Norton Family is a relatively new additional to the Norton security suite. This is a standalone title and comes in a free and paid version that helps protect your kids from harm online. If you’re looking for a way to set limits and monitor what your children can do online, Norton Family is a way to control what your kids do online.
How to use Norton Family to control what your kids do online
Head to Norton Family’s web site and click “Sign up now” or “Sign in.” You will require a Norton account to use Family, but you don’t have to use other Norton products unless you want to.
Before signing in or signing up, you’ll be presented with the free and paid versions of Norton Family.
Click “Get Norton Family” to get started with the free version. You can always upgrade later if you find it useful.
Now, choose a screen name for your Norton Family account.
Then, you will be able to add your children to your Norton Family account.
Name your child, upload a picture or choose a placeholder, select a gender and then their birth year. You can add as many children as necessary, and they don’t have to be using the same computer for you to take advantage of Norton Family settings.
When finished adding your kids, click “Install Norton Family.”
The Norton Family installer will download to your computer. Run through the installation process which is relatively quick and then start Norton Family.
In the meantime, you’ll be redirected to Norton Family’s settings and activity manager. You will manage your account and your children’s accounts from the web as opposed to through a standalone program on your computer. This ensure that your children can’t change Norton Family’s settings.
Now, in the Norton Family management window, you can add children, change children’s settings and upgrade to Norton Family Premier at any time from the top.
The first set of settings you’ll customize are for the Web. Click “Web” in the left hand menu.
From here, you can opt to supervise web activity and then limit web sites your child can visit. You can further limit the types of web sites they visit by restricting categories. Whenever your child tried to visit these types of sites, they’ll be blocked and the attempts will be logged for your viewing.
The next set of settings are the Search ones. Click “Search.”
This allows you to turn on search filtering by default when your kids visit search engines. These are built-in features for most search engines and Norton Family ensures they are enabled so your kids can’t turn them off.
Then, you can change the Social settings. Click “Social.”
Now, click “Time” to customize the time limitations on your PC.
Time settings will let you change what times a child can access the web, as well as limit the overall time they are online. This can be useful to make sure your kids are utilizing computer time wisely instead of wasting it.
Video, App and Messaging are all part of the Norton Family Premier settings.
These are paid features and will unlock once you pay for the service.
Finally, click “Notify” in the settings bar on the left-hand side of Norton Family Settings.
Anytime your child does the things listed, you’ll be notified via e-mail that it’s happened so you can follow up and see what they’re doing.
If you head back to the main Family Safety management screen, you’ll be able to check your kid’s activity by clicking “Activity.”
Now that you have set up your settings for your children and installed Norton Family Safety, you can ensure that when your child logs on to the computer and it’s running, they’ll be protected.
You just choose the account that they use. To make things easier, you can create an account for each child so you can choose their account in Norton Family Safety.
When Family Safety is running on that account, the child will not be able to access it to shut it off or disable it.
Let’s say they have access to uninstalling programs, they also won’t be able to uninstall Family Safety without the Norton account password.
Are parental controls, like Norton Family, worth the trouble?
Parental controls are one tool to help keep your kids safe from the harms that come with using the web. Educating them on how to stay safe coupled with parental controls, like Family Safety, can be a way to truly keep them safe and make kids proactive about it. The only way parental controls really work is if your kids understand why they’re put in place, Family Safety is just part of the solution and is worth the trouble if used right.