Accountable2You {a review}

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}
 
The world our children are growing up in is so starkly different than the world we grew up in.  This tech driven world grows every day and the challenges our youth face grow along with it.
 
Accountable2You offers our households Internet accountability with one of four available plans.  We chose to sign up with the Group Plan.  There is also a Family Plan, Individual Plan, and a Small Business Plan available.
 
What is Accountable2You?
 
Accountable2You is a software that, when installed on our devices, encourages purity and integrity within our households, small groups, or businesses.   This is done by providing an accountable partner, chosen by yourself, with comprehensive activity reports and instant texts for any questionable content.
 
What devices are supported?
 
Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Chrome and Linux.  What kinds of reports are collected from each device varies depending on what you use.  When I first signed up for Accountable2You I found this provided graph very helpful to explain further:
 
 
As you can see by the image above, titles of web pages visited are provided in the reports across all platforms.  Android is the most covered for data reports, with iOS being the least.
 
More on Partners:
 
With the group plan each member can install the software on up to 6 devices.  Each device chosen has its own accountability partner, chosen by the user.  So for example, by own Windows OS I would choose my husband as my partner.  His Mac has me as the partner.  
 
Being a "partner" means that you will receive comprehensive daily, or weekly, reports about the device owners activities.  You will also receive an instant text for any highly questionable activity.
 
What is shown on the reports?
 
In general the repots show things like the title of a website you've visited, what folders, programs or apps you've opened (except for on i0S devices such as iPhone and iPad).   The reports will also show, if you chose so, where the device has been, if the device has GPS enabled. 

The "questionable" and "highly questionable" content is all chosen for you by Accountable2You.  As far as I can tell it is all "purity" related.  Purity of the body (think porn related) and of the mouth (like foul language). 
 
In total we installed Accountable2You software on 4 devices.  We installed software on each of our iPhones, my Windows computer, his Mac laptop, and the kids iPad. 
 
You can add your own questionable content, which is really useful if you have younger users that would be otherwise excluded from sexual sins.  So for example, I could add "Star Wars" as questionable - not because it is bad but maybe I'd like to be alerted if my kid gets side tracked onto YouTube when he's supposed to be doing his math.   Or maybe I have a shopping problem and I want to curb the habit.  I could add "Amazon" or "fluffy pink purse" to my questionable content so my partner can put a halt to my actions if I succumb to the temptation of online shopping.
 
We also found out, by accident, that if you remove the software your partner will be alerted right away via text.  That's good news if you do chose to be accountable for whatever reason, and then fall into temptation and want to be "sneaky" and remove the software to browse to your hearts content.  Your partner will still be alerted and can help you come to your senses again.  Or, in our case, we will realize that the Mac system turned off the software and we can turn it back on.
 
 
My husband just shuts his laptop when he is finished, and the software would prefer he turn off his laptop properly.  For the ones in red (when the software was turned off unexpectedly) I was texted.  The yellow "questionable" is just shown as an alert here, in the reports, so you can then investigate further and discuss with your partner or dismiss. 
 
App Usage is where we can see a break down of where time is spent.  This is great, in my mind, for kids or spouses that what to curb a gaming habit.  Or maybe curb how long you're on Facebook or just surfing in general.
 
 
Under the "Details" you can see the website titles, email subject lines and so on.  Nothing more.  No screen shots, personal information or keystrokes are recorded. 
 
More on how the Group Plan works:
 
Under the Group Plan each individual that is added can add up to 6 devices.  So say I am the "owner" of the account and I want my small group to do this together.  I'd invite Sally and Sally in turn installs the software on her chosen devices.  Sally, and her chosen partners are the only ones that see the reports for those devices, or receive alerts.  I'm essentially just the account manager.  Not the spy of my small group.   In other words, the others in the group retain their privacy.
 
As the primary account holder I handle the payments, the adding of users (via email) and the removing of users.  That's it.  We only see reports for our own devices or partners.
 
Some ideas for Group Plan:
  • Small Group
  • Youth Group
  • College/Career Church Group
  • Homeschool Group/Co-Op
  • Adult Siblings
Final Thoughts
 
If I could do this over I would chose for ourselves the Family Plan as opposed to the Group Plan.  For the Group Plan you really have to be sure that your friends truly want to be held accountable.  This isn't a program to force us to behave.  It's one to assist and encourage us in our integrity. 

The Group Plan can save money if you do have a group that wants to be accountable for their actions online.  My "group" plans fell through and we are basically working just as a family anyway, so I'd prefer the Family Plan where you can get all the accountability of the Group Plan, in addition to create child accounts and set time limits on devices. 
 
I do like this with the family in mind, with tech in the hands of most teens and even children.  Especially for the teen user of android this would be especially beneficial for helping your teen be accountable for his/her actions online, even via texting.
 
To see additional reviews of the Family Plan, Individual Plan, and a Small Business Plan click the banner below:
 
Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}
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