FAQs

Overview

What is it ?

McGruff SafeGuard is a service that intelligently monitors kids' internet activity, including: website visits, chat and instant messaging, search engine phrases, social network profiles on Facebook and many others. The Service alerts parents to problems such as cyberbullying, Internet predators, dangerous behavior, underage/illicit sexual activity, suicide, drug use, credit card abuse and crime.

Why do I need it? I already block porn sites...

Not only does McGruff ensure that your children visit only age-appropriate websites, we also liberate parents from fear and worry by intelligently monitoring WHAT kids are doing on the Internet and WHO they are doing it with....which is more effective than trying to control WHERE they go.

How does McGruff SafeGuard work?

1. You sign up for an account at GoMcGruff.com
2. Download and install the McGruff software on each PC you want to safeguard
3. Once the software is installed on the child's PC, their activity is automatically transmitted back to the McGruff website and stored for you to review in private

What makes McGruff SafeGuard so unique?

McGruff SafeGuard is an authorized, licensed product of The National Crime Prevention Council and McGruff The Crime Dog, and the first and only service to electronically connect parents with law enforcement in their common battle against Internet sexual predators.

Does it actually work?

Used in tens of thousands of homes have resulted in the detection and prevention of hundreds of cases of cyberbullying, internet predators, teen drug abuse, crime and suicide.

Which chat and instant message programs does McGruff SafeGuard monitor?

McGruff SafeGuard monitors BOTH SIDES OF ANY CONVERSATION on Facebook, Google, AOL's AIM instant messenger, Microsoft's MSN instant messenger, Yahoo's instant messenger, Skype Text Chat, ICQ instant messenger, Trillian's instant messenger, and other 3rd party chat and instant message services that use these protocols.

What if my child asks questions about the McGruff Safeguard icon on his or her PC?

We recommend that you talk with your child about online safety and tell them you will be monitoring their Internet activity in order to help keep them safe. An open dialog will help you maintain a good relationship and give you the opportunity to establish Internet guidelines with your child.

When you install McGruff SafeGuard Home Plus, an icon will appear on the desktop you are monitoring You can delete this icon and McGruff will continue to work.

 I view my kids' activity prior to the installation of McGruff SafeGuard?

No - you can only view activity sent or received on your PC AFTER you install McGruff SafeGuard.

How does McGruff SafeGuard stop Internet sexual predators?

If a parent suspects an Internet predator is communicating with their child, McGruff SafeGuard reports the suspected predator to law enforcement via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). At the same time, McGruff blocks that predator from communicating with the targeted child as well as ALL children protected by the McGruff service.

How do I set it and "forget it"?

When you install McGruff SafeGuard, specify that you want to be notified only when your child may be in a dangerous situation (indicated by what they are chatting about). When McGruff SafeGuard detects a dangerous situation, we send you an email (or alert you via cell phone text message).

Does McGruff SafeGuard invade my kid's privacy?

McGruff SafeGuard is the only parental monitoring software that allows YOU to choose your level of monitoring. See everything your kids are doing online, or just be alerted when dangerous activity is detected. It's your family. Set your own preferences.

We recommend that you tell your kids upfront that you will be monitoring their internet activity in order to help keep them safe. We recommend doing this because it is important to talk to your children about internet safety and how you will be ensuring that they are safe online.

How do I see the instant message or chat conversations?

Once you've installed McGruff SafeGuard, just visit the website and sign-in with your specific username and password. Your child's activity will be available for review there.

McGruff SafeGuard Plus customers can see activity as far back as 3 months ago.

Can I be notified if the conversation contains inappropriate language?

You can activate pre-set lists of watchwords or enter your own custom list. When one of these watchwords is detected in a conversation, McGruff SafeGuard sends you an email (or a cell phone text message). To see the full conversation, just sign-in to the McGruff SafeGuard website.

Are my conversations stored privately & safely?

McGruff SafeGuard is regulated by the rules and policies of The National Crime Prevention Council. Your kid's activity is stored in a database server connected to the McGruff SafeGuard web server - only key members of our staff have access to the database server. The servers are hosted at a secure Class A, SAS-70 Compliant data center facility in Santa Clara, California. The Internet backbone connectivity consists of multiple, redundantly Gigabit uplinks to major backbones - Level3 and MCI, both of which are peering with hundreds of other networks worldwide.



Installation & Setup

What do I need to run McGruff SafeGuard?

The McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software must be installed on a Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. It does not work on Windows 98 or Windows ME or Macintosh.

How quickly will I see conversations?

It usually takes about 7 minutes for the messages recorded by McGruff SafeGuard to be displayed at the website.

Do I need to install McGruff SafeGuard for each user who logs in a PC?

No. Install McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software just once on each PC, and it will record messages for every user who logs in to that PC.

How do I specify which instant message or chat "names" to monitor?

You don't have to. McGruff SafeGuard will monitor all conversations.

Can I install McGruff SafeGuard on my child's laptop and record conversations anywhere he goes?

Yes. Wherever and whenever your child uses his laptop, McGruff SafeGuard will record conversations and store them at the McGruff SafeGuard website.

Do I need to install McGruff SafeGuard on my PC to see the conversations from other PCs?

No. You simply visit the McGruff SafeGuard website to see the conversations from the PCs where you installed McGruff SafeGuard.

I used the wrong email address when I installed the software. How do I fix it?

Sign-in to the McGruff SafeGuard website and select SETTINGS / ACCOUNT, and specify your new email address.

I want to monitor my child's PC, but her laptop is wireless and not plugged into our network.

McGruff SafeGuard is ideal for this situation. Her PC does not need to be connected to your network - she can take it anywhere she wants. And all her conversations will be waiting for you to view at the McGruff SafeGuard website.

I want to install McGruff SafeGuard on a PC outside my home that I can't get to.

Unfortunately, you need to have access to the PC (and login with administrative privileges). You cannot install McGruff SafeGuard remotely on a PC (unless you have administrative remote access to that PC).

Do I need to install a different version of McGruff SafeGuard if I upgrade?

No. You do not need to reinstall the McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software if you upgrade. Your upgraded account information is kept on at the McGruff SafeGuard website. However, after you have received email confirmation of your upgrade, you should reboot your child's PC to ensure it gets the upgrade settings automatically from the McGruff SafeGuard website.

If I change PCs do I need to repurchase anything?

No. Just use your username and password when you re-install the McGruff SafeGuard monitoring software on your child's PC. Your upgraded account information is kept at the McGruff SafeGuard website.



Alerts

What alerts does McGruff SafeGuard send?

McGruff SafeGuard will send you alerts (cell or email) whenever a watchword that you select is detected. McGruff SafeGuard will also send you a daily usage report indicating the time spent instant messaging, number of conversations, and who participated in the conversations.

Can I receive my child's activity via email?

McGruff SafeGuard will send you an email each morning with your child's activity from the prior day or week. McGruff SafeGuard Plus lets you set if and how often you want to receive usage summaries and other warnings.



Facebook Questions

What does McGruff SafeGuard monitor on Facebook?

Chat, messages, wall posts, profiles, passwords and many other things.

What other sites are monitored?

McGruff SafeGuard watches what your child does on dozens of websites.  Unlike other products that only record keystrokes, McGruff SafeGuard intelligently analyzes your child's activtiy on these websites and presents it to you in an easy-to-understand fashion.

Here's just a sample of some of the website McGruff SafeGuard intelligenly analyzes: AOL, ASK, Bebo, Blogger, CartoonDollEmporium, Chatango, DateHookup, DaySpring, DressUpMix, eBuddy, Facebook, FaithFreaks, Friendster, Fubar, GaiaOnline, GirlSense, Google, Habbo, Hi5, iLike, Live, MeetCam, MocoSpace, MSN, MySpace, MyYearbook, Neopets, NewFoundGaming, Nexopia, Orkut, Roliana, SerebiiForums, Sonico, StarDoll, Tangle, Weeworld, Yahoo, YouTube, Yuku