PROS / It supports social media activity monitoring.
CONS / Surfie doesn’t offer any direct support for its program.
VERDICT / Surfie would have ranked much higher on our top 10 list if it offered any support channels beyond email and the online user guide.
Surfie, a program offered by Pure Site, is an internet filter software program with the tools necessary to detect cyberbullying. It includes a variety of useful filtering and blocking features, but it falls short in the area of help and support, providing an in-depth user guide and email support, but no channels to get in touch directly with tech support by live chat or phone.
Installation is simple thanks to a setup and configuration wizard that first helps you create an administrator ID and then takes you step-by-step through the process of creating accounts for the different users you want to monitor and protect. When setting up the initial user profiles, you can assign the name and password that your child uses to get online. Presets are available that let you customize a user’s online experience based on age and maturity level.
Diving deeper into individual user settings you find that you can elect to turn on or off features like Facebook monitoring, time control, website filters, chat filter and file sharing controls. You can also turn on email reports and alerts, which can be used to notify you immediately of objectionable activity. It is unable to take screenshots of activity and has no ability to monitor email, but Surfie can provide you with comprehensive reports of online activity. The admin dashboard can be accessed remotely from any web browser, and the software is compatible with Windows operating systems.
Surfie can also monitor a number of chat applications, including such frequently used programs as Skype, Yahoo Messenger and iCQ, among others. Once you select the chat applications you want to monitor, you can then type in specific keywords that, if used, will send you an alert. This is greatly beneficial for identifying cyberbullying and nipping it in the bud early on. You can also block or allow contacts from having access to messaging your child.
Surfie can be used to block certain websites, filter entire categories of sites, control internet time usage, identify cyberbullying or stalking, and send parents immediate alerts. Although it lacks support channels like telephone and live chat, it can be a very useful tool in keeping your kids safe online.