In this technology driven world, Internet accountability is almost a necessity. Accountable2You offered us the choice of one of of four plans: Family Plan, Group Plan, Individual Plan and Small Business Plan. We chose the Family Plan.
So what exactly IS Accountable2You?
It sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Trying to control our online usage. Trying to be accountable for it. Making our kids accountable for what they do online. Where do we start? That’s why I was interested in finding out what Accountable2You had to offer.
Accountable2You was started as a way for a family, Ben Lawrence and his wife, to be accountable to each other regarding their internet usage. It has since become a business with plans to fit any life. The individual plan is for an individual who wants accountability on their devices ( you can put on up to 6 devices). The Family plan is for the whole family to use and allows for installation on up to 20 devices. This is the plan we chose. There are also Group Plans and Small Business Plans. You might use the Group Plan for a youth group or homeschool co-op. The Small Business plan is just that – for small businesses.
The idea is that you have an accountability partner who you understand is monitoring your usage. You will monitor yourself more when you know someone else can see what you are doing. It doesn’t LIMIT what you do online but lets your accountability partner know what you are doing. In our case, our kids know that their parents can see what they are doing and my husband and I are accountable to each other.
We installed Accountable2You on the kids Kindles and our home computer and the kids school laptop. You can install it on your smartphones as well. Our kids don’t have smartphones so we used on the primary devices.
The benefits of Accountable2You are amazing. It can do so much. The app is installed on each device after you set up your online account. Some of the features of Accountable2You include:
- Device Management – each device can have it’s own accountability partner and you can have an unlimited number of accountability partners
- Real Time Alerts – ability to adjust rating system per device, immediate text for questionable activities, reports on questionable activity
- Report – all activity reports, 15 days of storage on activity, download history to Excel
- GPS Tracking – view where device has been, devise location history plotted on map
- Security – secure reports, all communication is encrypted
- Time Limit Report – you can set time limits and receive alerts or report on when the device has been accessed and used
- Rating System – questionable materials are rated and software allows user to add own questionable words
What We Liked
I liked that you could set time use alerts. I have had the kids, in the past, use their devices, especially when they have friends over, outside their allowed time limits. I like that you can set the time limits and receive a text alert when they are being used during this time. EVEN WHEN THEY ARE AT SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE. And my daughter knows this and knows the consequences so… i think this is certainly a good accountability idea for Accountable2You. I like that she knows I will get an alert. Before I could check her history when she got home, but now i get an alert text. This is definitely a feature I like.
The GPS feature is nice too. We don’t have have iPhones, in fact, my daughter does not have a phone, but she does have a Kindle that she takes to a friends house to play Minecraft. When she does this I can see where she is via the GPS tracker. And we plan to get her a phone this holiday season so I think I will like this feature even more.
Having an accountability partner that will get a report or at least be able to access a report about usage can be a strong proponent for integrity. We want to do the right thing but temptation can get the best of us. I can see where a product like Accountable2You would be a great for some dealing with questionable internet usage, whether a teen or an adult.
The reports feature is very nice and easy to understand. I like that it gives a report on why the activity was considered questionable. You can see by this graphic the materials were likely thing I had done; however, when reading you can see if there is questionable activity and whether you need to be concerned. I like that it delineated which device and gives the date and time. Since the restriction level can be set to Strict, Normal or Less Strict (and we have the kids as strict) more issues are identified; however, i’m happy to see more things that are NOT of concern than to not catch something.
I liked that the passwords for access could be the same. I realize that is a simple thing, and probably not as secure, but my kids passwords are nice when they are the same, it helps me. And I like that I could do that and the program didn’t give me a hard time about that. It is the simple things sometimes that really get you, right?
We live in a crazy time. Internet usage is almost mandatory to function. Having something to help monitor usage and keep them safe is a great help. I like the idea of an accountability partner and Accountable2You provides this service. It is very economical and easy to use and something that almost anyone, especially a family, can benefit from.
Check out what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about Accountable2You and see how they are using it in their homes and with their users. And check out Accountable2You online as well.
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