This is a personal review, not something that I was given to review , as when we updated our computer Norton came with it. There was an option to use the Online Family Safety Feature, which upon reading seemed like a great idea. Since three of my kids enjoy playing on the computer I thought it would be a great idea to check out some online parent controls from a program that already keeps my computer safe.
Maybe it’s just me, and hopefully it really is because I have nothing nice to say about the Norton Online Family. At first it was great, I could select the sites or at least the content I didn’t want my kids to access. Well sadly this is where it all started. When you first log in, both Norton and the Family Online protection have already started, it runs in the background like it always does.
When you open a browser and or website depending on what it is, a screen will show you that you cannot get access to it. It will ask the kids to ask for permission from me which is sent via email ,to enter the site. I thought I would like that, but no. Once I granted access, the same screen came up, blocking the kids. So I would change the “House rules” allowing the certain site (which was Jumpstart.com) It was still blocked however.
I would never be allowed to go onto Blogger either, (which is restricted for the kids) The problem however was, no matter how I granted access to myself, it would not allow me to be on. There’s a feature to turn it off of course, which requires you to enter your email, and your password. I cannot count how many times it’s told me my password was wrong, or that Norton can’t access my information so I’d be stuck. Yet I could access my Norton account (same email, same password) I would even be able to change my settings within the Online Family account, yet no matter how I tried to fill in the “turn off” form, it would not let me pass.The information was correct, but according the Norton Family, it was not. After countless times of trying and finally getting it to turn off, I thought my troubles were over. It was not. Norton Family turned itself back on, within two minutes, so the moment I tried to go to a different website, it would block me once again. This would repeat just to even get into my Yahoo mail. I would be going to read a piece of email and the blocked screen would show up yet again. There’s a way to set it so you can have it turned off till the next person logged in (restart the computer) but again, this little feature wasn’t working, it didn’t just turn itself back on, it completely started blocking me for getting anywhere online.
It was very frustrating. Monitoring and controlling what your kids do online is something we as parents think about, but I will not sit here trying to fight with a program just to read a piece of email, or even for that matter write this in blogger. I had to write it in Word, get past the blocking page and copy and paste it before Norton Family Safety Reminder turned itself back on, which it did 11 times before I finally gave up. Hopefully and I really do hope it is just my bad experience, as they had a good idea here. In the end, I removed the Family Online protection, and will just monitor it myself the good old fashion way.
If Norton ever re-did this feature, I would like the bugs (again hopefully this is all it is) fixed, so when you turn something Off, it really stays off. I liked the way you could filter the sites, even add different kids so each kid would have a different set up. No matter how I changed the settings though, turned the monitoring On and or Off, it would never do what it was supposed to do.
It simply just didn’t allow me to do anything at all but get frustrated as well as waste a large amount of my time.