I’m always on the lookout for great tools to help you in your parenting journey. I have another one today that I have used in the past that does a great job of keeping your family safe online. It’s a software product called Covenant Eyes.
Covenant Eyes is a multi-purpose product, offering both Internet safety for your family, and accountability for you or your spouse. It works in two ways – first, it monitors websites that you visit and compiles and distributes a report of your activity to a list of people you choose. Second, it provides an Internet filter for your family. It it customizable based on age, and provides a layer of protection for all Internet users in your home.
Filtering And Accountability In One
The best feature, in my opinion, is the accountability that Covenant Eyes provides. The reporting feature provides a picture into your family’s online habits. For parents, it gives you insight into your kids’ surfing patterns and provides a starting point for conversations about sites they visit. For adults, knowing someone else sees what you visit online reduces the temptation to click on inappropriate content.
Check out a sample accountability report from their software. Reports can be customized to your needs. They are sent weekly by default, but can be sent at any frequency your accountability partner decides. Your partners can also decide what parts of the report they see, and what degree of sensitivity they are alerted to. For teens, the ‘Mature’ setting might be appropriate, where the ‘Highly Mature’ setting might be appropriate for adults.
The other way Covenant Eyes protects your family is through their filtering system. It’s pretty straight forward – it blocks inappropriate content from displaying on your device.
One of the great things about Covenant Eyes is that you can create individual profiles for each member of your family. This allows you to see exactly what each person is doing online. This also lets you set different Internet access levels based on age and maturity.
Covenant Eyes Goes With You
Another great feature of Covenant Eyes is that it travels with you. They make apps for both Apple and Android devices. On iPhones, iPads and iPods, the Safari browser can be replaced with their own Covenant Eyes browser. Filtering levels can be set based on individual profiles. For Android devices, the Covenant Eyes app monitors the device’s default browser, and reports apps that are used on the device.
A couple of things to note about the iPhone setup if you choose to install it on your kid’s device. First, make sure to enable restrictions on your iPhone. This allows you to disable Safari. The reason for this is that Covenant Eyes does not monitor Internet activity on Apple’s mobile operating system the same way it does on a laptop or desktop computer. It can only monitor activity on the Covenant Eyes browser. If Safari is left on the device, it can be used to access inappropriate content without restriction.
One other thing to note, and it’s more of a nuisance than anything, is that Apple doesn’t let you change the default browser on your iPhone. If you disable Safari, opening links in email is a bit of a pain. You have to copy the link and paste it into the Covenant Eyes browser. It’s a pain, for sure, but not a deal-breaker.
Overall – A Good Product For Families With Older Kids
All in all, Covenant Eyes is a good product for protecting your family online. It does require installation on every device you want to protect. If you have a lot of devices in your home, it can be time-consuming to set up. While I think Covenant Eyes is the best software product for protecting your family if you have older kids, the Circle With Disney is my favorite device for overall Internet safety. It’s a one-time cost, as opposed to the monthly fee associated with Covenant Eyes.
Covenant Eyes personal accountability software costs $10.99 per month per user. There is a flat-rate charge of $14.99 per month for the family plan, which includes both filtering and accountability. That seems to be the better deal, and includes my favorite feature – accountability.
Thoughts On Accountability
If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know I’m a huge supporter of preventative measures, early intervention and constant conversation. And if you’re struggling with pornography use, here’s the bottom line – you need accountability. I can speak for men on this fact – we have struggled with, are struggling with, or will struggle with pornography. It is pervasive, and becoming more widely acceptable in society. You won’t be able to manage it alone, nor should you.
If you need help, or want accountability, I highly recommend Covenant Eyes. There is no need to struggle with this in isolation. And let me say this specifically to you, men – your wife should not be your accountability partner. That’s a role best left to other men that care about you. I would encourage you to reach out to someone in your life that knows you and take the brave step towards freedom. If you allow it to become or continue to be an issue, it will have grave consequences for your relationships.
If I can be of any help, please ask.
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