TYLER — Smith County is encouraging Internet safety for minors by providing East Texas parents with free parental Internet monitoring software, according to officials. The software, called Computer COP, is available at most Smith County offices including all constable and JP offices, the Courthouse Annex, Sheriff’s Office and Cotton Belt Building. “This provides parents insight into who their children are talking to online,” Sheriff J.B. Smith said. “Parents have a responsibility to monitor and protect their children online just as they do in real life.”
According to a county news release, the software helps parents monitor what their children are doing online by compiling an image review and text review which flags key words and phrases from emails and online conversations. The software runs off a disc and does not need to be downloaded onto the computer’s hard drive. It is compatible with Windows 95 through Vista. “Consistent monitoring and awareness of our children’s activities are critical to their safety,” County Judge Joel Baker said. ”This is a tool that can help parents combat on-line predators and encourage Internet safety.”
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office purchased the programs with drug forfeiture funds. More than 3,000 copies are available on a first come, first serve basis. Organizations wishing to pick up multiple copies of the program can contact Public Relations Liaison Adrienne Graham at 903-590-4607.