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Using Google Alerts to Watch Your Kids


How can I keep tabs on where my kids go online?


This question was answered on February 10, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

When your kids leave the house, do you know where they go and who they’re with? Then why wouldn’t you take the same interest in where they go online? You probably do but don’t know how to effectively monitor there travels online Well, here’s a way to do it using a free web service called Google Alerts:

1. Start by opening a web browser and typing

2. Start by entering the name of your child in the box labeled Search terms Enclose the name in quotations so that Google knows only to look for that term in its entirety If you have more than one child, you can add multiple names in the box, just be sure to enclose the names in their own separate quotations.

3. For the Type, select News and Web from the drop-down menu.

4. How often is really up to you; I chose as-it-happens from the drop-down menu.

5. Finally, enter the e-mail address where you want the alerts to be sent, in the Your email box.

6. You may also want to create a second alert with all the same info except choosing Groups in the Type drop-down menu This will give you even better coverage.

That’s all there is to it You’ll get an e-mail to confirm the alerts; make sure you click the corresponding link to approve them From now on, every time your son or daughter’s name appears on the web, in the news, or in a blog, you’ll be notified and given a link to the respective webpage If you’re a shameless narcissist like me, you can create an alert with your own name instead of Little Johnny’s Cheers!

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Posted by Chad of Data Doctors on February 10, 2006