Pros / Surfie has tools that help keep your kids safe from cyberbullies.
Cons / The program doesn’t snap screenshots of the sites your kids visit.
Verdict / Surfie is a powerful tool that keeps your kids from accessing harmful websites, shields them from cyberbullies and controls how much time they spend online.
Surfie is one of the best monitoring software options because it has comprehensive tools that monitor your kids’ social media, chat and email accounts for cyberbullying, and it blocks these tormenters so they can’t contact your children. The program also makes it easy to block websites by content category or by selecting your child’s age. In addition, it provides detailed reports on all your kids’ internet activity and comes with time controls so you can decide when they are allowed online.
- Licenses Included
Filters & Monitoring
The software has 18 filter categories, including those that block pornographic, violent, and drug- and alcohol-related content. When you select a category, Surfie blocks any websites that fall under it so your children can’t access that type of content. It can also block social media, online gaming and shopping sites. If Surfie blocks a site that’s safe for your kids to visit, you can add its URL to the program’s whitelist – your children will be able to access that specific site, but all other webpage that fall under the filter category will remain blocked.
After you enter your child’s age, Surfie automatically sets filters to block websites that it deems inappropriate for their age group. This is helpful if you have an older child who needs to access sites for school research projects that might otherwise be blocked if you just enabled a filter category.
The software has a database of certain words it cross checks your child’s chats and emails, both sent and received, against. This list includes concerning words and phrases such as “don’t tell your parents,” “are you home alone,” swear words and personal information. If your child sends or receives messages with any of these phrases, Surfie notifies you immediately so you can shut down the communication and block the other person so they can’t chat with your child in the future.
Surfie includes time controls, so you can decide when your kids can be online. And the program is compatible with both iPhones and Android smartphones, so you can monitor and control your kids’ internet activity on their mobile devices as well as your home computer.
This monitoring software records everything your child searches for in search engines. It also lists the websites they visit, or attempt to visit, and how much time they spend there. In addition, Surfie records email messages and attachments as well as the contact information of whoever your child sends them to or receives them from.
Reporting & Notifications
Surfie provides detailed reports that include the full text of chat and email messages your child sends and receives. You can also see any attachments sent with the messages, so you can keep tabs on what your child and their friends share.
This software doesn’t take snapshots of your child’s screens when they browse online, which would let you see what they see – including any vulgar ads on otherwise safe websites. It also doesn’t send you a text notification when your kid accesses something they shouldn’t. Instead, it sends you an email notification, which isn’t a problem if you can access your email on your cell phone. If you need text alerts, consider buying Qustodio instead – it’s a comparative product with good internet protection and monitoring, plus text alerts.
Installation & Support
It’s easy to install Surfie on computers and cell phones. We also found it was easy to set filters and alerts, and you can control all user profiles from a single parent account. The program comes with three licenses, so you can monitor on more than one device.
If you have any questions, you can check out the online knowledgebase. However, Surfie doesn’t provide any live support.
Surfie is the best monitoring software we reviewed for protecting your family from cyberbullies. You can monitor the conversations your kids have and receive email notices if anyone uses keywords or phrases you’ve tags as dangerous, including profanity, words about sex or personal information. Surfies’ biggest drawback is it doesn’t have text alerts and doesn’t capture screenshots of the pages your kids visit.