Saturday, January 2, 2010

KidZui: A New Computer Parental Control Program

kidzuiSo today kids see their older siblings and parents on the computer, surfing the Internet, keeping up with their friends, and playing games…little kids want to play around on the computer too.

Now most parents don’t want to just let their kids loose on the computer. Your computer holds financial information, programs, pictures, documents, and lots of other things that you don’t want your kids messing with. The new KidZui 5.0 offers children use of your computer without exposing them to the inappropriate side of the Internet and without allowing them access to your local files and programs. This could be a great solution for your younger children.

KidZui was started in the spring in 2008 and now has more than one million registered kids and parents. The latest 5.0 version offers even more ways for kids to safely interact with their friends and parents. There is a free version that is available that gives kids access to most of the content on KidZui, but they are limited in their ability to personalize their experience. If you pay for the program, parents are given the ability to monitor their children’s activity and kids are given the ability to customize everything dealing with the program.

In KidZui, kids are given to ability to create their avatar that is referred to as a Zui. They are able to choose the coloring and shape of the head, eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and skin. From there they can add shirts, pants, shoes, hats, glasses, and even hobbies. There are even seasonal items such as a Santa suit, Christmas tree costume, and reindeer antlers. There are certain items that feature a lock symbol on them. To unlock these items your child must accumulate points and reach higher levels. To gain points, all kids have to do is enjoy the KidZui environment. Those that are using the free version can still accumulate points but cannot level up.

KidZui will launch when you startup your computer and kids can select their Zui image on the login screen. Kids will be unable to log out of the KidZui environment without a parental password. This protects anything on your computer that you don’t want your children messing with. Another great feature about the program is that the KidZui client can be installed on as many computers as you want. KidZui user information is stored online, so as long as the software is downloaded on the computer your kids are using they can access their KidZui account from wherever.

With KidZui, parents don’t specify categories or sites to allow or block content. Instead, a team of specialist approved way over two million Web sites, photos, and videos that your kids can have access to. This gives them plenty of content to keep them occupied. All the content on the sight should be safe for any child. Your child will be able to click on a category and bring up dozens of sites relating to that category that they can navigate to. As parents, you will be able to approve any sites that are currently blocked on KidZui that you want your children to have access to. Search sites like Google and Yahoo are blocked, but unblocking these sights is pointless though because every search result page will say “now on our list to review.”

The Picture and Video tabs work just like the Web tab does. Kids are able to select a category or enter search terms to find what they are looking for. All the approved videos for KidZui are available at which is powered by YouTube. Most of the video files are short and the photos are small so that kids don’t have to wait for long periods of loading time.

There are a multitude of games that your child can play through KidZui. Kids can play such games and Web surf with their friends. They are able to interact and share their favorite games and sites with other kids without revealing any personal information. This is definitely something that parents are going to appreciate.

Kids are able to choose from dozens of words and phrases to reflect their “status” just like their older siblings or parents do on Facebook or Twitter. They are able to keep track of all their friends on the friends bar and can see whether or not they are online. Another list will display all of their friends status changes and tagged items. Kids may also “ping” their friends which is basically a kind of electronic wave. They also are given the option to e-mail their parents at any time to share a video or picture that they think they might enjoy.

Now one of the important aspects of KidZui is the parental control. Parents that pay for the subscription are able to access a full activity report on what their kids are doing. The reports will show exactly how many minutes their child spends on KidZui every single day up to six months in the past. There are also lists that show your child’s activities on KidZui, their most-visited sites, and the sites that they tried to visit that were blocked. Parents are able to see every Web site, video, or photo that their child has viewed. Your child’s friend lists are able to be examined on the parental control page also. If there is anyone that you do not want your child to be friends with, you can easily block them.

KidZui is a very fascinating parental control program. For only $7.95, your child can have a whole interactive experience without coming across anything you might not want them to see. All the different features included with the paid subscription protect your child while allowing them to have a fun time on the computer. Your kids see you playing around on your computer, so its awesome that there is finally a program that allows them to do exactly the same thing in a safe environment.

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