Hoopaa (http://www.hoopaa.com) comes from a Polynesian word that means safe or keep secure. The idea of hoopaa is to keep your kids safe while online because you are aware of where they have been and what they are doing. There is a range of programs available to purchase that allow you to keep track of what the kids are up to online.
Hoopaa is free. And it boasts and impressive range of features:
- Continuous monitoring of all web sites visited;
- Enables you to block web sites from any place at any time;
- hoopaa can automatically block web sites according to their category; Sexuality, Games, Hate, Personal, Gambling or Religion. It’s the parents not hoopaa that makes the decision which categories are to be blocked.
- All Internet access from a computer can be blocked during specified periods of the day.
- The ability to provide a screen capture (an image of the page) of each web page visited; very important if you wish to track blog’s that children may access on a frequent basis;
- Tracking and capturing of all MSN Messenger conversations from all computers in your house that hoopaa has been installed;
- Daily email sent to you containing all web sites visited by each user of each computer registered to your hoopaa account and all MSN Messenger conversations;
- You can login to hoopaa at any time to view all tracked information in real-time;
- hoopaa only monitors what you, the Account Administrator authorizes;
- You can cancel the tracking of any specific web site or MSN Messenger account at any time;
- hoopaa can monitor your childrenâ€™s MSN Messenger conversations even when they are at a friends house – as long as hoopaa has been installed on that computer;
- hoopaa does not share or make available any information that can be tracked back to your email, your computer or MSN Messenger accounts;
- hoopaa is an absolutely 100% free service to all end users;
The main downsides of this program is that it runs best on Internet Explorer a program that I don’t like because of its security issues. And, it only runs on Windows XP. For most users this will be ok for a while but I expect that as more users move to Vista hoopaa will be upgraded to that OS.
I plan to use it on my children’s computer over the next week so I will keep you up to date on how it goes. I also plan to review a couple of the more popular commercial programs over the next few months and we will see how they stack up against this free service. At first glance hoopaa seems to provide most of the resources that you would expect from the commercial software that is available.