We all know it is dificult to exert control over your kids.Â But there are certainly places where, regardless of what you or they want, you have to maintain some control.Â And one of those places is certainly controlling how, where, and how long then spend on the Internet.Â Yes, some obvious rules apply such as keeping computers that you allow the kids to use to be in common areas where it is easier to keep an eye on them.Â But let us be honest for a moment.Â Can you really keep an eye on them every second?Â Do you really want to?
There are already of course some worthwhile programs out there like NetNanny, and they are even built in to some Anti-Virus packages these days (I know Symantec has it in their Suite, and I am pretty sure McAfee does as well).Â But they all have costs.
For those either economically challenged, or just don’t need another expense (or just want another, possibly better) program, Crawler Parental Control software just might be worth taking a look at.Â It does what the other programs do, prevents your children from visiting sites they should not be looking at, and prevents them from installing software (as an option) so that they can’t inadvertently install a virus.
What made me look at this originally was the other additional features that the package had, including ability to schedule time.Â You can create pre-set periods of time that the computer can be used, both online and offline.Â So, say if you want to limit you child to 1 hour of Web Surfing, but don’t mind if they are on the computer for 2 hours doing homework, you can set that up.Â When time expires, they can not access anything any longer (without you entering a password to override it to allow more time).
This program is probably useless for teenagers and older that can find ways to circumvent the application, and there are some bugs and few things that are quirky, but for free it is worth checking out.Â I put this on LatteGirl’s computer, and so far have been quite satisfied with the results.
You can see a more complete review of the product at Confessions of a freeware junkie.