Parental control software products are installed on computers, laptops, ipads, smartphones, and other mobile devices.
Digital interaction is, for nearly all sex and love addicts in today’s world, the gateway to a plethora of regrettable behavior—sexual chat rooms, pornography, webcam sex, alternate reality sex games, prostitutes, sensual massage, sexting, affairs, casual and anonymous hookups, etc. Just a few years ago, the majority of this activity took place via computers and laptops. Nowadays these activities are equally likely to be carried out “on-the-go” using smartphones.
What to look for in a filtering and accountability software
- Customizable Controls. The better products have various present filtering levels, as well as blacklisting or whitelisting of certain sites—meaning sites that would normally be allowed can be manually blocked (blacklisted) and sites that would normally be blocked can be manually allowed (whitelisting).
- Specific Features. Various softwares offer different degrees of functionality. In addition to customizable filtering, sex and love addicts should also look for some combination of the following:
- the ability to monitor social media sites
- the ability to block obscene language
- the ability to stop the user from uploading photos and videos
- the ability to monitor online conversations (emails, IMs)
- the ability to block virtual sex games and other potentially addictive activities (violent video games, gambling sites)
- key-logging (the ability to monitor everything the user types onto a digital device)
- the ability to take and record screenshots (“photos” of what the user is looking at online)
- Accountability. The software should notify an “accountability partner” about the nature and extent of the user’s digital activity. The accountability feature should be flexible, meaning the partner can get reports at regular intervals or on demand, and alerts in real-time if the addict uses (or attempts to use) his or her digital device in a prohibited way.
- Proxy Blocking. Tech savvy addicts sometimes try to use proxies (intermediary servers or browsers) to circumvent filtering software. The best softwares prevent such abuses. Ideally, the program will notify the addict’s accountability partner if the addict attempts to uninstall or circumvent the program.
- Ease of Use. The software should be easy to install and to customize. Ideally, you should be able to globally configure the software, establishing settings on all of the addict’s devices simultaneously instead of dealing with each machine individually.
- Availability for Your Device. Not all softwares work on every digital device. In fact, many are quite limited. It is important to make sure a product works on your device before you purchase it. It is also important to see how many devices the license covers. Ideally, you want to cover all of your digital equipment with only one license.
It is important to remember that even the best parental control software is not perfect. As such, these software programs should not be viewed as enforcers of recovery; instead, they should instead be looked at as tools that can help an addict maintain sobriety (through the filtering features) and rebuild trust (through the accountability features).
Internet Probation & Parole Control (IPPC) technologies are developed for the specific and sole purpose of managing high-risk computer users. IPPC’s technology-service solution, featuring Impulse Control, is the benchmark solution for real-time, remote computer and Internet management.
Judy Hogaboom, Founder
Telephone (D) – 610-337-3964
Telephone (TF) – 888-932-4772
Email – [email protected]
Net Nanny offers top-notch filtering and accountability for your entire system of digital devices, both Windows and Mac. Happily, Net Nanny’s availability and functionality on mobile devices has caught up with its overall quality on computers and laptops. As such, all of the major features recovering sex and love addicts need are now available for all of their devices.
AVG Family Safety
AVG Family Safety offers useful filtering and accountability features for Windows based computers and Android mobile devices, along with iOS mobile devices. However, it is not available for MacOS computers. For PC users this may be a good option. For Apple users, it probably isn’t.
BSecure Family Safety
BSecure offers top-notch filtering and accountability for Windows based computers, Android devices, and iOS devices. It is not available for MacOS computers. One nice feature with BSecure is that a user can override the blocking of a website with a password, but the site visit will be logged and the accountability partner will know. This is good for adults doing research for work, etc., who may not have time to “get permission” to visit a perfectly acceptable (or necessary) website. Another nice feature is the safety lock option, which totally locks out the Internet if the user goes wild trying to access blocked sites.
For Windows and Android devices, CovenantEyes offers all of the basic functions that recovering sex and love addicts require. As of now, functionality on MacOS and iOS devices is limited to accountability, with no filtering. One nice feature is that if the software shows no Internet usage for several days—indicating the user might be circumventing the program by using another browser—the accountability partner gets an email. For PC and Android users this is a solid, though slightly expensive option. It is not a good option for Apple users.
McAfee Family Protection
For Windows and Android users, McAfee offers the full range filtering and accountability that recovering sex and love addicts seek. Unfortunately, McAfee no longer offers parental control software for MacOS and iOS devices, so Apple users are out of luck. If the software fits your devices, this is a good option. Otherwise, not so much.
Norton Online Family Premier
Norton Online Family Premier offers all of the filtering and accountability features that recovering sex and love addicts are looking for. Best of all, it functions on a wide range of digital devices, regardless of operating system. This product has improved in the last year, eliminating several minor flaws in the previous version, and it is now a recommended option. As of now it is slightly less expensive than Net Nanny.