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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Symantec Releases Free Parental Monitoring App for Android

Norton Safety Minder SW

If you worry about your children’s Internet habits, you have to consider their mobile Internet habits as well.
Fortunately Symantec has just released a free mobile parental control app for Android called Norton Safety Minder, which you can download from the Android Market. It's free to use after you sign up for a Norton Online Family account, a free parental control suite for desktops.
Norton Safety Minder lets parents openly track and block websites their children access on an Android device, similar to McAfee Family Protection. It does so by attaching itself to the default browser in their child's mobile device and blocking sites based on an age category or customized list. Your child will not be able to use any other browser.
The app also lets parents see their child's entire search history and a list of attempted visits to websites, which McAfee Family Protection does not offer.
The app offers more features for Norton Online Family Premier holders ($49.99/year or $29.99/year for the first year, direct). Premier members can also see whom their children text or MMS, plus the contents of these conversations, which sit in Symantec's servers for up to 90 days. From the Web-based control panel parents can create a white-list of approved contacts and a black-list of people to block.
The Premier version also includes app monitoring so parents can see what apps their kids have installed and uninstalled. This report includes a time stamp and a description of each app.
Norton Safety Minder isn't a stealth monitoring app like SpectorSoft's eBlaster Mobile, which performs similar monitoring functions but is virtually undetectable on the child's device.
Norton Safety Minder only works on Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices for now. Symantec also offers Norton Online Family To Go, a similar mobile monitoring app for iOS users.

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