An ongoing debate continues on how to keep younger Facebookers safe on the site, which already enforces a rule that users be at least 13 years old.
Some parents believe the easiest and most effective handling of the situation is to simply say “no” even to their kids who meet the minimum age requirement for creating accounts on the social network. Others are looking for some safe middle ground that lets them know what their children are up to online.
With that in mind, here are seven reviews of products that help monitor young ones’ activities on Facebook.
Norton Online Family
The social networking components featured in Norton Online Family aim to let parents know exactly what information their kids are looking at on the web. This free tool offers the capability to monitor how your child is presenting him or herself in profile pictures and whether they are overconfiding on the site.
Plus, this tool keeps parents aware of safety guidelines for the site. Another notable feature is the ability to set time limits on sites such as Facebook; you can designate certain hours or days of the week that a child can use the site. This really helps teach kids time management.
Price: Free, Family Premier-$29.99/year
Media Chaperone’s Piggyback tool is integrated with Facebook, and helps monitor game and social network activity for your loved ones. Parents actually log into to their Facebook profile to use the tool, and the Piggyback section includes separate tabs for each child, listing all of their activities and notifications.
The service is certainly rooted in monitoring your child’s online gaming activity, but it does also serve as a way to monitor all online activity, including Facebook. The service offers optional rewards that can be purchased using Credits. Overall, this tool is really user friendly.
You can search everything that surrounds your child online and on Facebook, by using SafetyWeb. This product’s website features quite a bit of information about what exactly is at stake if your sons and daughters allow the wrong information to become public online.
The product gives you detailed reports and statistics about what information about your kids shows up publicly online, specific areas children frequent most, plus notifications of any potential risks surrounding the young ones’ activities.
SafetyWeb’s Social Profile Finder tool simplifies the process of tracking all Facebook-related activity; and it can also branch out to monitor children’s activity across the Internet as a whole, while still putting a strong emphasis on social media.
Price: $9-$10/month, 1 year plan available for $100
Working with the permission of your young ones, ScreenRetriever allows you to periodically glance at their activity on all computers in your home. With a click of a desktop icon, you can check in on their social networking activity, along with any other sites your son or daughter may visit.
For the busy parents out there, ScreenRetriever also offers the opportunity to watch recorded footage throughout the day and evening. This ensures your kids were not on Facebook at times when they were supposed to be doing other activities, such as homework or even sleeping. You can also create a list of approved sites for them to visit, and block others. W
One of the most useful parts about this tool is that, as noted before, it is used with the permission of the child. A ScreenRetriever light icon is set up on your child’s computer so they are aware you are looking at the screen. Overall, this service aims to help parents build a more trusting relationship with children about how Facebook activity is being monitored.
Price: Current Special: Annual Home License-$9.99. Regularly priced at $49
SocialShield is one of the most in-depth options found on this list. The cloud-based tool quickly allows you to take action on questionable activity immediately as it arises, from using profanity to posting inappropriate pictures.
This product monitors your kids’ Facebook activities on computers and mobile devices, saving everything in a permanent archive. The tool lets you examine who your child befriends on the site with a background check. If your son or daughter posts inappropriate content, you receive a warning alert immediately.
SocialShield is very extensive product best suited for parents who really want to make sure they never miss a beat on what their children are doing on Facebook.
Price: $10/month, $8/month if paying annually
This application promises to keep your children safe, using some of the same features that the other software in this article have, plus a few notable new additions.
You can investigate your child’s friend list to see whether any seem inappropriate, keep track of profile content and all posted pictures of your kids, plus receive alerts for questionable content.
We especially like this software’s customizable database of keywords that help focus alerts towards for specific issues of concerns you may have. Along similar lines, TrueCare also offers parents a dictionary of commonly used slang expressions used by teenagers, including the increasing popular acronyms that attempt to KPC, meaning “keep parents clueless.”
TrueCare is certainly a viable option as it takes many preventative measures to make sure your kids are as safe as possible on the social network.
The product includes many of the features in the other applications described in this article, including notifications, access to information about friends, and monitoring across both computer and mobile services.
Like TrueCare, YouDilligence provides a database of keywords for quick searches of anything that may be inappropriate or putting your child at risk.
Price: $9.99/month per child, $14.99 for all immediate family