Computers and the internet has changed drastically over the past 20-35 years. We have gone from DOS based computers to being able to find just about anything by a simple search of the internet. I grew up seeing this transition. My dad’s hobbies were and still are computers. We have had a computer in our house since I was little. I knew how to type the word ‘run’ to run my DOS based games years before I could write the word on paper. Back when I was young, my parents didn’t have to worry about what I could see on the screen or what I could possibly download. Accountable2You is an accountability software to help keep everyone accountable when they are using the computer and their mobile devices.
Accountable2You began as a small accountability program that owner and co-founder Ben Lawrence wrote for himself and his wife. Following the Lord’s lead he & his wife opened up Accountable2You to the public in 2006. There are four plans available: Individual Plan, Family Plan, Churches & Groups Plan, as well as a Small Business Plan. My family received a 12 month subscription to the Family Plan to review.
Features of the Family Plan include:
- Monitoring up to 20 Devices
- Unlimited Accountability Partners
- Create Child User Accounts
- Set Time Limit Alerts Per Account
- Real time reporting
- Accountability partners per device
- Daily or Weekly email reports
- Hourly Alert reports
- Instant Text Alerts
- Manage Objectionable word list
Through the Accountable2You software you can monitor up to 20 devices across various platforms.
The available platforms are:
We installed Accountable2You on 2 computers with Windows and 1 iPhone. The installation on the Windows computers and the iPhone went effortlessly. The instructions were step by step for both platforms and each included pictures with the instructions.
With the iPhone, Accountable2You works a little differently. Instead of monitoring activity on everything, it is a browser and replaces using Safari (which you can disable access to) or another web browser and monitors only the internet activity. One thing I noticed was that the default setting for ‘On launch’ is ‘Continue where I left off’. I received a pop up that I could not get rid. I tried closing the app and restarting the phone but upon opening the app I was brought back to the same pop-up. The only way I could get rid of it was by uninstalling the app and reinstalling it.
Uninstallation is simple and the program uninstalls itself easy from both the iPhone and the one computer I tested it from. However, there is no password to protect it from being uninstalled by someone trying to avoid the accountability or being accidentally uninstalled. As an accountability partner I received an email stating the program & app were uninstalled on the respective platforms. I would like an option to receive a real time text as well. Upon uninstalling the program you lose all data that has been stored for that device. I wish there was a way to be able to keep the data, especially in the case of needing to uninstall and re-installing as mentioned above.
An accountability partner is an important piece of Accountable2You. This partner may be a parent, spouse, sibling, trusted friend or family, and even an adult child. The person(s) who have been selected to be an accountability partner will receive an email from Accountable2You notifying them that they have been selected as an accountability partner for which device and how often to be expecting the reports. They will receive a link where they can view the records anytime as well as an option to unsubscribe to the email notifications. They will receive real time reporting with emails and/or instant text alerts when an objectionable word, non objectionable word, or a time limit alert have been triggered. Hourly reports are sent as well as a choice to be sent a daily or weekly email reports as well. Accountability partners can monitor one individual device or multiple devices that have been registered. As well as multiple accountability partners can be assigned to one device.
Please keep in mind when setting up your alerts is your data and text plans and those of the accountability partner(s). The way Accountable2You is designed, whenever you type or read a objectionable word the accountability partner can receive a text or an email. Emails and texts quickly add up!
With the Family Plan you can also create a child user account. With the separate accounts you can assign a different set of parameters for the alerts such as different time limit alerts, and objectionable & non-objectionable words.
Another feature of the Family Plan is the ability to set time limit alerts per account. When someone is using the device during specific hours the accountability partner will receive an alert. Great for seeing if someone is accessing the internet when they are not supposed to be.
Setting up the objectionable and non-objectionable words were the most time consuming part as they have to be individually added per user account. An option to add the words by bulk and then be able to select the same words for other user accounts would be a wonderful feature.
One thing that Accountable2You is not. It is not a filtering program to restrict access to websites. Accountable2You does offer a couple of suggestions should be looking for such a program.
If you are looking from an accountability software this is it! As a mom, I love that it is web based. I can make any changes directly from the Accountable2you account and I don’t need to be sitting in front of the computer/device to make the changes.
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