Welcome to the world of technology, where we now have to worry about internet monitoring, instead of which house our kids are playing at today! It’s a crazy world, but I have been trying out the Family Plan from Accountable2You to see how it would help myself and my family stay on the right track while we are online.
What is Accountable2You?
Put simply, this program keeps you accountable to the sites and apps you visit on all your devices. When you get the program, you download the software on your laptop/desktop computer or you can get the app on your portable devices. Once you have it all set up, it will begin monitoring where you go online. It then sends you a report each day to your email.
The reason it has the word accountable in it is because you are meant to have that email sent to someone else.
Accountability, according Merriam-Webster, is “the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.”
When we accountable, we are willing to accept responsibility for what we do and say. When we are someone else’s accountability partner, we are helping them account for their actions! That is why Accountable2You would like for you to have the daily email sent to someone else, like a parent or a spouse.
My husband hates email, so I actually had my emails sent to me just so I could see how the things were being reported. My husband would not want them. He trusts me to not go where I shouldn’t be going online and I trust him also.
I like this program more for keeping my kids accountable until they get older and have more responsibility to keep themselves accountable!
There are multiple plans you can choose from depending on how you want to use it.
- Individual Plan: This plan makes sense if you have one person you want to monitor – a teen, a spouse, yourself. You can have up to six devices attached to this plan.
- Family Plan: This is the one we have. It is for up to twenty devices and multiple family members (including the teen away at college). You have the ability to set up child accounts with this plan, which will notify you if the child users are online at hours you have indicated they shouldn’t be (like late at night or during school!).
- Group Plan: This is geared towards something like a homeschool group or a youth group at church. Each user in the plan can have up to 6 devices. The administrator of this plan does not have access to the reports for all of the users (unless set up as an accountability partner for them). It is just a way to offer it to a large group for their individual use (if I understand it properly).
- Small Business Plan: If you own your own business, and your employees have online access, this is a great option. The administrator does have access to all of the reports with this plan.
The reporting for Accountable2You is quite detailed.
You get an email that looks like this:
That is a screenshot of my most recent email from them.
You can click on “View App Usage” and it will give you a breakdown of the different apps you used on the device it’s connected to. Since this report is associated with my laptop, it has things like Firefox, Microsoft Windows Operating System, etc. listed. If it were connected to a phone or tablet, it would list the apps on the device that were visited and how much time they were on each one. (This is good if you are trying to limit your time or your children’s time on social media!)
When you click on “View Full Report”, it lists exactly what website pages were visited. It also lists the time it was visited. So, again, if your child isn’t supposed to be on their device at a certain time, then you can look at this and see if those rules are being followed. Or maybe they were on instagram, when they were supposed to be doing math?
The program has the sites broken down in to 3 categories: OK (Green), Questionable (Yellow), and Highly Questionable (Red). My reports stayed green (thankfully), so I’m not sure what will change it to a different color.
I like that this program tells me the time that my daughter is on certain apps. This way I can ask her why she was on Pinterest when she should have been doing school. Pinterest is her weakness.
So, for us, it’s not necessarily great for keeping track of “questionable sites” (at least not yet). But it is great for keeping track of WHEN we are on certain websites or apps!
Information at a glance:
What is it? Internet monitoring by Accountable2You
For whom? Anyone that would like to be able to keep themselves accountable online and/or would like to do the same for other members of their family.
How much is it? Because they offer different packages, their pricing varies. It starts at $6.99/mo. for up to 6 devices, then $9.99 for the family plan (up to 20 devices). And, then they have group plans for churches and such, as well as small business plans.