updated 11:45 pm EST, Tue November 9, 2010
Adds video monitoring to free basic version
Symantec, who have been offering a free Norton Online Family Basic monitoring service, have developed a premier version of the software that analyzes online surfing and added a longer history (90 days versus the Basic edition's seven days), automatic emailing of activity reports and the monitoring and reporting of videos watched on YouTube and other top video sites, including a snippet of each video.
The service, which is available only in the United States in English only, costs $50 per year for up to 10 household computers or up to 15 accounts. During the introductory period, Premier is being offered at $30 for a one-year subscription. The Basic edition remains free.
Once parents sign up and create a family account on the web site, they download Norton Safety Minder, a small background application, onto each child's computer. Because the service is web-based, it can also be used to monitor most smartphones. Reports feature time spent surfing, organized browsing histories, social network account profiles, chat logs from IM programs, search engine queries and in the Premier version, videos viewed on the affected computer.
Parents can also block specific websites or types of websites not age-appropriate. Emailed reports can be sent weekly or monthly, and parents can log into the web site to view a up-to-date report at any time.
The software requires OS X 10.5 or higher on either a PPC or Intel Mac, and is also available for Windows XP SP2 or higher.