Monitor kids’ online habits

Net Nanny specialises in content filtering and monitoring software designed to make Web surfing safer for the whole family. The core of this new suite is Net Nanny 5 ($89.95 separately), which provides monitored Web access for the young and impressionable, offering peace of mind to concerned parents.

It works on a system of keywords, which are blanked out to avoid offence. You can add your own to the preset list or remove any you want to allow. The same applies to Web-based apps. If you click on a link to an objectionable site, a Net Nanny banner fills the Web page (for a screenshot example, click here). A message appears explaining that the software believes you shouldn’t be allowed access, but a word with the PC administrator may persuade them to alter the settings.

Music, images and video file sharing can all be blocked, and Net Nanny’s Ad-Free ($49.95 separately) is included to prevent the likes of pop-up ads. Instant messaging can also be blocked but Net Nanny can’t monitor or record conversations, except for IRC Chat. To fully control your children’s IM habits you need the bundled Chat Monitor program ($49.95 separately). It will let you see both sides of an online chat without the participants’ knowledge, and if you’re unhappy with a turn the conversation takes, you can terminate the session. Less contro-versially, you can limit the time your offspring spend gossiping with their friends online.

This suite offers three very useful pieces of software with a potential saving of $80, solid value even though you can download free content filtering apps. That said, as long as you don’t take it as the be-all and end-all of PC security, this suite might just put your mind at rest if you have children online.

In brief: Net Nanny Suite
A value bundle of Web monitoring and filtering software suite consisting of Net Nanny 5 plus Net Nanny’s Ad-Free and Chat Monitor.
Price: $100
Distributor: Manaccom
Phone: (07) 3720 5555

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Rosemary Haworth

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