Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TOS Review--PGKey's SafeKey

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we received a PGKey SafeKey in the mail to test and review.  As their website states, "PG Key was created and endorsed by a team that includes internet security specialists, law enforcement, educators, parenting experts and family psychologists to give you the first complete internet safety solution. PG Key gives you everything you need to keep your children and teens safe online and be alerted and informed when dangers do come up – all with one simple, plug in device." 

Their website also clearly explains the tools you will receive when you purchase the PG Key for $49.95, which you can purchase directly from their website, from, or from select retailers.  You can even request a free trial
Access Control
Control computer use by inserting or unplugging PG Key.

Time Allowance
Decide the amount of time the computer can be used daily.

Content Filtering
Eliminate unwanted results from innocent searches.

Site Blocking
Block sites you decide are inappropriate.

Activity Tracking
Review all activity on the PC with a DVD-like interface.

Activity Notifications
Be informed via text message or e-mail of any flagged activity.

Chat and E-mail Logging
See both sides of chat and e-mail conversations.

Computer Configuration
Properly configure all users of the protected PC.

User Name and Password Logging
Keep track of user names and passwords.

Inappropriate Activity Evidence
Use video recording to show obvious or suspected inappropriate activity.

I think that if I suspected that my kids were looking up inappropriate sites on the computer, this device could be very helpful.  It is nice that there are no monthly or annual fees and that all you have to do is plug it in to start protecting your computer (and your kids).  I most appreciated the feature of blocking unwanted results from innocent searches.  I have certainly sat down with my kids to look up a subject we are interested in and been shocked to see what has shown up on the screen!  My fingers' reflexes have certainly been tested to see how quickly they could click away from a picture!  We have not had that problem since inserting the PG Key.

I am not entirely sure how I feel about the chat and email logging and the video recording, however.  Honestly, I don't have kids old enough where I have to worry about what they are typing or chatting.  I would like to think that I won't invade their privacy and check what they are saying online.  It feels like peeking into someone's journal, which feels very wrong to me.  However, some of you with older kids may call me naive, and I may say the same about myself and change my mind when my children are older.  :) 

Because my kids are so young, we did not find this device as useful, I am sure, as families with older kids.  Some of those families with older children did review this product, and you can read what they have to say here

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was provided a free copy of this product for my honest evaluation. I was given no other compensation for this review.

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