Pros / Norton Family has 47 filter categories.
Cons / The program doesn’t use screenshots to record online activity.
Verdict / Norton Family is easy-to-use parental software that monitors all devices, including smartphones, so you always know what your child is up to online.
Norton Family is great parental control software that has advanced features to protect your child from internet dangers, whether they are on the family computer, a laptop or their smartphone. It is the only internet monitoring program we reviewed that’s received a perfect score from AV-Test, an independent and well-respected security lab. Norton Family is one of the best parental programs on the market.
- Filter Categories
- Licenses Included
Filtering, Blocking & Monitoring
Norton Family has 47 filter categories, including the most common ones: alcohol, pornography, violence and weapons. In addition, it has several advanced and specific categories such as crime, news, religion, plagiarism and suicide. It’s also easy to block social media programs, such as Facebook and Twitter, by choosing the social networking category, and you can block online gaming by choosing the gaming category.
If you find a safe site that is blocked because of a filter category, Norton Family parental software lets you add the URL to the program’s whitelist – your child can then access that one site while the others in that category remain blocked. The opposite is also true. If you discover that your child can access a dangerous site that isn’t blocked by a filter category, you can add it to the blacklist to ensure it is inaccessible in the future.
Norton Family has preset filters based on age. When you choose your child’s age, it blocks websites that are typically not appropriate for children in their age group. You can add additional restrictions by choosing more filter categories or unmark a preset category if you think your child is mature enough for it.
This child monitoring software can block chat and messaging programs, both standalone applications such as Skype and those embedded in websites like Messenger on Facebook. You can restrict email by either blocking an entire program or by prohibiting file sharing and attachments so your child can’t send or receive harmful images or videos.
When you set up website blockers, Norton Family lets you choose one of three supervision levels: high, moderate and low. A high block restricts a website completely, while a low one doesn’t block it at all. The moderate level allows you child to access the site but warns them that it falls within restrictions you set.
You can also restrict how much time you kids spend on the internet using Norton Family. All of these blocks and restrictions are easy to set because the parent portal is well designed and easy to navigate.
Recording & Alerts
Norton Family alerts you of all of your child’s online activity. From the parent portal, you can see each family member’s activity on each device, including any cell phones you monitor. These reports let you know if there has been any worrisome activity, such as the use of any restricted search terms and attempts to access blocked websites, as well as any videos your child viewed. You can see these reports and adjust your child’s restrictions remotely from any web-enabled device, including your smartphone.
This parental control software lets you know if your child chats with someone online or uses an email program. However, Norton Family doesn’t record the actual messages for you to view later. It also doesn’t collect screenshots of your child’s activity, so there isn’t any way to see firsthand what you child views while online. WebWatcher is one of the programs that offers both of these features without charging extra.
Installation & Support
Norton Family’s most basic package comes with 10 licenses you can use on any computer, laptop or smartphone that has a Windows or Android operating system. It is easy to download and install the software, and the setup wizard helps you through each step as you enable filters and web blockers.
If you need any help, Norton provides all the support you need. Most of the answers to questions can be found online in the company’s searchable knowledgebase. However, Norton also has 24-hour telephone and live chat support, so you can get quick answers any time you need them.
Norton Family is a good parental control program made by a well-known internet security company. It includes preset age-specific website blockers as well as 47 filter categories. You can adjust site restriction levels and add websites that may otherwise be completely blocked to a whitelist. This program doesn’t capture screenshots of your child’s online activity, but its reports are detailed and tell you which websites your child visits and what they do on them.