Accountable2You has given us a one year subscription to the Accountable2You, which is a reporting program that let’s you install their apps on your phone or computer and choose an accountability partner. This program is supposed to send your partner alerts when you use your device for looking at inappropriate sites. We chose the GROUP plan to use with our large family and some teens who join us for Bible study here in our home.
They have several plans:
Individual – up to 6 devices
Family– up to 20 devices
Group – up to 6 devices per user and each user chooses their accountability person.
Small Business Plan – Administrator has access to all reports
The set-up was not terribly easy for me, but the others did not have trouble with it. I ended up contacting customer service, which I could only reach via email. After a few hours I received the response that I had accidentally set up two accounts, one for my administrator account and one for my personal account. After that was sorted out, I quickly got it loaded on my phone and set up one of my daughters as my accountability partner.
Each day I received a report stating there were no questionable internet searches, which was consistent with what I knew about this daughter. So I assumed the program was working as I thought.
Then, on the final day of our review, I decided to put the program to the test. So, with all the family gathered, I made some internet searches that I knew were highly inappropriate. I used both their browser and the other browsers that were installed on my phone. The searches brought up full-on pornography, which I closed after confirming that it was indeed inappropriate material.
I was horrified when my daughter sent me a screen shot of my accountability report.
For me, this was a total fail. No other part of the program matters to me if the very basic point of it does not work.
I did ask the teens for feedback before I made this discovery, and these are their reactions:
“The bad thing is if I wanted to surf the internet, I would just use safari on my cell phone or iPod which is not reported by A2U. To me, that seems like it would just teach me to be sneakier if I did have a problem already with using porn.”
“I like it, but it doesn’t let you click on links in messages or anything. You have to copy and paste them. Also I don’t like the way the buttons are laid out. The back button is kind of hard to push quickly.”
“I felt the browser was much slower than any other browser on my ipod.” and my other daughter reported that it often “timed out” when doing a search. – I actually asked their customer service about this issue and they responded:
Regarding the iPods, the “timing out” is most likely related to internet connectivity in general, which Accountable2You does not interfere with. So I believe the internet connectivity is the issue there. Sarah Russell’s A2U install works because I see records in there from where it was used it on 10/5. Anne Russell’s device also has activity from as recently as today (10/7), so it appears to also be working properly.
I think their product is supposed to be much better for android devices, but we all reviewed it on iPods and iPhones. If you merely wanted an accountability for time used on your devices, this may be useful. For me, that is not the major concern. I am sad to say I cannot recommend this product as it currently works on Apple products.
Hashtags: #hsreviews #internetaccountability #internetsafety