Helping Parents Protect Their Kids Online

Okay, I just had a fascinating lunch with an ex-FBI agent (friend of a friend) who developed some software that helps parents monitor their kids’ browsing habits online. He was picking my brain about many of the dangers teenagers are flirting with today, and what I teach at my parenting seminars equipping parents to teach good discernment. Fun conversation. This guy had some amazing stories of child predators he had caught.

Let me just say that this software he’s working on has my attention! (And they’ve got a free version that they’re allowing me to share with you for beta-testing. More on that in a minute.)

As you might imagine, parents are always emailing me asking me, “Do you know of any software that will protect my kid online?” “How do I know what my kids are saying on Facebook?” Or sometimes parents ask me, “Do you have anything that will keep my teenager from browsing porn!”

These kinds of software packages are interesting. I’ve seen a lot of them. I gotta admit: I really like the ones that provoke conversations between parents and their kids.

The company that this guys started is called ParentalOptions.com. They are sincere and passionate about empowering parents with the necessary tools to help their kids learn how to use the internet and social networking  wisely. The cool thing is, as I mentioned, this team of retired FBI agents and parents have designed a software package that is now open for free beta testing.

I appreciate that their software is intended to promote conversations between parents and kids about their activities on the computer; they emphasize that it  is not spyware. Their goal is that by installing the software, clients would receive the direct benefits of their experience and knowledge of the many hidden dangers of the Internet.  Another bonus is that you can log in to your child’s account from any location.

Go ahead and take a peek at their free Beta test where you can try it out for free for a while: www.ParentalOptions.com

Next week I’m going to chime in a little more about this. I have a friend that tried the beta-version with her daughter and she had some fascinating experiences with it (and her kid is really a great kid too). More on that next week.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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