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I have a really kewl giveaway!

I was asked by the wonderful BlogHer people to review a new product, Norton On-Line Family.


And I’ve been given an iPod Touch to give away to one of my lucky readers.   There are ten opportunities to win an iPod touch.  Go to BlogHer to see the others.  My details are below.

Norton On-Line Family, is software to help track where you kids are going on the internet, what they are doing, what instant  messages they are sending. It even has a feature which allows you to limit them to so many hours per week or weekend.

Now I have a teenager. And I’ve had the conversations with her about the dangers of posting personal and identifying information on the internet.

When we have these conversations, I’m reminded of a cartoon I saw somewhere; the dog owner is scolding the dog and it shows what the owner is saying and all the dog hears is “blah, blah, blah Spot. Blah, blah, blah Spot.”

The software enables you to block certain types of sites, specific sites or to allow certain sites.  You can warn the teenager they are getting ready to enter an prohibited site, block the site entirely or simply log the information about what site they went on.  It has a safe search feature so your child doesn’t search for web sites about medieval beasts and get into some hairy sites you don’t really want her to see.  You can block internet messaging entirely, monitor the chats or allow unmonitored IM.   It has a time feature which allows you to set a maximum number of hours your teenager can be on-line from Monday through Thursday and again from Friday through Sunday or time periods when your teenager shouldn’t be on the computer at all.  It has notification features which send e-mails to a specific address when certain things occur.

In order to monitor a teenager, you must set up their own identity on Windows, a relatively simple task.  Each child in the household can have different settings.  So, say an older child could be allowed on the internet until 10 p.m. on week nights but a younger child would only be allowed on until 8:00.

We don’t currently let our kids have computers in their bedrooms but all of the high schools my daughter is contemplating attending next fall require a laptop with wi-fi internet access and we have a wireless internet in our home, so we are soon going to be over ruled about that by circumstances.

I don’t think any of this will enable me to stop paying attention to what my kids do on-line but it may help me monitor and discuss with her where she is going and what she is doing.

And now, because I used the software and played with it a bit, the great people at BlogHer and Norton are giving me an iPod Touch to give away to my readers.

To enter, please leave me a comment below, telling me how you stay in the loop with your kids and whether this new software will help you.  You may leave a link to your post or twitter message about this contest in the comments for an additional entry.  The contest will begin at 12:00 a.m. (PST) on Monday, February 9th and will end Sunday, February 22nd at 11:59 p.m. (PST).  Make sure your email address is valid!


Comments are closed! Thanks for participating. Winner will be announced shortly


91 responses so far ↓

  • 1 M.P.F. // Feb 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Kids are past the age of monitoring, but my sister could really use this. I will tell her about it. Thank you for the info.

  • 2 Sarah T // Feb 18, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I do not have to worry about monitoring just yet as my children are not on the computer! However, I would be very interesting in using this software when the time arises! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • 3 CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) // Feb 18, 2009 at 11:01 am

    My oldest child is 4 and he only visits 2 websites and he needs my help to find them. So right now we don’t have issues with monitoring but I thank you for this reminder that the time is not far off that we will need to have a safety in place to protect my children when they are online.

  • 4 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls // Feb 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    My girls are just getting to the age where they are starting to go online, so I’m very glad to see software like this becoming available! So far we just monitor them on the one of two sites they go to, but I know they’ll want to expand their online horizons at some point soon. :)

  • 5 yarmila frisby // Feb 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    i use k-9 that is downloaded for free

  • 6 Jessica P // Feb 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I supervise internet use in my house, so this product would make it so much easier

  • 7 Amy in OHio // Feb 19, 2009 at 11:20 am

    This software is fantastic I think and so necessary. I’ve passed word of it along to my husband so he can let his ex know – with teenage step-kids, the internet is a scary place.

    Personally, I have a toddler who is fascinated by the web. Right now her surfing is limited to PBS and all things Elmo, but it won’t be like that forever.

    I would definitely use the product.

  • 8 Leslie M. // Feb 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Boy where was this 5 years ago?! We would have Swooped up the Norton Online Family!

    My baby Girl started College this past Aug. so it is a little late for me, but maybe for grandkids.. LATER ( I do have a 22 year old also.)

    We had our computer password protected, we had it in the family room, NEVER in individual beedrooms, and we always had the computer set to where the kids could not access certain websites..

    My daughter calls or texts me 20 times a day, we talk constantly and she can ask me anything.. OPEN COMMUNICATION.
    If she EVER wanted to know ANYTHING, then we would look it up online TOGETHER!

  • 9 Leslie M. // Feb 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    LeslieVeg Just left a tweet on twitter,
    Here’s the link

  • 10 Crystal // Feb 19, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    My son isn’t old enough to use the internet – he’s only 2 1/2. But I would love to use this when he does start using the internet. The way I stay in the loop with what he’s doing now is to talk to his preschool teachers to find out how he behaved (he only goes two half days a week). But I stay very involved with what he is doing there.

  • 11 Crystal // Feb 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I just Tweeted this giveaway. My username is ctb0520.

  • 12 karen // Feb 20, 2009 at 7:59 am

    My 13 year old daughter has a myspace, I know could be dangerous, however it’s hooked up to my e-mail, so I see who she is talking with.
    I go on and check her messages.
    I usually just check the history on the computer, really don’t know how to do anything else! lol
    Wow, we need a new phone super bad, if I win, I think I might faint!

  • 13 Helena // Feb 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    My kids are still young yet, so we pretty much just limit their time watching tv or playing video games. But, I have a feeling this program would be an immense help with monitoring them when they DO start using the computer.

  • 14 colleen_mouse // Feb 20, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    This would be awesome with my stepdaughters. Right now we pretty much just check the history to see where they are visitting.

  • 15 Bing // Feb 21, 2009 at 1:20 am

    My son is only allowed to access the Internet under my supervision. This software would be a great tool to give me a break as well as peace of mind. Thank you for the great giveaway!

  • 16 Bing // Feb 21, 2009 at 1:21 am

    My tweet!

  • 17 Portrait of a Writer…Interrupted » Keep Your Family Safe Online and Win an iPod Touch! // Feb 21, 2009 at 10:03 am

    […] My Own Circle of Confusion […]

  • 18 Gina Conroy // Feb 21, 2009 at 10:05 am

    This is something I’ve been thinking about now my kids are online more for social and school. I’d definitely. Currently I monitor Facebook and email by accessing their accounts (with son’s knowledge) to make sure his “friends” are safe.

    Here’s the link to post

    Here’s my tweet! I entered to win an iPod touch, how about you?

  • 19 Nick // Feb 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    My mom monitors my Facebook account, and only lets me on for a limited amount of time.

  • 20 Can you believe it? // Feb 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    […] an aside.  My really cool giveaway continues here.  Go check it […]

  • 21 A report on my new flour sifter // Feb 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    […] an aside. My really cool giveaway continues here. Go check it […]

  • 22 Kathy Newton // Feb 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I am so glad to know that finally a simple way to be able to keep track of where,who,what,etc:that anyone with kids;and Need to be in the know;in this day and age.It is a much faster -paced world.Kids grow up mentally these days than their bodies do. If most folks are like me ;I tend to look for the good in people;yet there are so many people who operate on what I call “UM” or Ulterior Motive. So being able to see what is up. That is all for now .Thank you Norton!

  • 23 Jacque Dixon // Feb 21, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    We have 8 children, ages 19 17 15 11 9 5 3 22m. Though we are very actively involved with our children online, I was glad to read your review of Norton Online Family. I like it that you can set each child their own account up, basically, putting their own settings on it, the setting a time on their particular desktop. I think another great feature is that you can block internet messaging entirely, monitor the chats or allow unmonitored IM. Sounds like they have really thought through a lot of loopholes teens may try to get through.

    Like I said, we are very involved with our children being online. This is how we take care for our children online:
    We do not allow children under the age of 15 on the computer unsupervised. Those younger than 15 are only on maybe 1 time every week or two for about 20-30 minutes. They are usually posting on their blogs or writing up an article for an online mag we write for.

    They must get permission to be on the computer (and or be courteous and let us know). There is a short list of approved sites for them from when they are younger, and those are the only sites they are allowed to go to. Our computer and laptops are out in the open, and they do not take them to their rooms to be on. The approved sites do not contain provocative ads or things that would lead to other sites (which they aren’t allowed to click off of anyway). Unfortunately, that includes Photobucket, Sitemeter, Flicker, and others that we do use, so we use them for them and give them info or codes they need.

    The older ones, well, they are old enough to understand the dangers of such websites. We have never allowed our children to be on their own social sites. We are a very open family when it comes to discussion of such things, and it has never been a point of contention. The girls have their own blogs and blog friends, and they are happy to have them as their social network. The 17yo and 19yo have recently gotten on FB, and we all network together on it.

    One thing I have found that is a HUGE thing is Google. Even with the settings set HIGH for security, there are still things that come up in searches and images, so we don’t allow them to be on it (the younger ones).

    We have basically taught them that if you shouldn’t be there, don’t use it at all. There are other resources, and they can use those. We hold them in accountability and consider it our responsibility to closely monitor them. We do the same thing with screening videos, movies, and books. It will serve them well in their lives. :)

    One thing that makes the difference in our family is that I am a presence in their online lives. I do not demand to be one, but because of our IRL relationships, we all WANT to be in each others’ lives online. I love my children, and I am concerned about them, and they want to share their lives with me and hold them accountable. God has greatly blessed us in this. Whenever there has been anything that may hinder this or create a wedge, we have recognized it, dealt with it and worked through it in the WORD and with each other. We all want the best for each other.

    Doing all of this does not prevent sites from popping up or from their curiosity- Even if it is when they are around me when I am on the laptop. I am careful to not allow them near it whenever there may be something unsavoury. We have taken measures to cut out all resources like that in our home, including television. The internet is a different animal though. It is a lot of work, and we take a lot of time to do this with our children. We do have all passwords and access to their sites. Fortunately, as we teach them, they help monitor their younger siblings.

    Thank you for this giveaway!
    I would LOVE, love, love to win!
    Many blessings~

  • 24 Jacque Dixon // Feb 22, 2009 at 12:01 am

    blogged your giveaway:


  • 25 Jacque Dixon // Feb 22, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Tweeted your giveaway too:


  • 26 Walking Therein » Protecting Our Children Online - WIN An iPod Touch! // Feb 22, 2009 at 12:19 am

    […] will find the review and announcement: I Have A Really Kewl Giveaway, where you can leave a comment, blog and Tweet […]

  • 27 TeamBettendorf // Feb 22, 2009 at 7:36 am

    With two teens and two more soon to be teens we have decided to keep the computers in the living room. I am right there all the time to watch them. But who wouldn’t want an extra barrier between them and the nasty world of the internet?

    I blogged your contest here:

  • 28 Miss Jocelyn // Feb 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I am very blessed to have a mother who is very involved in my online activities, not only as a protector, but as a blogger-buddy. When we first started blogging I was 14 so my mother kept a close eye on who I blogged with as well as who I emailed. She also read all my posts to make I was being respectful and intelligent (ha! Not to mention I needed help with grammar!). It’s been three years since we started and my mother still does all the above mentioned things. I am glad for that barrier because it has protected me from outside harm as well as harm I could have caused myself with carelessness. That is something only the Lord could have known I would need in a mother.

    Blessings to you and whoever wins. :)

  • 29 Karen W // Feb 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I have two teens and a 10 year old. Monitoring my teens gets harder. The do a lot of research on line for school. I would love to have something like Norton!

  • 30 grams // Feb 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    My kids are all grown, so I just have to keep track of my granddaughters when they are with us. And they only use the internet when we are with them. The computer is in a central location in the home. Norton’s would be a great investment.

  • 31 lace // Feb 22, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I’ve tweeted your contest:

  • 32 Samantha // Feb 22, 2009 at 10:30 pm


    Name- Samathajo

  • 33 Thomas Ho // Feb 23, 2009 at 12:31 am

    My 13-year old daughter primarily uses the desktop computer in the living room and she routinely checks with us before she does anything “sensitive” BUT Norton Online Family Review would give me additional peace of mind.

  • 34 Dawn Rockford // Feb 23, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    This is great if you can’t always watch where your kids are surfing. I had a bad virus from a site my daughter visited! Expensive mistake!

    Dawn Rockford hunnymail(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • 35 Cathy // Feb 24, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    My 14 yr old stepson now lives with us and has home access to the internet where he never did before. He thinks I know nothing, of course, but I’ve already raised my own 2 children with the net. He wonders why his dad and I worry! This sounds like a great answer to prevent more grey hairs!

  • 36 Joyful Abode: Domesticity by Trial and Error // Feb 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I teach. Any computer time (very little) is monitored by me though. I can see something like this being useful in schools.

    viperemily at hotmail dot com

  • 37 Amy // Feb 25, 2009 at 10:38 am

    We haven’t had to worry about the internet with our child yet being that he is still a preschooler, but this would be great when that time comes!

  • 38 Kimberley // Feb 25, 2009 at 11:04 am

    My daughter is still to young to use the computer but I’ll hold on to this for when she gets a bit older.

  • 39 Sarah T // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:25 am

    So, I am hoping that you are still holding your contest! I am very interested in this software! It sounds like it might be helpful…

  • 40 Lisa Andringa // Mar 2, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I would love to win this Norton software to put on our home computer as another line of defense. Our kids are constantly needing to be on the computer to do school research, etc. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • 41 Cindy // Mar 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I so need an iPod Touch. It would be fabulous to sync my iCal to it and have it wherever I go!

    I have two girls 5 & 13 and keeping track of their internet usage is a daily chore (especially for the teen). I am her friend on every site she’s a member of and her usage is on a computer in a public room of our house. Conversations are open and often.

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