While the internet provides valuable resources for a homeschool family, it also comes with possible dangers. As parents we want to be diligent in protecting our children. There are various internet security systems on the market and we recently had the opportunity to utilize Action Alert.
Action Alert is an updated version of the PG Key which I have previously reviewed. Action Alert is a downloadable internet safety/parental control program that provides 8 internet safety tools in one:
Action Alert provides two different versions of their system.
Action Alert Free Protection – yes, free. A quick and simple download is all that is needed and you can begin utilizing Action Alert’s internet safety.
Action Alert Maximum Protection is $29.99 annually. Maximum Protection allows for multiple users, fully customizable and full social network monitoring.
Our Experience with Action Alert
We have 8 children, ages 13 years to 3 months and they all share one computer. Horrifying, isn’t it? As you can see from the above picture, we have our own form of internet safety in place. There is always someone who is curious about what you are doing on the computer! We also keep the computer in the living room; where we spend the majority of our day. There are time limits in place as well. However, I am not naive in thinking that this is enough protection. Innocent searches can lead to shocking results. We have had other internet safety programs in the past because we realize the need.
I installed Action Alert and set each child that uses the computer with an account and password. Action Alert is for Windows based computers only so password were set up through Windows. Once I set up each child, I played around a bit with setting different limits on time, blocking different sites, etc. My daughter was devastated to find she was blocked out of Librivox. And my son was crushed when his internet was blocked after 15 minutes. I was enjoying myself a bit much.
Action Alert did what was advertised. Without any glitches? Of course not. What program is glitch free? My children noted that the computer seemed a bit slower and I noticed it as well. The speed difference wasn’t dramatic enough to warrant an issue with Action Alert. Being able to playback the computer usage has been a fun and helpful feature. I realized that one child was playing a bit more games than I was aware and we have had a nice chat about how we spend our time.
At this time, my children don’t do many internet searches. So in order to test the notification feature of Action Alert, I did some random searching for words that I felt would trigger a notification. I never received a notification to either email that I had signed up for notifications. When working with support on rectifying this problem, it was mentioned that I should give 30 minutes for the notification email. This concerns me. In a 30 minute time period, a child could come in contact with some serious information/images. But again, no program is perfect and Action Alert has done great job at allowing me to monitor my children’s activities and control where they can go and how long they can spend.
A huge plus for Action Alert is the customer service. I emailed various times asking for clarification or seeking help with an issue and the support staff has been timely and helpful in working through issues and answering my questions. Quality customer service is difficult to find and I was very pleased.
In conclusion, is Action Alert a perfect program? No. However, it is a helpful tool in providing a safer internet experience. And with a free version it is definitely worth trying! You could easily download Action Alert, try it for a few weeks and uninstall if you find it doesn’t work for you. Whether you use Action Alert or not, I encourage you to put safeguards in place for your children.
Make sure you swing by the Crew to see what others are saying about Action Alert!
*Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I received a complimentary download of the Action Alert Maximum Protection. No compensation was made.