Program monitors kids' online activity

by: Carl Willis Updated:

The program monitors browsing history, captures images from the screen and from chat sessions, and scans for images and keywords.
PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. —

If your family added a new computer over the holidays, the Paulding County Sheriff's Office has a tool that could keep it safe for your children.

The software is called ComputerCOP and the sheriff's office is providing it to parents for free.

The program monitors browsing history, captures images from the screen and from chat sessions, and scans for images and keywords.

"This software will help parents open up a dialogue with their children so they can speak about the dangers of the Internet, and exactly what they need to look out for," said Detective Donny Pace.

Grandfather Gino Gallardo knows about the threats that children can face nearly every time they log on.

"You just can't leave the kids (and say) 'OK here's a computer,'" said Gallardo. "Parents have the responsibility, bottom line."

Still, he knows parents can't be there every moment.

That's where ComputerCOP helps by tracking keywords dealing with pornography, crime and drug use.

"Something like that would be very helpful," said Gallardo. "You sit down as a family and said let's go through it."

Parents can also add their own keywords.

"The software doesn't actually block any Internet activity, but it does monitor the use of what they're doing," Pace said.

Paulding County obtained the software through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI funds the program with a federal grant.

Detectives urged parents to take advantage of the tool.

For more information contact the PCSO Crimes Against Children Unit at 770-445-6105

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