April 27, 2011

Monitor Your Child’s Facebook Activity With New Software

Check Point, an internet security firm has unveiled a software package that allows parents to monitor their children's Facebook account without having to friend them or be overtly involved in their online activities, AFP is reporting.

"We are offering Facebook users a simple way to embrace social networking safely," said Check Point vice president of consumer sales Bari Abdul.

The program scans aspects of your child's account and ranks potential harmful posts, requests and photos that may be inappropriate. ZoneAlarm SocialGuard alerts parents to signs of trouble without them being privy to all posts, comments, pictures, videos or other digital content shared between friends at the website.

SocialGuard software runs unseen in the background, flagging suspicious activity and sending alerts to parents. "It's about protecting your kids from the social threats out there, while still respecting their privacy and fostering open communication," Abdul explained.

The software will also determine whether people contacting children online are being deceptive about their ages or if a stranger is trying to become a Facebook friend.

Analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley, explained to AFP: "Parents are increasingly concerned, and rightfully so, about the dramatically increasing trend of criminals, predators and bullies targeting children over social networks."

"SocialGuard provides a strong suite of tools that can effectively protect children from these types of social threats that are keeping parents awake at night."

This software will send real-time alerts to parents by email or through the SocialGuard interface when suspicious activity is noticed. The software can monitor all avenues of their Facebook use, including home use and mobile devices.

SocialGuard unobtrusively operates in the background and only alerts parents to specific dangers based on their customized security settings, keywords or pre-defined categories. This enables parents to protect their kids against social threats, while still respecting their child's privacy as they cannot see or comment on wall posts or join in their conversations using the software.

A survey by Check Point indicated that 38 percent of teenagers ignore requests from parents to be friends on Facebook, and that 16 percent of children have only done so as a condition of using the social network.


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