A new tool has been introduced aimed at supporting parenting skills by enhancing how dads and moms monitor children’s online activity.
Symantec’s Norton consumer division has released its Norton Online Family service as a free download during its beta period.
Using the software, fathers and mothers can have varying levels access to their children’s internet browsing and communications.
For example, they can confirm their kids’ IM friends, keep tabs on conversations with unconfirmed friends and keep track of their children’s social networking accounts.
The service, which can be used on up to five household computers, can also send an automatic email if a child does something online that the parent has prohibited.
However, the developers say the tools are intended to be a family collaboration, not stealth monitoring. For example, kids can chat in real time with parents if they are flagged up for trying to access a blocked site.
"Norton Online Family takes a different approach from today’s parental control solutions by providing tools that help parents understand their kids’ online world and fostering communication," said Marian Meritt of Symantec.
The tools may also allow time-starved dads, including those who are single parenting, a convenient way to help keep up with their children.