Menu
Symantec tests a 'Net watchdog for kids

Symantec tests a 'Net watchdog for kids

Symantec is developing a new parental control system called Norton Family Safety.

Symantec has developed a new online service to protect children from Internet dangers.

Called Norton Family Safety, the service is now being tested with a select group of several thousand parents, and Symantec expects to make a beta version public in about two months, said Anton van Deth, a Symantec marketing director. "We'd been hearing quite a bit from our customers that there was a need to do something in the family safety area," he said. "We wanted to create something that was built by parents for parents."

Norton Family Safety, code-named Watchdog by Symantec's development team, can manage the amount of time little Web surfers are online, monitor chat messages, and steer them clear of inappropriate sites.

But van Deth says that Symantec is trying to do more than build a better NetNanny. "The traditional forms of parental controls drive children underground," he said.

Family Safety is designed to give kids, as well as parents, a picture of what is going on so they can collaborate with each other and jointly set their rules for online usage. It also allows users to adjust these rules as the children mature.

Parents can share their computer usage rules with other parents and read up on how to handle prickly online safety issues. "If a child, for example, does get themselves into trouble, we'll equip the parent on how to handle that conversation," van Deth said.

Family Safety will also help parents keep tabs on things like search, cyber bullying, online reputation and social-networking sites.

John Palfrey, co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, says that a new generation of tools is now emerging to help parents manage problems that were unheard of a generation ago -- cyber bullying, user-generated content, and what it means to personal privacy to have a generation of children growing up online.

"Parents are worried that they don't have the skills and proper tools to help their kids," said Palfrey, the author of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. "We've never seen a generation live from cradle to grave where they mediate their lives with technology."

Symantec's new service, which will support both Windows and Macintosh computers, is expected to go online next year. Symantec is still working out what it will charge for Family Safety.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments