These days every household does not only have one or more computers, but they are also connected to the amazing world of the internet. But if you have children in your house who use the internet for fun or study, then you have to worry about other bad things on the internet like pornography, drugs, hate sites etc. You do not want your children to spend and waste their time doing these things. This is where freeware Norton Safety Minder comes in.
Norton Safety Minder is a free program from the Symantec Corporation that you can install on your computer. After installation, you can manage which kind of sites your children would be able to browse. If your children try to browse a blocked site, you would be notified by email. You can also install Norton Safety Minder app on your kids’ Android smartphone to monitor your children’s internet activity on their smartphone. You can manage the hours and duration of time a child can spend on the computer.
Following are some of the notable features of the free Norton Safety Minder :
- Android Smartphone Monitoring – Monitor how your kids uses their phone and monitor their web activity on their smartphone.
- Web Monitoring and Blocking – Monitor what sites your kids visit and block harmful sites.
- Time LimitsYou can set limits on computer usage time for your kids so they do not spend too much time on computer.
- Social Network Monitoring – Helps you keeps an eye on your kids’ social network activity.
- Chat Monitoring – Monitors your kids’ instant messages and online chats. You can see who your kids chat with and what they chat about.
- Search Monitoring – Shows you what your kids are searching on search engines like Google.
- Email Alerts – Sends you email alerts when when kids do something they should not like visiting blocked sites.
To install and use Norton Safety Minder, you can follow these steps :
- Create a free Norton account using an email address. Visit https://onlinefamily.norton.com/ to create a new account as shown in the picture. If you already have a Norton account (created when you install Norton Antivirus or Internet Secuity), then you can use the same credentials to log in.
- Download Norton Safety Minder application from https://onlinefamily.norton.com/downloads/client/windows/SafetyMinder.exe and install it on your PC.
- After installing Norton Safety Minder, it will present you with a window to enter email address. Enter your email address and click Next, then enter you password and click Next.
- You will see a window to Add your children as shown in the following picture. Select an avatar, enter your child’s name, select the gender, select the birth year and click on Add Child. If you want to add more children, just follow the same process. After you are done adding children, click Next to continue.
The gender and the birth year are important as they let Norton Safety Minder decide which sites are appropriate for a particular girl or boy child of certain age.
- In the next screen, click on the Change button next to a child’s name as shown in the follwing picture :
- Choose an account for your child. You can select a pre-existing account (in this case make sure the accounts of your children are limited accounts). You can also create a new account through Norton Safety Minder as shown. Click Next twice to continue.
- Next choose a computer name for your PC. This is used to store your statistics in the Norton Account. You can install Norton Safety Minder on as many computers as you want and each computer is given a different name (chosen by you). Click Finish to continue.
- Now the Norton Safety Minder is installed and configured. You can configure your children profiles, what web sites they can visit, how much time they can spend on computer etc using the web interface. To do this, log on to your Norton account at https://onlinefamily.norton.com/.
- Click on Settings and all options for a child will be shown.
- You can click on any of the settings categories to change the respective settings. Here is a summary of which category allows what :
- Profile : You can enter details for all your children and other family members. If you live in the USA, you can also enter USA specific information like socials security number, phone number etc.
- Search : Allows you to block inappropriate search results in popular search engines like Google, Ask, Yahoo! etc.
- Instant Messanging : Allows you to add/remove contants in your child’s instant messenger applications like MSN. Your kid can talk to only those which approve.
- Social Networking : Allows you to control various social networking accounts and details of your children. This is helpful, if your little kid is trying to pose as an adult on social networking sites etc.
- Time : Controls when and for how long your child can use the computer.
- Notify : Allows your to change options for notifications. You will be notified when your child tries to do something he/she is not allowed to. For example, if your child tries to access a pornographic site, you will receive an email.
If you want to monitor your kids’ online activity on their smartphones, then you can install Norton Safety Minder apps on your phone as well as your kids’ phones. The apps for you and your kids are both different and can be downloaded from https://onlinefamily.norton.com/familysafety/.
Norton Safety Minder provides incredible online security for our children and peace of mind for the parents. It is fast, accurate and above all completely free. I hope all the parents, who care for their children all over the world, would find this article useful.