Computer Filtering Software Review of Covenant Eyes Accountability and Filtering Software
Covenant Eyes is an accountability and filtering software downloaded from the web at www.covenanteyes.com that monitors internet use and sends an e-mail report to a designated person that allows you to see the web search terms used and the sites that have been visited. There are multiple levels of filtering and time restrictions that can be employed for more than one user.
Reasons a family might want to install a monitoring and filtering software
Prevents children from visiting sites with adult content
You may have a teenager that you want to keep off social networking sites
You as an individual might have a problem with pornography and want to place yourself in an accountability partnership with another adult
You might want to set time limits for your kids
You can download Covenant Eyes from their website or you can call them to walk you through the download and set-up procedure. Each person will have their own account which will be managed by the named administrator, usually the person who is setting it up.
Choose the Accountability Partner
The first thing that needs to be done is to choose the person to whom Covenant Eyes will send the detail report. This might be a different person for each individual or you may want to have your own report sent to a trusted friend or pastor for accountability. Covenant Eyes will send the request and that person will have to agree to receiving the report. For your children you will likely just have the report sent to yourself.
Set the Filters
Once the software is downloaded you will go to the member center and select the individual on who’s account you want to take action. You will have options to set the filter through a series of radio buttons on a scale from less restrictive to more restrictive. The middle radio button is calibrated for someone who is a pre-teen to early teen years. You may also set the restriction to allow complete freedom. If after viewing a couple reports you find that you are unhappy with what your children can view you can move the restriction up a notch. Conversely if you are finding that too many things are blocked that you want to allow you can move it down a notch. You can also specifically block particular websites. There is a filter that gives you the option to always block or always allow [fill in the blank].
Set Time Limits
After the restriction level is set you will choose the time allowance. The software gives the option to set the total number of minutes that you will allow per week, per day, per weekend day and the specific times of day that a particular individual will be allowed to use the internet. For example if someone is trying to overcome an addiction to internet pornography you may want to set the time restriction to block usage during the time when he or she would typically be engaging in that activity.
All settings are changeable by the administrator and anyone with the administrator’s password. You can change them as the need arises. You can take internet time away as a means of negotiating behavior issues and have your child earn back minutes.
If someone is trying to override the software you will get a message from Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes will also send you an alert if there is no internet time registered for a period of days because of the suspicion that the program may have been breeched and is no longer monitoring that individual. You can then check the program to ensure that it is working or just ignore the alert if you have been away.
I have found this an invaluable tool to maintain the integrity of my family. I would recommend it to anyone. It can protect your children and also give you tools to control their behavior and your own as well if needed. It opens doors for conversation about important topics and issues of morality and safety.
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