Happy Homemaker: Kids and Internet Safety

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kids and Internet Safety

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


 We all worry about our kids safety while using the internet. And I'm sure many of you can concur that getting our kids/teens to tell us what they've been doing online is like pulling teeth. It can be difficult to even know how or what to tell our kids about internet safety, or come up with effective ways to keep track of what they are doing without nagging or spying. There are, however, a few steps we all can take to provide a safe and happy internet experience for our children, and keep track of what goes on when we aren't in the room.

 Below are a few of the steps we can take to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for our kids/teens:
  1. Set up a good filter that will filter out offensive material and inappropriate websites. Many times anti-virus programs will offer a filter or you can block pop ups through the settings on your internet browser.
  2. Keep the computer in a high traffic area of the house such as the living room/family room area to minimize the opportunity to share personal information or visit questionable sites without being seen.
  3. Make sure your kids know the dangers that are on the internet. Make sure they know that a predator can pose as another person to gain their friendship. They can use fake names, pictures and other details to steal an identity.
  4. Make sure they know not to enter their information on forms/websites and not to give it to someone they do not personally know. Encourage them to not share their picture with strangers or to give personal details on chat rooms.
  5. Help them come up with strong passwords. It should be longer password that contains both letters and numbers/characters, preferably one that references something significant only to them/you. Make sure to write them down and put them in a safe place. Also, do not repeat passwords between accounts.
  6. Tell them to never open an email link or attachment from an unknown source.
  7. ALWAYS know who they are talking to, sites they visit, accounts they have, and passwords. As they get older, give them a little more freedom, but be sure they understand you can check any time and can revoke their ability to use your computer (for non-school related activities) for breaking the rules.
gecko-monitor-logo Let's face it, we can set up the computer in a safe place, create all sorts of rules in an attempt to keep our kids safe, and limit the sites we allow them to visit, but kids/teens will be kids. Occasionally they will try to test the limits or hide something for the sake of what they believe to be "privacy" or their right. Keeping track of the sites our kids visit can be an all out war-especially if they already know how to clear the history. That is where Gecko Monitor steps in.

You can teach your kids all the important ways to stay safe online, try and keep track of friends, websites, what they share etc.; but sometimes, we as parents just need that extra bit of help. Gecko Monitor is the perfect tool to accomplish that goal. It tracks sites visited, what has been put on the clipboard (copy/paste), programs used, files used, and so much more. It makes keeping track of what our children are doing so much easier! It gives them more freedom (or so they feel) to do what they'd like and gives you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what is going on while they are on the computer.


 Gecko Monitor takes screenshots, tracks keystrokes, records used websites and applications, tells you when the printer has been used and for what, copies what has been copied to the clipboard, tracks files looked at, created, or deleted, and offers a full timeline of when things were done so you know exactly when your computer is being accessed. It is a great tool for parents who need more help in seeing what happens on their computer and for the parent of kids/teens who have a history of breaking the rules or sneaking around. (because, no matter how hard we try, it happens...)


Gecko monitor offers clear screenshots of sites visited, even when the home screen is being used. It shows you exactly what is being done at any point of time, it gives you the time of day and it says what site and browser it was opened in. (or what application was being accessed/used) It gives a picture of what page they are on, who they are talking to (if in chat), and if they are in a chat session when it takes the screenshot, you can even see what was being said at that given moment.

 This is a great tool, especially if you are checking in on limited time and can't look extensively through the information gathered by Gecko Monitor. Above you can clearly see I was on Influenster and a couple of other sites and it gives the time of day and tells you I was visiting the site from Mozilla Firefox. With Gecko Monitor very little gets missed and you will be able to keep an eye on what happens on your computer without being obvious. (more about that in a few minutes)  


 Gecko monitor keeps a log of all the files accessed, created, and deleted. So if a picture is downloaded, Gecko will record it. If it deleted, Gecko will also monitor that. It is a great way to see what is going on and coming off your computer at any given time. As you can see above (I tracked my own activity for about 30 minutes for presentation reasons) I downloaded, saved, and deleted screenshots of Gecko. It gives the date and the time of when I did this, it even says if I deleted or created the file making it very clear and easy to figure out what was going on with my computer and when. (this would also be great to track a suspected cheating significant other/spouse-but you didn't hear that from me!)  


With Gecko Monitor, you will never have to guess what sites your kids/teens or spouse/significant other are accessing. It gives a full list of sites visited, links clicked on, and email accounts used during the time Gecko Monitor is activated for monitoring. It gives the site, date and time each site was used so there is no question where your child has been or when they did it. This is great for parents who think their kids are sneaking on at night, or even parents of younger kids who just want to be sure they are accessing allowed/safe sites. It will give an idea of the types of sites your children are visiting and will give you all the information you need to be a well informed parent.


  The Gecko Monitor timeline offers a timeline that condenses all the other tabs into one place and shows you at what time what thing was done or accessed. For instance, It shows me creating a screenshot to share on the timeline at 1:28 (13:28) and then accessing one of my favorite couponing sites a few moments later.
You won't see more at this time on my timeline, because I spent a while on the couponing site and it doesn't record me staying on the site, just when I originally access the site.

That is where the website tab inside Gecko comes in handy because it will show you the clicks that I made within the site along with the site I was visiting at any given time. This again, is a great tool to use when you need to check before bed or on short time or when you don't feel like (or feel you don't need to) check each tab for information unless you find otherwise on the timeline. gecko5 The part I love most about Gecko Monitor is that is discreet monitoring. Your child/teen or spouse/significant other will have no idea you are monitoring them. You can even use the "I just know" excuse if you find something questionable and say something to them. At that point, if you feel you need to show how you know, you can, but best to keep it to yourself if you don't want to lose your child's trust. (or just be up front and let them know ahead of time you are using it. This is probably the better of the two options!) Gecko is discreet because while it has a short cut icon, it encourages you to delete the shortcut icon after you have successfully installed and set up your monitor. They do this so there won't be any icons for your child/teen to ask about. The reason they can have you delete your icon is because of the password box above. The secret to Gecko monitor is it has a keystroke shortcut they have created (can't tell in case a child/teen stumbles onto this! ;) You're welcome!) that will open the program for you. Once you have set up the program, the shortcut icon will no longer open anything up. You will use the keystroke shortcut to open Gecko Monitor and it will ask you for your password.

The part about the password is you don't share it unless it is something you choose to share with your spouse/significant other so you can both keep an eye on what your children are doing. Once you use the shortcut, (and it isn't one your kids will just "stumble" upon or accidentally use in any occasion) this password box will pop up and you will use your password to open Gecko. Once open you can access all of the features above. This feature of Gecko is great, mainly because you don't want your child/teen able to access it and erase history as they may do if they know you are going to check the browser or computer history. It is one more precaution that makes it easy for you to see what is happening when your kids are on the computer. This program overall is a great tool and very easy to use. Set up is fast and creating a password easy as well. It has you practice the shortcut keys, and you can write them down if you need to (plus it reminds you each time you ask it to start monitoring) so you don't have to worry about forgetting how to open the program.

 The tabs are easy to navigate and it is extremely thorough in it's monitoring. I have really liked being able to use this program on my computer and highly recommend this to all parents. This would even be a great program for schools on a small budget that need to keep track of what students are doing on school provided computers in school. With a sign in program and the timeline the program provides, it would be easy to access which student accessed what site and at what time. (definitely consider privacy laws and school policies..) Check it out and give it a try with their free trial-you have nothing to lose, and peace of mind to gain! :) You can even enter to win one of 10 free downloads of the full program! (see details below!)

  Product Description:

Gecko Monitor is the complete solution to monitoring everything that happens on your computer while you’re away. Perfect for parents who want to monitor their childs computer or bosses who want to monitor their employees computers - Gecko Monitor has everything you’ll need to give you peace of mind! Combining powerful monitoring tools and stealth, Gecko Monitor has a number of great features including the ability to monitor every website visited, every program used and every keystroke pressed - as well as taking screenshots of everything that happens on screen. The more advanced features of Gecko Monitor make this software the most advanced, all in one, computer monitoring solution on the market, why not download our free trial and see for yourself?

 Where to Buy:


Win the Gecko Monitor for yourself! Enter Here:

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  Find Gecko Monitor on Facebook!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.