There are lots of Internet filtering products on the market that enable parents to block certain types of websites such as pornography, hate sites, or sites that promote alcohol or drug use. Most of these products run on PCs or Macs by sitting between the operating system and the browser and checking any requested sites to make sure they're not blocked. The products generally do a good job blocking requests from protected PCs, but most don't work with game consoles, Wi-Fi-equipped iPhones or iPod Touches, or any other device that isn't running the software.
Father's Day is Sunday, which means that it's time to celebrate Dad. He and Mom most likely raised you with the help of relatives, babysitters, and teachers, as well as a few books, toys, and TV programs. These days, however, there are also a variety of online resources designed to make good parenting a little bit easier.
From finding nannies to keeping children occupied, there's a site for any parent in this roundup.Parent resources
Babble Soft After you sign up for Babble Soft, you're brought to your home page, which allows you to input information about you and your child. The site also asks you to input your baby's caretakers, including their name and relation so you have everything you need to identify them.
The software's Baby Insights page is fantastic. Whenever someone feeds your baby, puts your child down for a nap, or gives them medicine, they can put that information into the online software. You can then access that from work to see if your children are getting what they need. Parents can also run reports to see how much their babies are sleeping, how much they've been eating, and more. Those reports give you a full printout of exactly what's been going on in your child's life. Babble Soft is an outstanding tool. It's just too bad it costs $37.95 for 12 months after a free trial.
BabyCenter BabyCenter provides you with help as your children grow from a newborn to a "Big Kid." When you sign up for the site, you'll find a variety of articles providing guidance on raising your children at different stages in their lives. Most of the articles are worth reading and offer some great insight.
But the real value of BabyCenter is the community. The BabyCenter Community allows you to chat with other parents who are going through the same experience of raising their children. You can get support for issues, give advice to other parents, or simply post questions you're curious about. Since the site has a social element, you can also make friends with other parents and discuss things with them privately. It's a great service.
Care Care is basically a search engine that helps you find babysitters, nannies, tutors, pet caretakers, or housekeepers in your area. The people providing that service list their expertise. In their listing, the service providers give information about themselves, how they can be contacted, and after registering for the site, you can also get in touch with their references.… Read more
Parents, I've found a device that you will love and your children will hate. Just don't tell them you heard it from me, I have my geek cred to look out for. It's an evil video game timer called the GameDr.
It attaches to the power plug on your kid's console via a combination lock. Then you can program the amount of time left until it kills the power, losing your child's progress, and making him or her resent you. It will give them 10- then 1-minute warnings, so that's something.
Sure, they'll … Read more
There's a cute new payment service just launching: BillMyParents. It's a way that kids ("tweens," according to the founder) can shop in online stores and easily spend their parents' money--if their parents later agree to buy them the stuff they want.
The system puts little BillMyParents buttons next to items in online retail. To check out, kids write optional notes to their parents about the items they want. Parents get e-mail notifications and can approve and pay for individual items directly.
Kids never get access to their parents' credit cards. And parents don't have to … Read more
There are few, if any, horizontal platforms that offer users the capability to e-mail, create, and edit documents and pictures, and collaborate across all three major desktop computing platforms as well as almost every major smartphone platform. Glide 3.0 has just updated, introducing changes aimed at parental control and creating a child-friendly environment.
The new e-mail filter lets parents intercept all messages sent to a child's in-box. Parents can then approve or deny the e-mails so children can only see preapproved messages, filtering out pornographic spam, phishing attempts, and other junk. Parents need to create a secondary e-mail … Read more
Editors' note: In the original version of this blog, we used the beta name for this product. The official name is OnlineFamily.Norton.
Back in February, Symantec debuted a new security program that sought to help parents talk to their kids about how they use the Internet. OnlineFamily.Norton has been a free beta since then, but this Monday at midnight, the program will leave beta and remain free at least until the end of 2009. The program was originally called Norton Family Online.
This parental control suite provides parents with an interesting and possibly unique approach to online child … Read more
Dena Christofferson is 13 years old. She likes to send texts. Lots of texts. She particularly likes to send texts at school.
In fact, in a recent month she sent 10,003 of those curt little messages. And received almost 10,000.
Her parents were a little surprised at this. Not because she told them. But because Verizon sent them a bill for $4,756.25.
You see, Gregg and Jaylene Christofferson, from Cheyenne, Wyo., thought texting on little Dena's phone had been disabled. And $4,756.25 is a lot of money.
"It hit us like a rock," Gregg told NBC's Channel 9 News in Colorado.
Rocks can sometimes rain down in multiples, so perhaps it wasn't entirely a surprise that Dena's school principal called to say she had suddenly achieved five Fs in a semester. Strange that he didn't text, but still.
This was one rock too many for Gregg Christofferson. He got out his hammer and smashed that Verizon phone into several pieces. … Read more
There are very few ways to view job openings, book a vacation, or find that perfect home without plowing through multiple websites and advertisements. Alertpedia is a useful website that saves you time by performing filtered searches based on what you're looking for. The search results are delivered in the form of a daily, weekly, or immediate email. The best part? No sign-up required.
Unlike websites like Kayak or Crazedlist, who deliver an immediate search result, Alertpedia saves you time by doing an automatic, periodical search. You can search for weather, traffic, jobs, travel, YouTube videos, and other categories.… Read more
UPDATED: Corrected list of supported messaging protocols.
Known for its security software, Symantec on Tuesday launched a new program aimed at educating parents about their children's online usage. Norton Online Family, now available in beta, is a parental control suite with multiple levels of restriction and an emphasis on usage reporting.
Citing a Rochester Institute of Technology study that found a huge gap between the percentage of parents versus children who report no online supervision, Symantec says that Online Family is intended to bridge that gap by "fostering communication" between parents and their kids. According to the … Read more
This snooping utility provides almost all the features essential for monitoring a PC, but we were especially impressed with its stealthiness. System Surveillance Pro logs keystrokes, IM chats, applications used, and Web sites visited, and can capture screenshots at user-defined periodic intervals.
The interface makes it easy to locate any log file you need to access. System Surveillance Pro can block Web sites via URLs or detected keywords, and includes a scheduler in case you don't need to monitor PC usage at all times. Like most respectable spying applications, it will send you e-mail reports so you can keep … Read more