Being a parent is not an easy task. It is a full time job without any holiday. Parents not only have to take care of child’s Physical growth but also mental growth. In the today’s age of information where every child want to spent all of his/her time on computers, job of parents becomes more tough and tougher. No doubt Computers and internet are good source of information and there is no bad thing in using them in everyday’s life, but as per an old proverb “excess of everything is bad” using them in excess is not good for health. The problem is children’s don’t know this fact and there is no way we can explain them this. At the end of the day there is only one way left for parents, taking forceful action which is not good for child neither for parent too. But now parents has one more option, according to an old saying “the solution is in the problem” so today I want to talk about a good solution to this problem, a solution which developed from and for this particular problem. Today I want to talk about a software which is specially developed for parents, a software which give parents control over child’s computer usage. I am talking about Salfeld’s Child Control.
Child Control is a software solution packed with advance and powerful options, and it is very user friendly too. User can set timings when child can access computer and/or internet in a day. It has many more functionality which I’ll discuss below. User can use its full functional trial for 31 days before making any decision.
Installation process is simple and takes not more than 1 minute. Before program starts for first time user has to set a password, it is very important to set a password which child cannot guess and don’t forget to save that password in a safe place because without it user cannot uninstall it. User don’t have to worry even if user forget or lost password as user can set email for password recovery, this feature makes this program safer to use.
After setting a password and a recovery email, a wizard appears where user can set basic functions (like user account using program for, Time limits, blocked times, internet filter, and user settings) of program (user can skip it but it is highly recommended) before programs first start.
Now let’s discuss about its GUI (Graphical User Interface): The GUI of Child Control is simple and user friendly, i liked its GUI because it easy to understand and to manage. On the top of the GUI there is a toolbar which have four drop down menus with different set of options. I’ll discuss them below one by one.
File: This is the first drop down menu on the toolbar. It has eight options, I’ll explain them below.
- Open: User can open salfeld files (saved files and settings) by selecting this option.
- Save: User can save present settings by selecting this option.
- Save as: User can save settings on a different location by selecting this option.
- Import: User can import Black list (Prohibited url/terms) and white list (Authorized Url’s) by selecting this option.
- Export: User can export present Black list and white list by selecting this option.
- Uninstall: User can uninstall this program by selecting this option.
- Stop Monitoring: User can stop this program from monitoring anything by selecting this option.
- Cancel: User can minimise the GUI of Child Control to tray area by selecting this option. Program shows Information (like possible security hole etc) with the close option in a popup.
Edit: This is the second drop down menu in the toolbar and it has nine options.
- Copy: User can copy settings of any option by selecting this option.
- Paste: User can paste settings of any option by selecting this option.
- Change Password: User can change password of program by selecting this option.
- Enter Serial Number: User can enter serial number here for registering this program.
- Wizard: User can access the basic security setting wizard by selecting this option.
- Tip of the day: This option pops up a window with different tips related to this program. These tips are very helpful in understanding some advance functioning of program.
- Show All Network PCs: User can tick this option if wants to show all the networked pc to the current system.
- Unlock Requests: Here user can allow or disallow the unlock requests created by controlled user (eg: child).
- Extend Time: Here user can extend computer usage time of controlled user account.
Windows: This is the third drop down menu in the toolbar and it has nine options which I’ll discuss below.
- Start: This is the first option in this drop down menu. On selecting this option default settings pan displays where user can set various options like start/stop child control for selected user account, time limits, blocked times, internet filters, extension time, elapsed info, remote disable, TAN’s, log files, Updates/online functions, url unlock requests.
- Time Limits: It has three sub options. First is Time Limits, here user can set PC time limit and Internet Time limit. Second option is Blocked Times, here user can set time limits for computer and internet in a graphical view. Third option is Special Limits, here user can set force break time, ontime countdown, and ontime lock/unlock settings.
- Internet Filters: Here user can adjust settings related to Internet. First user can select Internet filter settings from four pre defined settings. User has also options of selecting unwanted categories and user can also set filter for search engine. User can also adjust unwanted urls and terms, user also has the options to set allow trusted urls and user can hide warning messages or can redirect to any good url in case of blocked site. User has options to block downloads.
- Programs: Here user can get the description and details of programs installed on the system. User can add/delete programs in five pre defined categories (always authorized, internet programs, never authorized, system programs and time limited).
- Security: Here user can adjust security related settings. It has to sub options with different set of settings. First is Windows Security, here user can disable/enable command prompt, date/time settings, registry editor, deletion of child control files, deletion of child control auto start, change of windows appearance, Run, save mode(boot – F8), system restore, fast user switching, task manager, search from start, system tray icon ( stealth mode). Including these settings user can set the security level and can also hide/unhide hard disk drives (partitions). Second is Folder Security, here user can block/unblock access to specific folders.
- Users: Here user can add/delete windows user accounts. User can check details of users such as name, kind, logins, and last access.
- Options: Here user can adjust settings for different modules of program like General, Internet, TAN’s, Texts, Database/network, Groups, and Exclusions.
- Remote: If user wants to control child control from internet, user can do so by adjusting options.
- Log Files: Here user can check details logs of system maintained by child control. This option ahs three sub options. First is User Overview, here user can see the history of usage, top user (time), top programs and top urls. Second is Details, here user can get the details of windows user accounts. Third is Email report, here user can adjust settings (settings like PC start/stop, daily stats, unlock requests, system messages etc.) for email notifications.
Help: This is the fourth and last drop down menu in the toolbar. I’ll discuss its options below.
- Help (F1): User can access help file of Child Control by selecting this option.
- Manual: User can access manual of Child Control (requires internet connection) by selecting option.
- Videos: User can access video tutorials of Child Control (requires internet connection) by selecting this option.
- Service Code: User can enter service code if instructed by program by selecting this option.
- Online Updates: User can update Child Control (requires internet connection) by selecting this option.
- Order: User can order a licence key of Child control (Requires internet connection) and register it for lifelong use.
- Enter Serial Number: User can register program by entering a name and serial number here.
- About: User can check information (like program version etc) of program by selecting this option.
Including all this, GUI of Child Control also has some more components. Below the toolbar on the very right of the GUI user has option to switch between different users accounts of windows. Below it user can find shortcuts to Window dropdown menu of toolbar for easy access. On the right of these shortcuts there is a settings pan where user can adjust all the settings related to different options. Below that pan there are five buttons (shortcut) for accessing Wizard, Videos, Order, Close and save options. Close option Minimise the GUI to system tray and Save option save all the changes in settings.
Conclusion: This program is fully customizable and very easy to use, this is what I like in this program. It has so many features and functions, discussing them one by one are out of the scope of this review. Another thing that I find unusual in this program is it has 31days trial which is very rare. I liked this program and I want to suggest it to all the parents (I am really sorry boys and girls). Please try it for once (because firsthand experience is better than any review or recommendation), I am sure you’ll find it useful. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.
Reviewed by Sahil