, my husband, and my 13 year old is the Internet and which websites are and are NOT acceptable. He wants a My Space because "all of his friends have one" and I say "Yeah Right Buddy!". He wants to post his picture on various sites and I say "Sure..in several years ask me again!" I mean, I'm scared to let him just romp around the World Wide Web visiting any and everything he feels like checking out! I teach junior high, I spend my days with a roomful of kids his age, I know the kinds of things they come up with in those hormone infected little minds!! I don't want my son having freedom to roam the Internet..No way!

But what about the great efficiency and convenience of the Internet? What about that ginormous Social Studies Project where he had to write like every single fact ever produced regarding whoever that guy was that he was researching? I sure didn't mind him on the Internet getting that done did I ?! And what about when he just wants to check out some cheat codes for his new video game, email a friend, or check out a new episode of his favorite show? Must I hover behind him and make sure that he isn't doing something he shouldn't? NO TIME FOR THAT! And don't even get me started on the fact that my 7 year old has become mighty computer literate in the last few months and has been working on some awesome learning websites? And did I mention he is going to be home schooled for the remainder of this year? Hello http://www.ezschool.com/ (that site is my lifeline at work and at home).

Let's be realistic here...we all realize that our kids can benefit tremendously from safely using the Internet, but we also realize the dangers that come with it. We definitely don't have the time to monitor our child's every move, especially teenagers..so what can we do to protect our kids online? It's easy!

CyberPatrol provides parents like us with a way to "patrol" our kids online, even when we can't be there. It stops online Predators, Cyber Bullies, Protects your Personal Information, and Blocks inappropriate or offensive websites!

How does it work?

Simply..You choose the level of protection...for each person.You decide what will be filtered and what will be blocked. You can easily block (by choosing yes or no), anything to do with porn, instant messaging, sexual nature, chat, drugs, alcohol, and gambling and adult content. And of course, you can block specific sites to be sure they're out of the picture! Beyond that, any sites not in one of the categories that you chose to block must get through a filter, or they're blocked.There are 4 different choices of Website Filtering Options:

  • Child this is the setting I customized for my 7 year old
  • Young Teen this is the setting I customized for my 13 year old
  • Mature Teen
  • Young Adult

It's been very nice letting my 7 year old on the computer, and being able to feel safe leaving him alone and not hovering over him. I don't have to worry about him accidentally stumbling onto something horrific, or somehow finding something gross! And I love that my 13 year old can be online and I feel great about it... he may not like it but MAMA DOES!

What else does CyberPatrol protect?

You can easily block users from revealing any personal information such as their address, phone number, or social security number!

How cool is that? So I know for SURE that my 13 year old can't possibly be giving out his number or address...because if he tried he'd get the CyberPatrol screen! You can even block certain words or phrases from being revealed! I love it! My son has been obsessed with South Park ever since an older cousin let him watch it AGAINST my will....and I actually caught him Googling "South Park Christmas Poo Special" Uh yeah.....no thank you..so guess what mama blocked? Hee-Hee..

And my favorite feature?

With CyberPatrol, You can set a timer of how long your child can be online, Leaving your teen home alone while you do your grocery shopping and you know they have a load of homework they are supposed to be doing? No problem, block them from the Internet while you're gone. Going to bed and want you older teen to be off the computer and in bed by 10:30 and don't want to get up to check? Just set their timer so that at 10:30 they get booted off the Internet!!! They do get a warning so they can save or finish up what they are in the middle of, so don't worry! Want to ensure that your child is only online for a certain number of hours per day or week? Set their daily or weekly timer!

And the last feature that makes this a must have for any family:

CyberPatrol allows you to check on your child's online activity at any time, seeing when and how long they were on line, and all of the sites they visited, with a detailed report including when and how long ON EACH specific site! I love this feature, because this is how I caught my 13 year old trying to watch South Park episodes online. I also found out that he was on YouTube one day when he told me he was typing his report! Busted! He got grounded from the computer for a spell for lying to mama...but now that I have CyberPatrol....he knows it's hopeless! Even if I'm not home...I'm going to see what he's been up to!!!

Where Can you get it?

How much?

You can easily purchase CyberPatrol online by visiting www.cyberpatrol.com ...and it is incredibly affordable! You can protect up to 3 computers for only $39.99 per year! Larger packages, up to 25 PC's can be purchased for businesses or schools also! Go check it out...I'm thrilled to have it and it has made my life around here a whole lot easier! I feel like someone is watching over my son, making sure he's safe online!! And I can change and customize it to his needs as each child gets older and perhaps gains more freedom, OR, like in my case, LESS freedom online when you check out what they are REALLY doing online!!

Categories