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Nov 24, 2010

TrueCare Review & Giveaway CLOSED

Do you have children who use Facebook, Twitter or MySpace? Would you like to be able to monitor how they are using these social networking websites? TrueCare monitors your child’s pages 24/7. Once you link your child’s social networking pages to your TrueCare account, they will run an initial search of your child’s pages and begin monitoring. They will then notify you of any content matching the key words you have selected and tell you: which child (if more than one is registered), key words used, context of the selected word, and a link to the location of the word that was used on your child’s social networking site.

You need to begin by linking your child's Twitter, MySpace and Facebook accounts to your TrueCare account. You will find step by step instructions on how to link the accounts together as well as how to install the Responsible Social Networking application you will need for monitoring your child's Facebook page. You will also be able to manage the alerts you have received, flag them, delete them, and sort them by word or category so you can use them as a tool for covering your concerns with your child. You're can also add or delete the children or social networking profiles you want to monitor and even customize the words searched, if your child uses unique terms that aren’t already a part of their 500+ word database.

TrueCare's Friends Network provides pictures and public profiles of all your child’s friends from that site, and the “Investigate Friend” feature allows you to see if there is additional background information available – highly useful if your child is “friending” adults you don’t know. You can also sign up for TrueCare's monthly e-newsletter, where parents can stay up-to-date with the latest slang terms. For example, A/S/L is an abbreviation strangers use to request your child’s Age, Sex, and Location. It is just one of thousands of online abbreviations being used today. You can view or print out TrueCare’s online guide for your reference, but be prepared as the content can be shocking. (Abbreviations for sex, drugs, and profanity are out there and being used.)

My Take
Signing up for TrueCare was fast and easy, and the instructions for setting up the alerts were clear and simple. Obviously neither of my kids are on Facebook or Twitter, but I went through the motions using my own account just to see how it worked. Once that was set up I was able to search for specific keywords and set up alerts on those keywords. For example, if I wanted to be notified every time my child used the word "meet", I would set up an alert for that. Then I would hopefully be able to figure out if my child was meeting someone, who they're meeting, when and where they're meeting, etc. Since the search would tell me in what context the word is being used, I would also be able to see if my child was just talking about a "track meet" (something I don't really need to worry about).

This is a fantastic tool for those of you with teenagers (or even younger, if your child is using the internet). It allows your child to have some freedom while still keeping them safe by monitoring them inconspicuously. You can also use this as a way to start a conversation on how to keep safe while surfing online. TrueCare has a document called "Why TrueCare is Necessary" to help you begin that conversation.

Cost: One month of TrueCare service is $9.99. ($$$)

Overall: We give TrueCare a 9.5/10!

One very lucky reader will win a free 60 days worth of TrueCare monitoring! (You can also automatically get a free 30 day trial just by signing up.)

Mandatory entry: (if you do not do this, the rest of your entries do not count!)

First, visit the TrueCare website. Then, comment here and tell me something you learned.

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This giveaway will close on December 8, 2010 at midnight.

The winner will be picked via and will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen.

Make sure to leave me your email address with at least one of your entries so I can email you if you win. If your email address is on your blogger profile or on your blog that's fine too. If I cannot find your email address, I will mention that when I post the winner of the giveaway, and you'll have 48 hours to email me or another winner will be drawn.

We were given a free 60 day trial of TrueCare free of charge for the sole purpose of this review; no other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.


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