Monday, March 19, 2012

Action Alert Review

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Children using the Internet seem to be getting younger and younger these days.  And with kids online more often, the more likely they are to stumble upon, or even purposely visit, inappropriate websites.  Sexual predation, scams, cyber bullying, identity theft, and harassment are only some of the dangers lurking on social networking sites.  Even seemingly innocent online games can lead children to share too much information about themselves.

So what are parents to do short of hovering over their children while they surf the net?  Action Alert includes everything you need to create a safe environment on the family computer.  Action alert creates a kid-safe PC with website blocking and filtering, controls computer use with comprehensive time controls, and send alerts if something suspicious occurs.

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Action Alert is the only Internet Safety solution endorsed by the Child Safety Network, is the winner of Disney's iParenting Award, and was featured on NBC's Today Show.

They offer two versions to choose from.  You can install their free version, which has everything you need to set up a kid-safe computer in seconds, or you can purchase their Maximum Protection version, which offers multiple user protection, is fully customizable, and includes full social network monitoring.

Installation was easy and once installed, an Action Alert Safe Search Home Page would appear for searches.


When using the Maximum Protection version, the parent can set time limits, receive notifications of unsafe searches, and block websites.


One neat feature of Action Alert is that the parent can view both a video log of the sites the child has been visiting and a text log of what the child has been typing.

My Thoughts:  I have mixed feeling about this product.  After I installed it, I tested it out and searched some questionable words through the Safe Search Home Page.  I initially thought that I would get no results, but that was not the case.  So I emailed the company and asked why this had happened.  It seems I had Action Alert on it's least strict settings.  For Funny Bunny, who really only needs to go to a few sites, I would need to click the button you see above to only allow access to certain websites I approve.  The only problem with that is, we don't have our computer set up with multiple users.  We all use the computer under the same user name.  So if I restrict it for her, it would restrict it for us too.  I guess we could set it up for multiple users, but we aren't doing that at this time.

For older children, restricting them to only a few sites will probably not work, since they need to research topics for school.  They would need to be taught the rules and know there are consequences to breaking them.  They need to know that the parent will receive notifications of unsafe searches and they can view both a video log of the sites the child has been visiting and a text log of what the child has been typing.

So I personally think this product would be better suited for a family with either older children or children who are on the computer without supervision.  At this time we only let Funny Bunny on a few websites and I am normally in the same room as her, so I can see what she is doing.

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at Action Alert or visit them on Facebook.  They offer a free version or their Maximum Protection version for $29.99, but if you select the free version, you are offered the Maximum Protection version for just $19.99.  They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee. 

My Crewmates are also reviewing Action Alert, so you can check out what they think HERE.


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Disclosure:  This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor.  I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own. 

1 comments:

Lynda

This is the problem I have with these resources. They make everything so complicated. I tried this program also and found that it slowed my computer down.

There is no real safety except parental supervision. Thank you for the review.

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