The first real technology I remember is Pong, a television “game” that involved hitting a ball between two vertical bars. No color, of course. But, hey, it was a huge Jolly Green Giant leap from, well, anything. Almost as revolutionary as erasable bond for typing.
Research papers meant library trips or hanging out with friends whose parents actually bought those encyclopedias people sold door-to-door. And, they bought the annual updates or else you were stuck with information from five years earlier.
Entertainment? Hmm. Radio. Stereo. Movie theatres.
Kids of the 21st century? Wii isn’t a pronoun, iPods, iPhones, satellite radio, CDs, DVDs, and, of course, computers. They interact with technology on a different level, and the Internet provides for everything from talking with new friends living halfway across the world, to playing their favorite online games and researching subjects for homework.
Parents find it difficult to allow our kids complete freedom on the Internet. Even on what one would think are protected emails or sites, it’s not unusual to fins surprising emails advertising anatomical configurations. And though there are real dangers because of predators who also use technology, we recognize that we can’t protect them 100%.
To help families facing this dilemma, Norton, a trusted provider of Internet safety products, has developed Norton Online Family. Unlike most products that simply block or monitor kids’ Internet activities, Norton Online Family is an online service that connects parents to kids’ online lives.
Key Norton Online Family features include:
Simple, One-Time Set Up: Create an account online and customize each family member’s profile based on age and maturity level.
Easy to Use and Access: Check a child’s activity or modify a child’s profile, preferences, or time allotment anytime and anywhere using any Internet-connected device.
Clear Reporting: All activities are reported in chronological order and only show the Web sites a child intended to visit – eliminating all the extra URLs, like ads, from Web sites.
Helpful Search Insight: Easily view what words and phrases a child uses to search and where those searches lead online.
Convenient Web Site Control: Control the Web content that flows into the home by prohibiting more than 40 topic categories.
Secured Personal Information: Track, report and prevent personal information that a child may purposely or accidentally try to send via e-mail, IM or social networking site.
Access to Social Network Information: Monitor activity on social networks like Facebook and MySpace with the ability to see how kids represent themselves, when they login and how often.
Real-time Messaging: Built-in messaging allows parents to have real-time discussions with children about activities and better understand their intentions when visiting a Web site.
True Transparency: Children are able to view the “house rules” they established with parents at any time and are notified when Norton Online Family is active, so there is no “stealth” mode.
Custom Alerts: Parents can customize e-mail alerts to address urgent events so they know immediately when a child has reached a time limit or visited a blocked site, etc.
Useful Time Management: An easy-to-use time management feature that – if parents find it necessary – gives each child a “curfew” that will limit computer usage.