Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PG Key: Online Safety

PhotobucketMaking sure my kids are safe online is very important to me. It's not always an easy task though since information and blocking programs are constantly changing. I was given PG Key, an online safety device to try out at home. PG Key is a flash drive that you plug into your computer. It allows parents to:

1) Control when and how long the computer is used.
2) Properly setup your system with filters and web site blocking.
3) Create the “over their shoulder” environment that encourages kids to act the same way “on line” as they do in every other part of their life.

PG Key records the websites your child has been on. You can then play back and see exactly what sites your child was on. Another feature is that parents can be emailed whenever certain blocked keywords are typed or if the PG Key was removed.

Simply put - PG Key does NOT replace parenting with technology - It ENABLES parenting with technology. ~PG Key

What I Thought:

When I first opened the package I really like the idea of just having to plug in PG Key and be set. It wasn't as easy as stated to get up and running, but it wasn't terrible either. I had to make sure some of my computer settings were correct before I got PG Key to work. One frustration is that it only worked on my Internet Explorer browser. I usually use Mozilla Firefox, so I had to make sure the other browsers weren't accessible to my kids or else they could circumvent the PG Key blocking.

Once PG Key was up and running, I really liked the video playback feature. It records the exact sites your children were on but instead of just getting a list of sites, you can see what they were typing and what the site looked like without having to go to the actual site. I also liked that as a parent, I could set certain blocked keywords. Then if my child typed those banned keywords, PG Key would send me an email letting me know.

In terms of actually blocking bad websites, I thought it could do better. While testing, I could pull up several sites I'd rather my kids not see. The flip-side is that it doesn't ban everything--which in a way can be a good thing. I've used programs before where it seems like it banned almost every site and I'd get so frustrated with it that I would disable it. PG Key does let kids know that what they are on is being seen. So in a way, it helps your children learn how to be responsible while on the internet. PG Key does have a safe-search feature, which is better than other search engines, but not fool-proof.  I'm not sure any program is fool-proof. That's why it is still important to monitor and let you kids know that you are checking up on them on the internet. I like the idea of PG Key, but I still feel it needs a little tweaking. I do plan to continue to use it on my kid's computer because they now know that I can see everything they are on and it is another online safety safeguard I have in place.

PG Key website
PG Key Price: $49.99 - no annual fee

For More PG Key Reviews See;

Disclosure: I was given this product for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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