Surfie is parental software made by PureSight, and it has all the important internet control tools, including those for blocking websites, setting time limits and capturing messages. The program also has very powerful anti-cyberbullying and stalking features that help it stand out from the crowd. For these reasons, it is one of the best parental software options.
Surfie can block websites in several ways. It has 18 filter categories, and when you select one, the software blocks any website that falls under that classification. Categories include options like pornography, gambling, alcohol, online games and hate. There is also a social networking category that blocks all social media sites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. If you don’t enable this category blocker, Surfie has monitoring tools specifically made for tracking Facebook activity and interactions.
You can also block websites by selecting the age range your child falls in. When you do, Surfie automatically applies certain filter categories and blocks age-inappropriate websites. You can add more filter categories than the program automatically applies, and you can disable the blockers on others if you’re ok with your child having access to that type of content.
The final way to block a website using Surfie is by adding its URL to the blacklist. Regardless of how you set up Surfie, you receive an alert when your child attempts to access a blocked website.
Another one of the program’s important features is keyword monitoring. With this tool, you can specify terms you don’t want your child to search for or use or receive in chat messages. If one of these terms is used, Surfie notifies you immediately so you can shut down the communication, block the chat application completely and add the contact to a blacklist so they can no longer communicate with your child directly online. This is one of the best anti-cyberbullying tools we saw in our parental control software review, and several of the terms you can block include requests to share personal information and phrases such as “don’t tell your parents.”
This internet monitoring software has time controls, so you can set when your child can be online. This ensures they aren’t distracted during homework and chore times, and it keeps them from sneaking in some computer time in the middle of the night.
From Surfie’s parent portal, you can view detailed activity reports so you know exactly what your child is up to. The graphs are easy to understand, and they show you how many websites you child visited as well as which are okay and if any dangerous sites were blocked. You can view more detailed reports that show the exact websites blocked, what time of day websites were visited and how long your child stayed on each site. Unfortunately, Surfie doesn’t have a text alert feature to immediately notify you when your child accesses, or attempts to access inappropriate content online. Norton Family is one of the few programs that offers this feature without charging extra.
Surfie doesn’t take screenshots, so you can’t see exactly what your child sees while online, including any inappropriate ads on otherwise safe sites. However, it captures conversations in chats and instant messages, including those embedded in social media sites and online games.
Surfie is easy to download from the PureSight website, and it is easy to install on the computers and cell phones you want to monitor. The most basic package comes with three user licenses, though you can purchase additional licenses if you need to monitor more devices. You can download this program to a PC, Android phone or iPhone. However, Surfie isn’t compatible with Mac computers or laptops.
If you need any help, you can search the FAQs and knowledgebase on the PureSight website. However, Surfie doesn’t have live chat or phone support available for personal, one-on-one customer service. However, we found the program too be pretty straightforward to set up and use, and any questions we had were answered in the FAQs, so you may not need live support with this product.
Surfie by PureSight is a great tool for keeping your child safe from online predators, inappropriate messages and dangerous websites. It captures chat messages and alerts you if someone uses inappropriate language with your child or asks them to do something dangerous such as provide personal information. You have the power to block any website, and you can block contacts so they can’t chat or message your child. Surfie’s biggest downside is that it doesn’t take screenshots, though its activity reports are detailed.