- A young boy does an innocent search on his computer. When he opens one link he gets an eye full of some not so innocent pictures.
- An impressionable girl thinks she is chatting with someone she knows. Unbeknownst to her it really isn't a friend.
- A child sneaks on the computer when they are supposed to be doing schoolwork or, perhaps, even sleeping!
Recently, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given the opportunity to review Action Alert and found that it is the best that we have tried yet. It has some amazing features. Let me show you a list of some of them and then I'll talk about our experience using this program.
As you can see there are several fascinating features on Action Alert. Some I have never seen before. They have the usual tools such as Site Blocking, Content Filtering and Keystroke Logging but there were a few tools that I thought were really neat.
- Access Control allows you to access your PC remotely - even by cell phone - to see what is going on. If you don't like what you are seeing, you can shut down your PC.
- I really liked the Activity Notification Alerts. If there is activity that seems unusual or suspicious, then an email is sent to you with details. This works even when your child is doing a search. I must warn you, though, that it is extremely sensitive. A few times I received an email that one of the boys had done a search that contained the word "a**". You know, as in another name for a donkey. When I asked him about it, he was adamant that he hadn't searched for anything like that. I was inclined to believe him. He plays several online games (all approved by me) that have acronyms and strange words in them. I don't know if Action Alert could have picked one of them up and thought that he was searching for something different or not. So, how can be so sure that he wasn't searching for that? Because of the next feature that I think is one of the neatest.
- It's the Activity Video Recording feature. You can actually log in to the easy to use parent dashboard and watch everything that has happened on your computer for the past 60 hours! You are shown a video (that thankfully goes a little quicker than real time) so that you can see what your child (or you) have been up to. You an easily see what websites have appeared, games they have been playing, chats they have been having. You name it, you can see it. It is really a neat little feature.
- Then there's the Time Allowance and the Chat and Email Logging feature. The Time Allowance allows you to set how long you want your child (each child has his own password) to use your PC. The Chat and Email Logging feature does just that. Logs all of your child's online chats and emails.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free download of Action Alert in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.