Product Review: Is Your Computer Pandora’s Box for Your T(w)een?
As a parent, you want your children to have the best possible online experience available, however, you realize that you must take certain security precautions to keep your family safe from online predators or unsavory content.
PC Pandora, helps caregivers filter unwarranted content as well as monitor your t(w)eens usage. Some of you may be thinking, “doesn’t this really undermine the trust you have with your teen”. I too have mixed feelings when it comes to “secretly” monitoring my children’s on-line activity; yet it definitely plays a key role in providing my husband and I peace of mind in keeping our families safety protected on line.
PC Pandora works in the shadows (like a DVR) and is able to record everything that your teenager is searching for on the internet. It captures search queries from all of the major search engines (i.e. Google, etc) to let you know what your kiddos curiosity turns up. These days, teens are able to search the gamut on line; including topics, from how to make a homemade bomb to suicide. This product is able to warn you in advance of any potentially harmful topic search’s and keep them safe from the unthinkable.
PC Pandora actually takes snapshots of your PC screen. Gone then are the days of aimlessly scrolling though lines of text and website URL’s. In the most recent version, PC Pandora also included a webcam recording feature so you can see exactly who is using the computer at any given time . Two other key components within the software are, you can block your teens chat activities, track file creation and deletion. For example, if your child decides to download a racy video from YouTube and then deletes it (in hopes of not getting caught); you’ll be able to see the indecent material that they downloaded to the desktop and be able to have that much needed online safety discussion with them.
Now for the cons, this program doesn’t provide parents the ability to restrict the actual time spent on line or allow them to block certain hours of the day where they don’t want their child to be online. For instance, surfing during homework time is a NO, NO in many houses. The other item that I found while reviewing the product, that the program didn’t offer is a per user control of blocked web-site categories. I would like to be able to allow access to each of my kids dependent on the age appropriateness of the the site. PC Pandora doesn’t offer this feature yet.
The Meat and Potatoes: If you want to secretly monitor every bit of what your kids are doing on the computer, PC Pandora will definitely help you keep a watchful eye.
The folks at PC Pandora are offering us one hot little give away this week to 6 of our lucky readers. How do you win? Well first you have to bribe me with chocolate (just kidding) and then you need to click through to comment. To enter, comment below or on our Facebook wall about how PC Pandora would be helpful in protecting you and your family and we’ll pick 6 winners on Monday at five o clock Eastern time. The “keys” can be used one time only and they have no time limit.
A couple of screen shots of the PC Pandora software:
The Viewer Application let’s you see everything that has been done on your computer. While the “snapshot” screen shows you what searches or queries have been done on your computer.
***FYI: I spoke with Ken Shallcross, a PC Pandora representative which stated, “the good news is, this summer, the next version will include this per user control as well as the timer function you mentioned… I’ll make sure that your contest winners get a free upgrade when that happens”.
Thanks Ken, we’ll look forward to the next version.