FAQs

Overview

» What is it ?

McGruff SafeGuard is a service that intelligently monitors kids' internet activity, including: website visits, chat and instant messaging, search engine phrases, social network profiles on MySpace, Facebook and many others. The Service alerts parents to problems such as cyberbullying, Internet predators, dangerous behavior, underage/illicit sexual activity, suicide, drug use, credit card abuse and crime.

» Why do I need it?

As a parent, we need the latest technology to help us guide and protect our kids as they experience the internet.

Kids are spending more and more time online. Often posting or sending personal contact information or posting comments and photos that can damage their reputation or even put them a risk. They are friending and communicating with friends, acquaintances and strangers on Facebook, MySpace and in chat rooms. These acquaintances and strangers may not have their best interest in mind. In the instance of cyberbullying some friends even have questionable intentions.

We are seeing more kids being cyberbullied – new laws are being passed every day. Your child may be receiving or sending hurtful or illegal content/ messages. This activity can be devastating to your child if they are on the receiving end of this form of harassment. Learning through this service that your child is being cyber bullied can be critical. Statistics show that most kids who are cyberbullied do not tell a parent or teacher. Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for the victim: depression, isolation, anxiety, illness, school absence, low self-esteem and thoughts of suicide.

If your child is sending the hurtful messages, you need to know about that in many states it is not considered ‘kids will be kids’. . Cyberbullying is addressed within the schools and in many states it is a crime. While you may not see the immediate harm if your child is sending these messages, if you do not stop it, it could lead to a suspension, loss of scholarship, loss of college acceptance or a conviction. The playing field is changing for all parents. SafeGuard will give you the insight you need to protect your children from others and themselves.

» I already block porn sites. What more does SafeGuard do?

It is easy enough for an adult to accidently land on a pornography site or other sites that have inappropriate material. Your kids are being targeted by many of these sites every day. SafeGuard ensures that your children visit only age-appropriate websites. . Parents will also know if and when their children are trying to get around the systems you have put in place. . .

» How does SafeGuard work?

1. You sign up for an account at GoMcGruff.com
2. Download and install the SafeGuard or SafeGuard Plus software on each PC you want to safeguard
3. Once the software is installed on the child's PC, their activity is automatically tracked and available for your review by simply logging on from any pc with your user name and password (similar to logging onto an email account).

» Which chat and instant message programs does SafeGuard monitor?

SafeGuard monitors BOTH SIDES OF ANY CONVERSATION on Facebook, MySpace, AOL's AIM instant messenger, Microsoft's MSN instant messenger, Yahoo's instant messenger, ICQ instant messenger, Trillian's instant messenger, and other 3rd party chat and instant message services that use these protocols.

» What if my child asks questions about the Safeguard icon on his or her PC?

Communication is important. We recommend that you talk with your child about online safety and tell them you will be monitoring their Internet activity in order to help keep them safe and guide them. An open dialog will help you maintain a good relationship and give you the opportunity to establish Internet guidelines with your child.

» What if I don't want my child to know that SafeGuard is installed on his or her PC?

When you install SafeGuard, an icon will appear on the desktop you are monitoring. You can delete this icon and SafeGuard continue to work. It does not appear in the Windows system tray, Windows Programs or show in the Windows Task Manager list. Your child should not know that this software is installed.

» Can I view my kids' activity prior to the installation of SafeGuard?

No - you can only view activity that occurred on the PC you want to monitor AFTER you install SafeGuard.

We recommend that you don't hesitate installing – trust your instincts!

Don't hesitate to install the software. If all you find is that your child's activity is normal and not dangerous today, great!

However, you may also find that their activity is putting them in a dangerous situation or find that they are a victim of cyberbullying. The sooner you know this, the sooner you can help your child.

» How does SafeGuard stop Internet sexual predators?

If a parent suspects an Internet predator is communicating with their child, SafeGuard lets you report the suspected predator to law enforcement via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). At the same time, SafeGuard blocks that predator from communicating with your child as well as ALL children who are protected by SafeGuard.

» I work full-time and travel? How can I access what my child is doing?

SafeGuard is the perfect solution for a parent that work full-time and/or travel often.

When you install SafeGuard, specify that you want to be notified only when your child may be in a dangerous situation (indicated by what they are chatting about).

When SafeGuard detects a dangerous situation, we send you an email or alert you via cell phone text message.

SafeGuard allows you to access your account from anywhere. You can log on from your laptop or smartphone.

» How do I set it and 'forget it'?

Simply configure SafeGuard Alerts to send an email or alert you via cell phone text message.

» Does SafeGuard invade my kid's privacy?

SafeGuard is the only parental monitoring software that advocates and allows YOU to choose at what level you want to monitor.

You can see everything your kids are doing online, or just be alerted when dangerous activity is detected.

It's your family. Set your own preferences. You may have different concerns based on the individual child’s situation or based on the child’s age.

Just remember - it is not always what your child is doing that is the threat. It is often what others are doing with your child.

Trust your child - not the cyber bullies or predators.

We recommend that you tell your kids upfront that you will be monitoring their internet activity in order to help keep them safe. Communication, education and awareness are important to ensure that they are safe online.

»How do I see the instant message or chat conversations?

Once you've installed SafeGuard, you can sign in to the website with your username and password. Your child's chat activity will be available for you to securely review. SafeGuard Plus customers can see activity as far back as 3 months ago.

 I view my kids' activity prior to the installation of McGruff SafeGuard?

No - you can only view activity sent or received on your PC AFTER you install McGruff SafeGuard.

How does McGruff SafeGuard stop Internet sexual predators?

If a parent suspects an Internet predator is communicating with their child, McGruff SafeGuard reports the suspected predator to law enforcement via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). At the same time, McGruff blocks that predator from communicating with the targeted child as well as ALL children protected by the McGruff service.

How do I set it and "forget it"?

When you install McGruff SafeGuard, specify that you want to be notified only when your child may be in a dangerous situation (indicated by what they are chatting about). When McGruff SafeGuard detects a dangerous situation, we send you an email (or alert you via cell phone text message).

Does McGruff SafeGuard invade my kid's privacy?

McGruff SafeGuard is the only parental monitoring software that allows YOU to choose your level of monitoring. See everything your kids are doing online, or just be alerted when dangerous activity is detected. It's your family. Set your own preferences.

We recommend that you tell your kids upfront that you will be monitoring their internet activity in order to help keep them safe. We recommend doing this because it is important to talk to your children about internet safety and how you will be ensuring that they are safe online.

How do I see the instant message or chat conversations?

Once you've installed McGruff SafeGuard, just visit the website and sign-in with your specific username and password. Your child's activity will be available for review there.

McGruff SafeGuard Plus customers can see activity as far back as 3 months ago.

Can I be notified if the conversation contains inappropriate language?

You can activate pre-set lists of watchwords or enter your own custom list. When one of these watchwords is detected in a conversation, McGruff SafeGuard sends you an email (or a cell phone text message). To see the full conversation, just sign-in to the McGruff SafeGuard website.

Are my conversations stored privately & safely?

McGruff SafeGuard is regulated by the rules and policies of The National Crime Prevention Council. Your kid's activity is stored in a database server connected to the McGruff SafeGuard web server - only key members of our staff have access to the database server. The servers are hosted at a secure Class A, SAS-70 Compliant data center facility in Santa Clara, California. The Internet backbone connectivity consists of multiple, redundantly Gigabit uplinks to major backbones - Level3 and MCI, both of which are peering with hundreds of other networks worldwide.



Installation & Setup

What do I need to run McGruff SafeGuard?

The McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software must be installed on a Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. It does not work on Windows 98 or Windows ME or Macintosh.

How quickly will I see conversations?

It usually takes about 7 minutes for the messages recorded by McGruff SafeGuard to be displayed at the website.

Do I need to install McGruff SafeGuard for each user who logs in a PC?

No. Install McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software just once on each PC, and it will record messages for every user who logs in to that PC.

How do I specify which instant message or chat "names" to monitor?

You don't have to. McGruff SafeGuard will monitor all conversations.

Can I install McGruff SafeGuard on my child's laptop and record conversations anywhere he goes?

Yes. Wherever and whenever your child uses his laptop, McGruff SafeGuard will record conversations and store them at the McGruff SafeGuard website.

Do I need to install McGruff SafeGuard on my PC to see the conversations from other PCs?

No. You simply visit the McGruff SafeGuard website to see the conversations from the PCs where you installed McGruff SafeGuard.

I used the wrong email address when I installed the software. How do I fix it?

Sign-in to the McGruff SafeGuard website and select SETTINGS / ACCOUNT, and specify your new email address.

I want to monitor my child's PC, but her laptop is wireless and not plugged into our network.

McGruff SafeGuard is ideal for this situation. Her PC does not need to be connected to your network - she can take it anywhere she wants. And all her conversations will be waiting for you to view at the McGruff SafeGuard website.

I want to install McGruff SafeGuard on a PC outside my home that I can't get to.

Unfortunately, you need to have access to the PC (and login with administrative privileges). You cannot install McGruff SafeGuard remotely on a PC (unless you have administrative remote access to that PC).

Do I need to install a different version of McGruff SafeGuard if I upgrade?

No. You do not need to reinstall the McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software if you upgrade. Your upgraded account information is kept on at the McGruff SafeGuard website. However, after you have received email confirmation of your upgrade, you should reboot your child's PC to ensure it gets the upgrade settings automatically from the McGruff SafeGuard website.

If I change PCs do I need to repurchase anything?

No. Just use your username and password when you re-install the McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software on your child's PC. Your upgraded account information is kept at the McGruff SafeGuard website.



Alerts

What alerts does McGruff SafeGuard send?

McGruff SafeGuard will send you alerts (cell or email) whenever a watchword that you select is detected. McGruff SafeGuard will also send you a daily usage report indicating the time spent instant messaging, number of conversations, and who participated in the conversations.

Can I receive my child's activity via email?

McGruff SafeGuard will send you an email each morning with your child's activity from the prior day or week. McGruff SafeGuard Plus lets you set if and how often you want to receive usage summaries and other warnings.



MySpace & Facebook Questions

What does McGruff SafeGuard monitor on MySpace and Facebook?

Chat, messages, wall posts, profiles, passwords and many other things.

What other sites are monitored?

McGruff SafeGuard watches what your child does on dozens of websites.  Unlike other products that only record keystrokes, McGruff SafeGuard intelligently analyzes your child's activtiy on these websites and presents it to you in an easy-to-understand fashion.

Here's just a sample of some of the website McGruff SafeGuard intelligenly analyzes: AOL, ASK, Bebo, Blogger, CartoonDollEmporium, Chatango, DateHookup, DaySpring, DressUpMix, eBuddy, Facebook, FaithFreaks, Friendster, Fubar, GaiaOnline, GirlSense, Google, Habbo, Hi5, iLike, Live, MeetCam, MocoSpace, MSN, MySpace, MyYearbook, Neopets, NewFoundGaming, Nexopia, Orkut, Roliana, SerebiiForums, Sonico, StarDoll, Tangle, Weeworld, Yahoo, YouTube, Yuku

What makes McGruff SafeGuard so unique?

McGruff SafeGuard is an authorized, licensed product of The National Crime Prevention Council and McGruff The Crime Dog, and the first and only service to electronically connect parents with law enforcement in their common battle against Internet sexual predators.

Does it actually work?

Tests in tens of thousands of homes have resulted in the detection and prevention of hundreds of cases of cyberbullying, internet predators, teen drug abuse, crime and suicide.

 






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