Free computer program monitors kids' web activity

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Parents now have the power to know exactly what their child is doing every time they get on the computer. Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson is introducing a brand new program to allow parents to keep a close eye on their children.

It's called "Computer Cop", and the Solicitor tells WMBF News this gives parents the power to see anything and everything that their child is doing on the computer. Parents can look through it all: their child's images, documents, videos, internet chats and emails.

When a parent pops in the Computer Cop CD, it instantly scans for all things that could potentially be dangerous. It checks for certain content- anything on hate activity, weapons, drugs, sex, violence and gambling. It even looks through any files that have been deleted. If something is found, the parent will be the first to know. Computer Cop will send an immediate alert through email or even a text message that's sent straight to a cell phone.

Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says he believes this program will help keep parents alert.

"Any of those things where we keep our kids safe, parents should be able to know real time what's going on," said Richardson. "As soon as that comes across the computer, or even on the mobile devices at this point."

The program does more than just allow parents to see what their child is doing on the computer; they can literally police their activity. This is important because the computer can be one of the most dangerous things in your home that a child has access to.

The solicitor tells WMBF News kids are doing all kinds of things with computers nowadays-- from cyber bullying to buying and selling drugs. And there are also predators- the internet is one of the main gateways to target and connect with children. In Horry and Georgetown counties, sexual predators are a big concern because there is a high concentration of them in the tourist areas.

But Computer Cop helps parents and law enforcement to work together. When using it, if a parent sees something suspicious, they will now be able to call police and with a click, email all the information to police directly. This way law enforcement can quickly determine if it's a crime or not, and there will be evidence.

Richardson says Computer Cop puts law enforcement one step ahead of computer crimes, because generally once they get involved, it's too late to help the kids.

"There's really no excuse anymore," explained Richardson. "I mean this is a perfect way for us to partner with parents and be able to be proactive as opposed to reactive, which it's always been in the past."

The disc will be free for parents to pick up at all libraries in Horry and Georgetown counties. Once it is picked up, it will be theirs to keep. There will be a press conference with more information on Computer Cop at 10:30 a.m. at the Carolina Forest library.

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