The TimeOut parental control software allows parents to control the time that their kids spend on their computers. Specific programs can be limited to use and TimeOut may ask users to do various tasks so they may have more time on doing other things.
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TimeOut is not like the other parental control software systems. It’s main goal is to control and manage the child’s time on their computers rather than just stopping them to enter certain websites or using certain kind of software. Below, we have explained TimeOut’s main features, unique features, and how to use it.
Main Features of TimeOut:
- You can limit your child’s usage time of specific programs.
- You can define your child’s maximum usage time for all the programs.
- Your child can get more time on TimeOut by doing specific tasks(set by the parent). Example: if your child completes the “Clean the room” or “Take the dog outside for a walk”, he gets more free time on TimeOut so he may use it for other things, including leisure.
- You can prevent some programs to start before some certain tasks are completed by your child. Example: your child might not use Youtube until he/she has completed the “Homework” or “Eat lunch” tasks.
- You can define goals and prices. Example: “Accumulate 5 hours of household tasks and get a Pizza in return”. This is a big motivation for children.
- Prevent seeing specific topics in youtube – using string matching – for example “youtube.*fortnite”. You can prevent your child to see specific videos on Youtube(as an example). This is achieved through string matching. Example: “youtube.*fortnite”, so your child may not watch Fortnite videos on Youtube.
- You can define multiple users. Each user can have specific rules and specifications.
Unique Features of TimeOut That Make It Stand Out:
- It uses string matching. This algorithm finds the place of a certain string and determines what to do with it. Example: we may allow our child to watch Youtube, but also forbid some specific videos from it, like the videos that are related to the game Fortnite.
- Most of the parental control software count the usage time of the computer and lock it after some hours(which is specified from the parent). TimeOut allows for more flexibility and does not lock the computer.
- Allowing the child to do certain tasks in order to gain more time. They may use this extra gained time for leisure and other hobbies.
- Defining goals. Example: when the child completes certain tasks(set by the parent on TimeOut) he may get in the end of the day a “Family sushi meal”, which is the goal set by the parent on TimeOut.
- TimeOut is 100% free.
- TimeOut can define a task as “Gating”. Meaning that no program can be launched before those tasks are done. Example: the “Do your Homework” task can be set as a gating task, so the child has to do it in order for him to do more things on the computer.
- Some tasks can be set also as “Valid Next Day”, so certain tasks can be completed for more than one day.
The Main Screen
On the right panel are the tasks that can be done. On the left panel are the programs which are currently running on the computer. It shows their usage time and how much time is left from the maximum time allowed(set by the parent). The Extension below is the total time added after completing a task.
A task can be set as completed by clicking on the “Done” button(right panel). If it was clicked by mistake, click “Not done” to undo it.
On top of the display there are two progress bars showing :
- Left Bar: the total time used today together with the max allowed time.
- Right Bar: The total tasks done in order to get to the “Goal”(set by the parent).
Admin Screen – How To Add a Task
The Admin user and section can be used by the parent to set the tasks, goals, creating new users, and more. The Admin defines the name of the task, their usage times in minutes, their type(like “Gating” or “Valid Next Day”), and update those changes in the end. The Admin section can be entered by clicking on the “Admin” button in the top-right section of the Main Screen display.
Tasks can be set also as “Valid Next Day”, which gives the tasks more time to be completed. This can be very useful for “Weekend Tasks” for example.
The “Gating” field means that no program can launch before this task is done. “Homework” and “Eat lunch” are good examples for when it is needed.
How to Add a Program To Be Monitored
Parents can add new programs which are going to be monitored by TimeOut, shown in the left panel of the Main Screen display.
To add a new program, click the “Admin” button on the top-right of the display. The TimeOut admin panel will open. On the left panel, write the name of the new program, set the time on how much your child can use it, and click the “Add Program” button. The new program will be shown afterwards in the left panel of the Main Screen display.
If you want to edit an existing program, just select a program from the list in the admin panel on the left, and you can edit it’s name and usage time. In the end click the “Add Program” button and the changes are updated.
How to Add New Users
The Admin user can add new users by opening the admin panel, going in the bottom of the right panel and fill the “User name” field with a new name, give this new user a password(optional) and making the new user active by clicking on the “Add user” button.
The Admin user can also delete existing users. Simply select an existing user from the Users sections below and click the “Delete user” button.