How to Monitor the Kids from Afar
Sometimes, you won't be home when your children want to surf the internet or do things on the computer. This is certainly one of the reasons that you might be interested in purchasing parental-control systems for the computer. One very helpful tool in most of these systems is the remote notification and remote configuration abilities.
How Does Remote Access Work?
Most parent-control systems allow the user to keep up with what is happening on the computer in question. This would mean, for instance, that an e-mail could be sent to you any time that a child tries to access a blocked site. Some software actual allows you to get this notification by text message or phone, and it can be set to tell you every time that a child tries to gain access, or only if they do so repeatedly within a fixed time period. Safe Eyes is one software program that allows for these nuances. Net Nanny has a feature where your kids can send you an override request if they are trying to access a blocked site that they feel shouldn't be blocked.
Important Features of Remote Access
With a remote access program, you should make sure that you have full access to all of the program's features from a remote location and that you can access all of the settings. In addition, any changes that you make should be effective immediately. You should research into the various software options for remote access, and see if the software allows you to fully manage the configuration remotely and to have an immediate effect for any changes you make.
Another way to approach remote access is to use software that records what your kids do on the computer. Rather than approaching the issue by blocking access, you can get a report of every site that they visit. You'll be able to know where the kids have logged on and what they have been accessing on the computer. Similarly, you can record their instant message interactions. These programs can be done either with your child's knowledge, or behind their backs. A few of the software programs that offer this type of spying include SnoopStick and PC Pandora.
Monitoring and control can be done in tandem, so that you both have control over the sites your kids access and can document what they do on the sites that they do visit and with the emails that they send. You'll need to decide how much you want to communicate with your child about the monitoring that you are doing and how much you want to be honest. Certainly, more honestly usually leads to better relationships and to more chance of success in your parental control.
Because quality and features vary quite a bit from one computer and Internet monitoring program to the next, we encourage you to do a bit of research into the best parental control software options to help your decision.