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Reviews

Parental Control Software Review

A software review to find the best parental control software includes the following features:

Customizable Internet Filter: The best parental control software will include a customizable Internet filter, like Computer Parenting. The goal of an Internet filter is to prevent accidental viewing of inappropriate websites that contain pornography, violence, illegal drugs, racial prejudice, online predators, sexual content, cyberbullying, sexting, and harassment.

Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Control: A good parental control software package will also include monitoring software to prevent intentional viewing of websites with inappropriate content. The monitoring features should include activity logs, screenshots, key logger or keystroke recording, active programs, installed software, Internet browsing history and program usage history. The parental control software should allow parents to remotely monitor what is happening in real-time on the child’s computer. It should also give the parents the option to remotely control the child’s computer with features such as sending a message, closing a window, locking the computer, logging off the computer and shutting down the computer.  There is no substitute for “parent in the loop” monitoring technology.

Web-Based: Parental control software needs to be web-based like Computer Parenting. When activity logs are stored locally on a computer, the parent may not always have access to them. They are also more easily deleted by the computer user. Activity information should be centrally stored on a server where the information is protected from tampering and where it can be readily accessed. If the parental control software is web-based, the parent will be able to check what is happening on the child’s computer from any Internet connection, like a work computer or even a web-enabled cell phone.

Alerts: The parental control software, like Computer Parenting, should be able to send a text message to the parent the instant a rule violation happens so that issues can be dealt with immediately.

Tamperproof: It doesn’t matter how good the parental control software package is if the child can easily bypass or disable it. The best parental control packages will include security measures to prevent tampering or hacking the software. For example, Computer Parenting parental control software has patent-pending Teenagerproof® technology to make sure the software is always running.

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Reviews

School Computer Monitoring Software Review

Software reviews to find the best school computer monitoring software need to include the following features:

Reports: There is no way an IT person or teacher has time to look at everything in every student’s activity log. Spot checking will only act as a deterrent if students know they might get caught. Reports are a way of letting the software sift through all the log activities based on a set of rules to determine where the problems are. If some students are downloading pornography, playing games, social networking, cyberbullying, sexting, planning an attack on the school or purchasing illegal drugs online, it is best to find these problems quickly so that you can deal with them. Reports can also be useful to find out if expensive software licenses are being used. If not, then they can be transferred to a different computer or the licensing contract can be cancelled saving significant costs. Reports can be used to see if computers in one lab would be better utilized in a different lab based on computer usage reports saving money on unnecessary new computer purchases. Make sure that the reports can be filtered by date and computer. For example, here is a list of customizable reports offered by CompuGuardian:
1- Most Frequently Visited Web Sites
2- Users with Most Web Pages Loaded
3- Users with Most Time on Internet
4- Users That Access Specific Website Domains (customizable)
5- Users That Access Websites with Specific Keywords in Title (customizable)
6- Users That Access Other Than Authorized Domains (customizable)
7- Users That Start After a Certain Time (customizable)
8- Users That Finish After a Certain Time (customizable)
9- Users with the Most Absences
10- Users That Work the Longest
11- Users That Work the Least
12- Users That Use Specific Applications (customizable)
13- Users That Type Certain Keywords (customizable)
14- Users with the Most Rule Violations
15- Computers Used the Least (average daily usage, days used, total days logged)
16- Computers Used the Most (average daily usage, days used, total days logged)
17- Setting Changes
18- Login Summary
19- Rules Most Frequency Violated
20- Computers with the Most Web Pages Loaded
21- Computers with the Most Time on the Internet
22- Computers Used to Visit Specific Website Domains (customizable)
23- Computers Used to Access Websites with Specific Keywords in Title (customizable)
24- Computers Used to Run Specific Applications (customizable)
25- Computers Used to Type Certain Keywords (customizable)
26- Computers Used to Access Other Than Authorized Domains (customizable)

Web-Based: School computer monitoring software needs to be web-based. No teacher or IT person has time to go around to each computer and check the usage logs. Activity information should be centrally stored on a server where the information is protected from tampering and where it can be readily accessed. Settings changes made on the web-based control panel should be pushed out automatically to all the computers so settings do not have to be made manually at each computer every time there is a setting change. If your school has students that take laptops home, then the server should be configurable to work inside or outside the school firewall like the web-based solution provided by CompuGuardian.  Hosting web-based content may also qualify for E-Rate funding, providing significant cost savings to qualifying schools. Check with the software manufacturer to see if they are an E-Rate provider like Safe Outlook.

Computer Management Tools: If a school, school district or library has more than 25 computers, then the school computer monitoring software should have computer management tools. For example, CompuGuardian lets computer administrators assign computers to groups, and sub-groups under those groups, so that hundreds or thousands of computers can be organized and managed effectively. CompuGuardian has sub-user accounts that can be assigned computers to manage so that the monitoring workload can be shared among teachers or IT staff. If each student has their own laptop, even parents could be added as sub-users for their own children’s laptop.

Software Inventory Tools: The school computer monitoring software should have tools to remotely list all software applications that are installed on any computer. This helps identify programs that are unauthorized such as video games, shareware and unlicensed software that could threaten school security, cause student distractions or subject the school to legal liabilities. CompuGuardian not only provides lists of installed software, but also quickly identifies those programs installed within the last 30-days.

Client-Based: The school computer monitoring software should be client-based. Inline, centralized network monitoring only tells part of the story. It can’t track keystrokes typed, applications used or encrypted Internet activity. Since client-based school computer monitoring software is more vulnerable to student tampering, make sure the software has securities in place to prevent students disabling or bypassing the software. CompuGuardian has patent-pending Teenagerproof® technology to make sure the software is always running.

Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Control: Students can claim that someone else used their computer or login for unauthorized activities. However, if the school computer monitoring software has real-time monitoring and remote control like CompuGuardian, then it is possible to catch them in the act by viewing screenshots and computer activities remotely and locking up their computer before walking over to where they are using the computer. Remote control also helps with computer management if certain windows need to be closed, or computers logged off or shutdown remotely.

Customizable Rules and Alerts: School computer monitoring software should have customizable rules that match the needs of your school. This should include not only Internet filter rules, but also application blocking rules. If a rule is broken, the software should be able to send an email notification the instant the violation happens so that issues can be dealt with immediately. The software should be able to identify students that may be posting inappropriate content online or typing harassing messages to other students. CompuGuardian provides all these features.

International Text: If your school has international students, then the software should be fully Unicode compliant like CompuGuardian. Keystroke logging, activity logs and reports should all support international text.

Support Contract: Make sure the school computer monitoring software you purchase has the customer support you need without hidden costs. Some vendors will charge extra for bandwidth, customer support issues, or software upgrades. With CompuGuardian everything is included in the low annual fee.

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Reviews

Spouse Monitoring Software Review

Any review to find the best spouse monitoring software should look for the following features:

Web-Based: Spouse monitoring software needs to be web-based like Partner Guard. When activity logs are stored locally on a computer, the spouse may not always have access to them. They are also more easily deleted by the computer user. Activity information should be centrally stored on a server where the information is protected from tampering and where it can be readily accessed. If the spouse monitoring software is web-based, the spouse will be able to check what is happening on the computer user’s computer from any Internet connection, even from a web-enabled cell phone.

Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Control: The spouse monitoring software should allow the spouse to remotely monitor what is happening in real-time on the computer user’s computer, including screenshots, keystrokes, application history and Internet history.

Alerts: The spouse monitoring software, like Partner Guard, should be able to send a text message to the spouse the instant a rule violation happens so that issues can be dealt with immediately.

Stealth: The spouse monitoring software should be able to run in stealth mode so that the cheating partner can be caught in the act. It should also be able to be run normally so that it acts as a deterrent. By adding accountability to online activities, temptation is removed along with the secrecy.

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Reviews

Online Addiction Prevention Software Review

Online addiction recovery software reviews, for software such as Partner Guard, should include the following features:

Customizable Internet Filter: The first line of defense against an online addiction is to prevent accidental exposure. Whether it is an online pornography addiction, an online gambling addiction, or an online shopping addiction, blocking related websites is fundamental.

Trusted Partner Support: The next line of defense against online addiction is to prevent intentional exposure. This is best done by adding accountability to online activities. The person recovering from an online addiction, or wanting to prevent one, needs to be able to choose a trusted partner that will audit their online activities. This could be a spouse, parent, trusted friend, family member or counselor. The trusted partner needs to have access to the activity logs of the addicted computer user.

Web-Based: Addiction prevention software needs to be web-based like Partner Guard. When activity logs are stored locally on a computer, the trusted partner may not always have access to them. They are also more easily deleted by the computer user. Activity information should be centrally stored on a server where the information is protected from tampering and where it can be readily accessed. If the addiction recovery software is web-based, the trusted partner will be able to check what is happening on the computer user’s computer from any Internet connection, even from a web-enabled cell phone.

Alerts: The addiction prevention software should be able to send a text message to the trusted partner the instant a rule violation happens so that issues can be dealt with immediately.

Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Control: The addiction recovery software should allow the trusted partner to remotely monitor what is happening in real-time on the computer user’s computer, including screenshots, keystrokes, application history and Internet history. If the trusted partner receives an alert that a rule has been broken, they should have web-based remote control, like Partner Guard, to lock-up or shut down the computer until the moment of temptation has passed.

Tamperproof: Someone suffering from an online addiction will be very motivated to disable or bypass any type of online addiction recovery software. Make sure the addiction software you are reviewing has security measures in place to prevent this. Partner Guard has patent-pending tamperproof technology to assure that the software is always running.

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Reviews

Employee Monitoring Software Review

When doing an employee monitoring software review, be sure to look for the following features:

Reports: There is no way an IT person or manager has time to look at everything in every employee’s activity log.  Spot checking will only act as a deterrent if employees know they might get caught.  Reports are a way of letting the software sift through all the log activities based on a set of rules to determine who the major offenders are.  It’s not the employee that spends 10 minutes checking stock prices or bank balances that you worry about.  It’s the one spending four hours a day, or more, downloading porn, playing games, social networking and entertaining themselves on company time you want to deal with.  Reports can also be used to find out if expensive software licenses are being used.  If not, then they can be transferred to a different computer or the licensing contract can be cancelled saving significant costs.  Reports can be used to see if computers in one lab would be better utilized in a different lab based on computer usage reports saving money on unnecessary new computer purchases. Make sure that the reports can be filtered by date and computer.  For example, here is a list of customizable reports offered by EffectivePro:

1- Most Frequently Visited Web Sites
2- Users with Most Web Pages Loaded
3- Users with Most Time on Internet
4- Users That Access Specific Website Domains (customizable)
5- Users That Access Websites with Specific Keywords in Title (customizable)
6- Users That Access Other Than Authorized Domains (customizable)
7- Users That Start After a Certain Time (customizable)
8- Users That Finish After a Certain Time (customizable)
9- Users with the Most Absences
10- Users That Work the Longest
11- Users That Work the Least
12- Users That Use Specific Applications (customizable)
13- Users That Type Certain Keywords (customizable)
14- Users with the Most Rule Violations
15- Computers Used the Least (average daily usage, days used, total days logged)
16- Computers Used the Most (average daily usage, days used, total days logged)
17- Setting Changes
18- Login Summary
19- Rules Most Frequency Violated
20- Computers with the Most Web Pages Loaded
21- Computers with the Most Time on the Internet
22- Computers Used to Visit Specific Website Domains (customizable)
23- Computers Used to Access Websites with Specific Keywords in Title (customizable)
24- Computers Used to Run Specific Applications (customizable)
25- Computers Used to Type Certain Keywords (customizable)
26- Computers Used to Access Other Than Authorized Domains (customizable)

Web-Based: Employee monitoring software needs to be web-based.  No manager or IT person has time to go around to each computer and check the usage logs.  Activity information should be centrally stored on a server where the information is protected from tampering and where it can be readily accessed.  Settings changes made on the web-based control panel should be pushed out automatically to all the computers so settings do not have to be made manually at each computer every time there is a setting change.  If your company has employees that travel with laptops, then the server should be configurable to work inside or outside the company firewall like the web-based solution provided by EffectivePro.

Computer Management Tools: If the company has more than 25 computers, then the employee monitoring software should have computer management tools.  For example, EffectivePro lets computer administrators assign computers to groups, and sub-groups under those groups, so that hundreds or thousands of computers can be organized and managed effectively.  EffectivePro has sub-user accounts that can be assigned computers to manage so that the monitoring workload can be shared among managers or IT staff.

Software Inventory Tools: The employee monitoring software should have tools to remotely list all software applications that are installed on any computer.  This helps identify programs that are unauthorized such as video games, shareware and unlicensed software that could threaten company security, cause employee distractions or subject the company to legal liabilities.  EffectivePro not only provides lists of installed software, but also quickly identifies those programs installed within the last 30-days.

Client-Based: The employee monitoring software should be client-based.  Inline, centralized network monitoring only tells part of the story.  It can’t track keystrokes typed, applications used or encrypted Internet activity.  Since client-based employee monitoring software is more vulnerable to employee tampering, make sure the software has securities in place to prevent employees disabling or bypassing the software.  EffectivePro has patent-pending tamperproof technology to make sure the software is always running.

Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Control: Employees can claim that someone else used their computer or login for unauthorized activities.  However, if the employee monitoring software has real-time monitoring and remote control like EffectivePro, then it is possible to catch them in the act by viewing screenshots and computer activities remotely and locking up their computer before walking into their office.  Remote control also helps with computer management if certain windows need to be closed, or computers logged off or shutdown remotely.

Customizable Rules and Alerts: Employee monitoring software should have customizable rules that match the needs of your company.  This should include not only Internet filter rules, but also application blocking rules.  If a rule is broken, the software should be able to send an email notification the instant the violation happens so that issues can be dealt with immediately.  The software should be able to identify employees that may be posting confidential information online or typing harassing messages to co-workers.  EffectivePro provides all these features.

International Text: If your company has international employees, then the software should be fully Unicode compliant like EffectivePro.  Keystroke logging, activity logs and reports should all support international text.

Support Contract: Make sure the employee monitoring software you purchase has the customer support you need without hidden costs.  Some vendors will charge extra for bandwidth, customer support issues, or software upgrades.  With EffectivePro everything is included in the low annual fee.

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News

March Madness Offer

In order to get users to evaluate Version 3.0 of all its computer monitoring products, Safe Outlook is running a two-for-one special for the month of March.  Get a free subscription renewal for one computer by trying out Version 3.0 of Computer Parenting, Partner Guard or any other Safe Outlook product and telling us about it, good or bad, by March 31, 2012.  Limited to one offer per subscription account.  Good for existing or new accounts.  If you have questions about this offer, please let us know.

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News

Version 3.0 Released

Today Safe Outlook announce the release of Version 3.0 for all four of its product lines: Computer Parenting, CompuGuardian, EffectivePro and Partner Guard.  The new release includes the following new features:
– Run everything from the Internet: After installation, you don’t need to access the computer being monitored to adjust settings. Everything is done from the member web site including permanent setting changes, password changes, stealth mode and extra security.
– Foreign character support: Including logs, software inventory, open windows, send messages and key logging. (Foreign character key logging is limited to characters sets that can map to a US keyboard like Russian or Hebrew).
– Add-on languages: Foreign language support is available from the member Account page. If you do not see your language, please contact us for more information about adding it without even needing to reinstall the software. (Applies to the installed program. The installation package is still only available in English, Spanish and French.)
– Administrator bypass: An administrator user name can be specified for the account so that extra security and screen locking are disabled if the administrator is logged in. (Excludes extra security bypassing in Windows XP until version 3.1).
– Application blocking: Blocking programs by executable name in addition to title keywords. Custom application blocking can be specified as well as three pre-defined categories of applications (extra security, file sharing, and chat). If you encounter a file sharing or chat program that doesn’t get blocked when it should be, please contact us so we can add it to the program list on the server.
– Time limits: The computer can be automatically locked except during a predefined time period. Automatic time synchronization (if the computer time is off by more than 5 minutes) has been added as well as specifying the computer time zone and daylight savings time on the server to avoid user tampering with the time.
– Global Setting Changes: Common settings can be pushed out to all computers at once.
– Additional Security: Additional security has been added to the extra security setting to prevent user tampering with the software.
– Internet address (URL) blocking: Just place the URL sub text in the blocked text box, for example youtube.com.
– Chat logging: Log both sides of a chat program. (Only Yahoo Messenger is supported in this release).
– Form data alerts: If keystroke alerts are enabled, then you will also receive an alert if blocked text is entered in an Internet form even if the text is copied and pasted without typing it. (Does not include text entered on a secure page – https).
For more information on Safe Outlook products, please contact us.
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E-Rate Provider

Safe Outlook Corporation announced today that it has become a service provider for the E-Rate program (SPIN 143035582).  The E-Rate program, or Universal Service Fund, is a government program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Eligible schools, school districts and libraries that purchase CompuGuardian, Safe Outlook’s computer monitoring solution for schools, may be able to expense most of the cost as a Priority 1 (Internet Access -> Web Hosting) E-Rate expense.  Some restrictions apply.  Contact Safe Outlook for more information.

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Facebook Page

Safe Outlook has created a Facebook presence to provide better communication with its members and the Internet Safety community in general.  The site is located at:

http://www.facebook.com/safeoutlook

In regards to this latest marketing step, Safe Outlook president David Kent Jones said, “Our Facebook campaign is especially geared to young adults.  As these youth leave home and become more independent, they are especially vulnerable to online addictions such as pornography.  We hope that reaching out to them with tools such as Partner Guard that they can prevent, or if necessary overcome, these addictions.”

Feel free to visit, comment on and “like” our Facebook presence.

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Computer Parenting Changes Its Name to Safe Outlook

Computer Parenting Corporation announced today that it is changing its name to Safe Outlook Corporation. Computer Parenting will still be the name of their parental control software package, but the company name is changing to reflect all the different types of products they offer. “Our software is not just for parents,” says president and founder David Kent Jones. “It is also for couples, schools and businesses.”

The name Safe Outlook was chosen to give people a positive view of the future of online technology. With the software suite offered by Safe Outlook, computer users can protect themselves from online dangers like predators, pornography addiction, and inefficient use of computer resources. For more information, visit safeoutlook.com.