CyberPatrol parental controls. Children, with their natural aptitude for learning and their passion for looking things up online, just love being able to use the computer. However with the many threats in the online world it just doesn’t seem safe for them to be using the computer alone-but who has the time to be sat constantly by their side? A software solution that limits what they can and cannot do is a good compromise between allowing your children the freedom to go online, whilst maintaining their safety.
CyberPatrol is a set of software controls that limit the actions that your child can perform on the computer. It allows you to block them from visiting sites that are unsuitable for them, whilst letting them view safe sites. It does affect the entire system however, and that means that sometimes it proved to be an inconvenience to the adults in the house.
The timer was particularly useful in that it allowed us as a family to set the times when the children could use the internet. This was particularly useful for our older two children who have a shared computer in their bedroom, since it helped to reduce the attraction of using the computer late at night when they were both unsupervised and supposed to be sleeping.
Disappointingly there were a number of ads that were allowed through that were very much unsuitable. In the end we combined an ad blocking program to completely get rid of ads and make sure that it wasn’t a problem in the future, but this software should have taken care of that.
Some pages will inevitably get caught up in the blocked pages when the truth is that they are harmless. An override is possible by entering the program’s password in order to allow you to view these pages. More importantly the password will allow you to shut down the entire program when needed, to allow you the free use of your computer for a time.
A system slow down was almost inevitable and yet it wasn’t as bad as expected. Any software suite like this will be running in the background one hundred percent of the time, in order to be constantly watching what the child is doing. Yet on our family computer, which is dual core and fast with plenty of memory it didn’t seem to cause a noticeable slow down.
The worst let down when it comes to this software is that you are only actually buying a one year license to use it, rather than buying the software like you do with the majority of software purchases today. This means that when your year is up you need to pay again, or buy something new and this means going through the cumbersome process of uninstalling the software from the system.
CyberPatrol isn’t going to completely remove the responsibility from you as a parent from helping your child use the internet safely. But it does give the peace of mind to know that when they are still learning how to be safe online, and you are unable to be there that they cannot accidentally find themselves visiting unsafe websites.