Home Tags Game of Thrones

Tag: Game of Thrones

“The enemy is real,” and the new Game of Thrones trailer...

Is it wrong that all I really care about this point are dragons?

ATTrsquo;s purchase of HBO could lead to 20-minute Game of Thrones...

ATT CEO says 60-minute episodes might be too long for mobile devices.

Fortitude is the almost scientifically sound TV show you should be...

The fantastic British series boasts great actors and is coming to Amazon.

The Expanse: Warm hearts in the cold of space

Great science fiction has more than just technobabble and pretty special effects.

First trailer for Netflix’s Iron Fist series is oddly bland

So far it's not breaking out of the mold like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage did.

The Grand Tour reportedly the most illegally downloaded TV show ever

Enlargereader comments 22 Share this story The Grand Tour is "the most illegally downloaded programme ever," according to new data from an anti-piracy firm.

The first episode, which we reviewed very positively, garnered 7.9 million downloads; episode two was picked up 6.4 million times; and the third ep was pilfered by 4.6 million people.

Amazon's new motoring show apparently even beats out HBO's Game of Thrones, which has been the most pirated TV show for the last few years. These figures were handed to the Daily Mail from Muso, an anti-piracy firm that may or may not be angling to pick up Amazon as a client. While Muso doesn't say how it derived those Grand Tour download figures, they're about in-line with previous analyses of the scale of BitTorrent downloads.
I think Muso is mistaken when it says The Grand Tour is "the most illegally downloaded programme ever," though, unless it's using some particularly creative accounting methods. Last year TorrentFreak estimated that the season finale of Game of Thrones was downloaded 14.4 million times via BitTorrent, and all signs point to GoT increasing in popularity in 2016. Our own analysis mostly tallies with that of TorrentFreak, too. How did Muso arrive at that figure of 7.9 million, then, and why was that enough for Grand Tour to steal the illustrious "most downloaded" mantle from Game of Thrones? Sadly, Muso didn't provide its methodology. We've asked the company for more details, and will update this story if it responds. Muso's figures are further confused by a comment from its chief commercial officer, which said that 7.9 million was the total "across different platforms." Does that mean that Muso has somehow managed to tabulate how many people are watching The Grand Tour on copyright-infringing streaming TV sites or downloading it from file-hosting sites? GoT's 14.4 million downloads was via BitTorrent alone; add the other platforms and the figure will be much larger. (We don't know how much larger, but 20+ million is likely.) Even if Grand Tour isn't the most downloaded show ever, our own analysis shows that it has been very popular on torrent sites and undoubtedly on streaming and file-sharing sites as well. Pirates love the show for two reasons: a) Clarkson, Hammond, and May are very popular; and b) The Grand Tour is exclusively available for Amazon Prime subscribers in just a small handful of countries, including the UK, US, Japan, and Germany. Amazon has never broken out its Prime subscriber numbers, but analysts peg it around 60 to 65 million worldwide.

Amazon says The Grand Tour will be available in 200 countries by the end of December, presumably via some other means than Prime, but for now there are millions of fans who can only obtain the show via unofficial means. By way of comparison, HBO has about 140 million subscribers worldwide (and Game of Thrones is available on other channels such as Sky Atlantic), and Netflix has about 90 million. Amazon, which in its 22-year history has never revealed more data than it absolutely has to, also hasn't announced the official viewer figures for The Grand Tour on Prime Video, so we can't even attempt to analyse the show's relative piracy level versus Game of Thrones.

Amusingly, even Clarkson, Hammond, and May haven't been told how popular their own show is. This post originated on Ars Technica UK

AT&T/Time Warner merger won’t rip off customers and competitors, AT&T CEO...

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.AT&T reader comments 53 Share this story AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson spoke at a Senate antitrust subcommittee hearing today about his company’s proposed $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner and denied that the merger will bring any harm to customers or competitors. Senators and witnesses at the hearing said AT&T and Time Warner combined might restrict valuable programming such as HBO to AT&T’s TV services or charge rival TV providers a higher price to carry it. They also discussed AT&T’s zero-rating, which exempts the company’s own video content from mobile data caps while requiring online video providers to pay for the same data cap exemptions. Merger concerns boil down to AT&T controlling both distribution and video content instead of one or the other. AT&T is already one of the country’s largest providers of home and mobile Internet service, and it's the largest cable or satellite TV provider thanks to its acquisition of DirecTV last year. AT&T controls distribution of video by operating these Internet and TV services. Buying Time Warner—the owner of HBO, CNN, Turner, Warner Bros., and more—would also give AT&T control over much of the programming that is viewed on its Internet and TV services. (Note that Time Warner is completely separate from Time Warner Cable, which was recently purchased by Charter.) But there’s nothing to worry about, Stephenson said. Although limiting access to Time Warner content might benefit AT&T’s distribution business, such limitations would cripple the business model of Time Warner, he said. AT&T wouldn’t spend $85.4 billion on Time Warner if it planned to impair that business dramatically, he said. “The business model's fundamental premise is wide and broad distribution of content into every home, particularly in the United States of America,” Stephenson said in response to questions from senators. There is no “reason to believe we could use Time Warner programming or AT&T networks to hurt related markets,” he also said in prepared testimony. “Simply put, it would be irrational business behavior to do so. Time Warner’s programming is more valuable when distributed to as many eyes as possible. Moreover, in order to have great programming, it is imperative that we attract great creative talent to develop it. The best way to attract that talent is through widespread distribution of Time Warner content.” “The solution is not even less competition” AT&T argues that it can create a more effective competitor to cable TV companies by putting DirecTV and Time Warner content on its mobile network and letting the video stream without counting against data caps. AT&T also wants to be a bigger competitor in the online advertising market against Google and Facebook. But any benefits must be weighed against potential disadvantages for Americans, said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). “The solution for less competition is not even less competition,” Klobuchar said. Video distributors have complained that AT&T could raise the prices competitors pay for Time Warner content or deny access to that content, she said. Independent content creators worry that AT&T will favor Time Warner programming over content made by smaller companies, stifling diversity of viewpoints, she also said. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) disputed AT&T and Time Warner’s argument that it wouldn’t be able to attract programming talent if it limited distribution. HBO attracted the talent necessary to put on shows like The Sopranos even though the channel was “exclusive” to those cable customers who were willing to pay extra, he said. Just as The Sopranos pushed customers to subscribe to HBO, exclusive access to Time Warner programming could push customers to DirecTV’s satellite and online services or HBO’s standalone streaming service, Franken argued. AT&T would have incentive to limit access to Time Warner video because AT&T's distribution network is so large, with more than 130 million wireless subscribers and 25 million TV subscribers in the US, said Gene Kimmelman, CEO of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who also testified at today’s hearing, recently said that restricting content to AT&T’s network “would be like selling toothpaste and not putting it in [drugstore chain] Duane Reade. It doesn’t make any sense.” Franken said that analogy doesn’t make sense. “It’s more like selling Game of Thrones and not letting Comcast subscribers watch it,” Franken said. “Or making Comcast pay more for the privilege of having Game of Thrones or Veep or the rest of the lineup.” “Nothing is preventing a combined AT&T/Time Warner from going to any of its competitors in the pay-TV market and charging double,” Franken also said. “I don’t think these hypotheticals are outlandish at all; you’d have every reason to do this if you could make more money. This is the incentive that's created by the merger.” Bewkes testified today that “it would make no sense to not sell HBO on the Comcast system, on the Verizon system.” He also argued that AT&T and Time Warner together still wouldn’t have enough market power to significantly raise competitors’ prices. Online video may face threat An even bigger threat will be posed to online video companies that don’t have the same negotiating power as Comcast, Kimmelman said. “I'm not worried about Comcast not getting Time Warner content,” Kimmelman said. “I'm worried about the online distribution… not being able to get exactly what it needs to be a player and a competitor.” While AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV helped the combined company offer better video and broadband bundles, the AT&T/Time Warner merger doesn’t seem to provide any similar efficiencies that benefit customers, Kimmelman said. Any improvements that AT&T can make by owning Time Warner could also be achieved by striking business deals while remaining separate companies, he said. “They could contract to do those same things without the risk of a merger,” Kimmelman said. The merger’s fate will be decided by the Department of Justice and possibly the Federal Communications Commission. The purpose of the Senate hearing was to provide a public forum for evaluating the merger’s effects. The merger's relation to net neutrality rules for Internet providers was raised by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Noting that the rules could be overturned under President-elect Donald Trump, Leahy said, "any weakening of these rules will cause serious harm to consumers—harm that will only be further exacerbated by mergers in this industry." It wasn’t just Democratic senators who raised problems with the deal. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) discussed concerns about the merger’s implications for a “free and diverse media.” “This is something I recently experienced, because on weekends when I’m at the farm I always watch channel 349 on DirecTV,” Grassley said, referring to Newsmax, a channel recently dropped from DirecTV. "I found out it wasn’t there anymore… I found out what is going on is an unfair contract negotiation." Grassley described several other points detailed by merger critics and said they should be carefully analyzed: There’s concern that a combined company will give preferential treatment—for example, favorable channel placement and zero-rating pricing—to Time Warner’s premium entertainment programming to the disadvantage of other content producers, in particular small independent producers. There’s concern about AT&T/Time Warner’s ability to leverage their assets to negotiate better licensing arrangements or raise the price of their content to the detriment of other distributors. There’s concern about the merged company’s ability to employ “bullying” tactics to dictate rates and terms to other networks. There’s concern that this acquisition will concentrate too much power into one conglomerate, resulting in higher prices and fewer programming options for consumers... These are all serious concerns which should be scrutinized carefully by the antitrust regulators tasked with reviewing this transaction. AT&T has reason for optimism Although Trump once vowed to block the AT&T/Time Warner merger, AT&T executives were reportedly encouraged by recent meetings with Trump’s transition team. AT&T could benefit from regulators evaluating the merger against market power exerted by newer companies like Google and Facebook. Quoting the American Enterprise Institute, Grassley said that “with tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and others changing the way consumers access content, it’s legitimate to ask whether ‘what looks straightforwardly anti-competitive in the old industrial-merger models might not be so simple in the merger of modern media platforms.’”

The Best Parental Control Software of 2016

Modern kids have never known a time when they couldn't connect to the whole world using the Internet. They're probably more at home online than you are. The problem is, there are things on the Internet that you'd rather they didn't encounter. Sites promoting violence. Sites full of hate. Pornographic sites that promote a skewed notion of human sexuality. You can't supervise every moment that they're surfing the Web on a PC, much less on a smartphone or tablet. That's where parental control software comes in, with the ability to filter out unwanted content, limit screen time, and in some cases monitor social media interactions.

Note that these applications can't substitute for good communication. If you don't want your kids to visit certain kinds of sites, talk to them about your concerns. And do take time to convince older kids that you'll respect their privacy while monitoring their online actions. Otherwise, you can be sure they'll find ways to evade even the most sophisticated system.

Parental Control Basics
Most parental control tools include content filtering—the ability to block access to websites matching unwanted categories such as porn, violence, and hate. This type of filtering only really works if it's browser-independent, and full coverage requires filtering secure (HTTPS) traffic. With no HTTPS filtering, a smart teen could bypass the system using a secure anonymizing proxy website like MegaProxy or Hide My Ass.

Access scheduling is another very common feature. Some applications let parents set a weekly schedule for Internet access, some control computer use in general, and some offer both as choices. A daily or weekly cap on Internet usage can also be handy.

Devices, Devices, Devices
Long gone are the days when a single parental control utility on the singular Family PC sufficed. Modern kids use all kinds of Internet-connected devices, and modern parental control systems must keep up.

Before settling on a particular parental control utility, you'll want to make sure that it supports all of the device types found in your household. While all the products in the chart above support Windows, support for Mac OS, Android, and iOS varies. Check, too, that any limits on the number of child profiles or devices won't be a problem. And if your kids are strictly mobile, take a look at our roundup of mobile-centric parental control apps.

If getting parental control coverage installed on each of your family's devices starts to seem too difficult, consider a whole-network solution. These systems perform content filtering at the router level, so your settings affect every device on the network. Naturally you don't get the same fine level of control and detailed monitoring that you get with a local agent on each device, but wow, is it ever simple!

Social Media Tracking
As the kids get older, content filtering may start to seem pointless. Hey, you let them watch Game of Thrones, right? At some point you start to worry more about their interaction with the wide, wide world. Sure, if their friends come over to play Street Fighter V or Guilty Gear Xrd in person, you can at least meet them. But what about friends on social media? Who are they, really, and what are your kids discussing with them?

That's where social media trackers come in. Typically you have the option to limit your view to posts and interactions that contain words or phrases that might indicate something inappropriate. Also typically, if you really want to you can dig in and see everything.

In most cases, installation of social media tracking requires that you know your child's login credentials, or that you convince the child to log in and install the tracker's app. Disabling this kind of data collection is a snap for the child, so here, more than ever, you need to get agreement from your child.

Remote Notification and Management
With most parental control systems, you can opt to receive notification via text or email when your child tries to visit a blocked site, makes a post using iffy language, or otherwise bends the rules. Some of these tools let kids remotely request parental override to unblock a particular site, or get extra time online to finish homework.

In most cases, you manage your parental control system by logging in to an online console. From the console, you can tweak settings, review activity reports, or respond to a child's override request. And any changes you make propagate to your children's devices when they connect to the Internet.

Advanced Features
When you get beyond the basics, parental control systems start to diverge, with many advanced features to help them stand out from the crowd. Some limit access to games, TV shows, and movies based on ratings. Some let parents control just who the kids can chat with via various instant messaging systems. Blocking specific applications is another advanced feature, as is forcing Safe Search on popular search portals.

You'll also find advanced versions of standard features. For example, the best content filters don't just use a database of categories. They analyze page content in real time so that, for example, they can allow access to a short-story site but block the erotica. To learn about these advanced features, and to make an informed choice for your own family, you'll need to read our full reviews.

FEATURED IN THIS ROUNDUP

ContentWatch Net Nanny 7

$39.99
With configuration and reporting moved to the Web, ContentWatch Net Nanny 7 is fully at home in the modern multi-device world of parental control, and it still has the best content filtering around. Net Nanny 7 is a parental control Editors' Choice. Read the full review ››
Qustodio Parental Control 2015

$44.95
With Qustodio Parental Control 2015, you can keep track of your children's online activity on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, or Kindle devices. Its rich feature set and clever social media tracking make it a new Editors' Choice for parental control.  Read the full review ››
Symantec Norton Family Premier

$49.99
Symantec Norton Family Premier lets parents track and manage their children's use of Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Its completely Web-based configuration and wealth of features make it a great choice for parental control. Read the full review ››
Kaspersky Safe Kids

$14.99
Kaspersky Safe Kids offers well-rounded, very affordable parental control and monitoring, and it doesn't limit the number of child profiles or devices you can cover. It's an excellent choice. Read the full review ››

Mobicip

$39.99
You configure Mobicip's parental control options online, and a local agent enforces the rules on your children's devices. In testing, we hit a few communication problems, but overall it's a good choice for the modern multi-device family. Read the full review ››

OpenDNS Home VIP

$19.95
OpenDNS Home VIP applies parental control and monitoring at the network level, for all your devices, and its essential features are available for free. Consider using it in conjunction with a more conventional parental monitoring tool. Read the full review ››

SafeDNS

$19.95
When you configure your router to use SafeDNS, you can filter out dangerous or objectionable content for every device that connects using your home network. Just don't expect a full range of parental control features. Read the full review ››

LogDog (for Android)

If hackers target a secure website to steal a gazillion passwords, there's really nothing you can do to protect your password. Your best bet is to render that stolen information useless by switching to a new password immediately. Of course, you can only do that if you know about the breach.

The free LogDog (for Android) app monitors your secure accounts and notifies you immediately of any events that suggest tampering.
In-app purchases let you protect multiple accounts at the same website, or add credit card monitoring. LogDog monitors Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo; Twitter support is new since I tested the service last year.

The company tells me that Support for Instagram and LinkedIn is in the works. LogDog (for iPhone) doesn't yet have all the features of the Android edition.
I'll review it separately when it's fully up to speed. Note that while you must use a mobile device to receive notifications from LogDog, it tracks access from any kind of device.

A suspicious login attempt is suspicious whether it comes from Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or even Linux. Easy SetupGetting started with LogDog is a simple matter of downloading and running the app. You don't have to create an account. LogDog doesn't save any of your data online.

The program, along with all of its data, remains on your device. To extend LogDog's protection to one of the supported sites, you log in to that site from within LogDog.

This lets LogDog perform an initial scan of the account, and also lets it track when and how that account is used.

The login screen includes a reminder that LogDog doesn't retain your credentials. Hey, this is a privacy tool, so that's reassuring! Each time you add a secure site, LogDog displays a screen that lets you share your experience with friends via LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, WhatsApp, or email.
If three friends sign up based on your referral, you get a t-shirt; seven referrals earns an entry in a drawing to win a smartphone. At the free level, you can protect exactly one of each account type, which may well be plenty.
If you need more, you can sign up for Accounts+, which costs $1.99 per month or $19.90 per year. That's it. You now go about your usual routine, logging in to accounts as needed, from whatever device and network you normally use. LogDog lies doggo, gradually developing a profile of what's normal.

After a week it ends this learning mode, ready to alert you if it detects any account activity that deviates from the norm. CardProtectorNew since the last time I looked at LogDog, the CardProtector feature aims to alert you if any of your credit cards have shown up for sale on Dark Web commerce sites.

Adding this feature is an in-app purchase of $3.99 per month or $39.90 per year. Interestingly, the app does not ask you to supply any particular credit card numbers.
Its scan is wholly based on your full name and location.

The scan takes place automatically, once per day, or you can launch it manually. When I ran the scan, it reported about 2.2 million stolen card numbers on record, roughly 1.6 million of them in the U.S. None of them were mine, thankfully.

This feature works best if you have an uncommon name, like my own.
If other people in your zip code share your name, you might well encounter false positives.
Sorry, John Smith! LogDog AlertsI put LogDog to the test by logging in to my Gmail account using the Tor Browser, which made my login seem to be taking place in Canada. LogDog immediately displayed a notification of suspicious activity. When I tapped for details, it displayed an explanation and offered two simple buttons, one to dismiss the alert because it really was me, and another to continue investigating.
If your own activity really did trigger the alarm, perhaps because you logged in using a friend's computer, you just tap the first button. For testing, I tapped the second button, which brought up another set of choices.
I got a second chance to dismiss the alert as my own activity.
I could choose to ignore this warning but still get an alert if it happened again. Or I could choose to change my Google password from within LogDog.

Easy as pie! Changing your password locks the intruder out, but there's more you should do to protect your privacy.

The LogDog website is absolutely loaded with advice. Right from the main menu, you can access detailed advice for how to deal with a hacked account on Dropbox, Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, or Twitter.
In each case, the advice page recommends running LogDog's Inbox Detective to clear exposed private data from your email Inbox—more about Inbox Detective shortly.

Each page continues with useful instructions for recovering from a breach on that particular service. But wait! There's more! Paging through the site's blog (called BlogDog), I found posts about recovering from hacked accounts on many other sites.

These include eBay, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, and more.

And, I'll admit it, I tried the Game of Thrones themed hacking awareness quiz.
I am Drogon! Inbox DetectiveThere's always the possibility that hackers will get a chance to rifle through your email before you manage to change the password. You can help protect your privacy by making sure you don't have too-sensitive information lying around exposed in your Inbox.

That's where Inbox Detective comes in. Inbox Detective searches your email inbox for credit card numbers, passwords, social security numbers, bank accounts, and malicious links.
It's somewhat similar to the PII (Personally Identifiable Information) search performed by Identity Finder's Data Discover 7.5, but at a much simpler level.

At present it supports Gmail, Hotmail, and Outlook online.
Support for finding sensitive information on Evernote, Twitter, Drop box, and Facebook is in the works. A link in LogDog takes you to the Inbox Detective online, but this feature is also available separately, at https://detective.getlogdog.com.

At the time of this writing, the site states that Inbox Detective is free, for a limited time. You log in with your email credentials, which gives the app permission to read and analyze your account.
It scans up to 10,000 recent messages and comes up with a report. For each possibly problematic email, the report offers two buttons. One opens the full message in your webmail client, so you can review and perhaps delete it.

The other automatically notifies the sender about the problem.
In testing, I found that the Open button correctly opened the message from Chrome on Windows, but on the Android tablet it just opened the Gmail Inbox. When I ran it on my personal Gmail account, it gave me a "detective score" of 10 percent, along with a note stating that the average user's score is 85 percent. However, when I dug a bit deeper I determined that my real score should have been better. The app found 12 credit card numbers in my Inbox, or rather, it found 12 number that were 16 digits long.
In truth, not one of them was actually a credit card number.

Two of them involved communications from my auto insurance, containing my 16-digit account number.

The rest were reminders from the local library telling me which books would soon be due, with a 16-digit bar code number for each book. The report correctly revealed three passwords sent in plain text via email.

Fortunately they were for accounts from long ago.
It found what it thought were two SSNs, but were actually just my accountant explaining that I should enter the SSN in the format 111-22-3333.

And it warned me about the recently-revealed MySpace breach. I permanently deleted all of the offending messages. Or rather, I tried to.

The report showed one message with no date or subject, and clicking the Open button had no effect.
Still, I managed to reach a score of 95 percent. This is a nice feature, but it could use some fine-tuning.
I'd like to see LogDog run apparent credit card numbers through the available validation algorithms.

Also, I'd love to be able to click away erroneously flagged items.

But I'll bet that once these things happen, the service won't be free anymore. Use for Free, Not for FeeAnyone who uses one of the six popular sites tracked by LogDog can benefit from installing this free service. You'll know right away of any abnormal account activity, and it's a snap to change a compromised password or dismiss a false alarm.
In addition, the handy Inbox Detective helps you clear out exposed credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal data from your Inbox. I'm not sure I'd pay extra to track two accounts at the same service. Maybe just install the app on a second Android device? And nearly $40 per year to check a database of stolen credit cards seems a little high to me.

But the free app is dandy. Back to top PCMag may earn affiliate commissions from the shopping links included on this page.

These commissions do not affect how we test, rate or review products.

To find out more, read our complete terms of use.

FamilyTime Premium (for Android)

There's a certain mindset implied by the features offered by traditional parental control applications.

The kids might accidentally or deliberately visit inappropriate websites, so we'll block access to those.

They might get on the Internet for too long, or at the wrong time, so we'll set limits.

But in the background, there's the idea that the kids will be using a PC.

Tokyo-based FamilyTime recognizes that many modern kids stick strictly to mobile devices, and FamilyTime Premium (for Android) focuses on monitoring and protecting the modern mobile kid.
It's got a lot of potential, but there's definitely some work to do. FamilyTime pricing plans are based on the number of devices covered.

A one-device license goes for $27 per year, while $35 per year gets you a two-device license. Or you could go all out and spend $69 per year for a five-device license. You can apply your licenses either to the Android edition, reviewed here, or to FamilyTime Premium (for iPhone). Note that the feature set is very different on the two platforms.
If you're planning to use FamilyTime on iOS devices too, be sure to read that review. Compared with some of its competitors, this product is a bit pricey. Qustodio Parental Control has a similar five-device limit, but its yearly subscription is just $44.95.

For $89.99 per year, ContentWatch Net Nanny 7 lets you define up to 10 child profiles and protect an unlimited number of PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

And a $49.99 subscription to Norton Family Parental Control (for Android) doesn't impose any limits at all. Note, too, that FamilyTime assumes each child has exactly one device. Most of the competing products let you define a child profile and associate it with multiple devices. Getting Started With FamilyTimeYou can install the FamilyTime Dashboard parental app on any number of Android or iOS devices.

For this review, I naturally used the Android version, installed on a Nexus 9. You can also log in to the dashboard from any browser; the experience is almost exactly the same regardless of the platform. Mobicip (for Android) also has an app for parents. With ESET Parental Control (for Android) and Norton, the same app serves parent and child, depending on who logs in. When you launch the app, you're prompted to sign in or sign up.

After you sign up, you get a verification code in your email.

Enter that and you're good to go. Well, almost. Keep your eye out for a second email that includes your temporary password. You'll probably want to change that right away. Next, you'll add a profile for each child you want to monitor, up to the number of licenses you purchased. You enter the child's name, date of birth, relationship (son or daughter), and time zone.

That's it; there's no other configuration at this time. The parental app links to some very clear instructions for installing the child app on your child's devices and connecting them to your account.

For an Android device, you download and install the APK file directly from FamilyTime.
I installed it on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for testing. If you maintain good security practices, you'll find that you can't install the app at first, because it comes from an unknown source.

FamilyTime offers an easy link to change that setting. Naturally you'll want to change it back after installation. Like most Android parental control apps, FamilyTime requires Device Administrator permission for some of its features.
If the child disables this setting, the product won't be fully functional, but that's par for the course. To make the final connection between the child app and your account, you go back to the parental dashboard and find the activation code for the child profile.

Enter that in the child app and you're good to go. Child DashboardAs noted, FamilyTime focuses on safety issues for the modern child.

The two big features found in the child app are Pick Me and SOS.
In the iOS version, Pick Me is called PickMeUp. Did you forget to pick up little Sally after Tae Kwon Do practice? She can remind you easily with a simple tap to the Pick Me button. You receive an alert in the parental dashboard, including the child's location. You can tap one of two buttons, OK, Coming or Sorry, I Can't.

The notification itself doesn't include the precise location, but when you open it in the parental app you can see it on a map. Tapping SOS likewise sends the parent a notification. On the child's device, the app advises staying calm and staying put.

The only response here is "Got it, on my way!" This is similar to Qustodio's panic button feature, which emails a notification to as many as four trusted contacts. There's one more option, Family Talk, but it's not ready yet.

And the child probably won't have much interest in viewing profile information.

That's it for the child app. Places and GeofencingIn the old-school parental control mode, the child's location went without saying—sitting in front of the family computer.

FamilyTime uses Wi-Fi geolocation and GPS to keep close track of just where your child goes.

Familoop also offers geofencing, Norton and Qustodio track location without geofencing, and Net Nanny and Mobicip eschew location-tracking entirely. If you wish, you can define any number of geofences, and get notification when the child enters or leaves one of these areas.

Familoop lets you define a place for geofencing by tapping in the center of the area and dragging until the circle is big enough.

FamilyTime's way is a bit different. Rather than tapping to define the center, you move the map until the stationary pointer is in the right place.

And rather than freely defining the circle size, you choose 150M, 300M, 500M, or 1KM.

But the end result is much the same.
Interestingly, the iOS version does let you tap to define the center of a geofenced area. When the child crosses into or out of one of your defined places, you get a notification. You can also just check the location history from time to time.

Do note that notifications only occur at the moment your child crosses a boundary.
If the child's device is Wi-Fi only, you won't necessarily get a notification.

Familoop doesn't have this limitation; in testing, logging in from a Wi-Fi connection within a geofenced zone did trigger a Familoop notification. Time RestrictionsWhen I tapped Access Control, I didn't immediately know what to do.
It asked me to set a device passcode, with an unusual set of controls.
Sure, the expected numeric keypad was present, but it also showed a second group of controls with six punctuation marks, Pause, Wait, and an oversized capital N.

Tech support explained that these additional buttons aren't really supposed to be there, and that they only show up on the large screen of a tablet.
I hope the company fixes this quickly. I entered a simple passcode just so I could get past that screen. Here I learned that access control really means control of time periods during which the child gets no Internet access.

By default it includes Bedtime, Dinner time, and Homework. You can adjust the start and end times for these, define which days of the week they're active, and optionally add your own no-Internet times. Note that the iOS edition doesn't have these time scheduling features, though they're planned for a future edition. On a more ad hoc basis, you can go back to the parental app's main page and simply click Lock Phone for any profile associated with an Android device.

FamilyTime's lockscreen takes over, advising the child to do something else for a while.
SOS and Pick Me Up are still available, never fear.

But unlocking the device requires that passcode that you defined, not the child's regular one. You can also unlock the phone remotely through the dashboard.

Circle With Disney has a similar feature, the option to pause the Internet for one child, or for the whole household. App BlockerLike Norton, Qustodio, and most competing products, FamilyTime can block the use of apps you consider inappropriate. However, using this feature is pretty awkward. To get started, you tap App Blocker in settings, then click the + button to add blocked apps.

This brings up a ridiculously long list of apps, way more than I could believe were installed on the Galaxy Tab.

A handful are listed as Important, things like the Play Store, Phone, and Chrome.
Settings and Bluetooth are identified as System, suggesting you shouldn't mess around. All the rest of the apps appear in a super-long list.
It's not in alpha order, and there's no way to search for a specific app.
Scrolling carefully, I counted more than 200 apps in the list. Worse, in testing the list repeatedly became unresponsive, triggering a warning message from Android. My contact said the company is aware of the problem and is working on a database of apps that shouldn't show up in this list. When I did manage to add some blacklisted apps, the feature worked as promised.
It notified the child that house rules don't permit use of the app, and it send a notification to the parental app. Contact WatchlistSome parental control systems take detailed control over your children's communications. Norton Family Parental Control (for Android), for example, can block some contacts, allow others, and monitor unkonwns.

Alas, Norton's iOS edition lacks that feature. FamilyTime doesn't attempt to block contacts, or to capture conversations.

The contact list is a watchlist, not a blacklist.
If your child does call or text a contact on the watchlist, you should receive a notification.

Email contact isn't tracked, so I couldn't see this feature in action on my Android tablet.

FamilyTime's iOS edition doesn't log calls, but it captures the child's entire Contacts list. Log and NotificationsIn the parental app, you can define rules for just how this child's activity should be tracked.

There are six tracking toggles, all enabled by default: Call History, Contacts, Location History, Bookmarks, Web History, and Installed Apps. Only Contacts and Geo Location appear in settings for a child's iOS device. Note that while FamilyTime tracks Web activity, at present it does not make any attempt to filter undesirable sites.

The company does plan to add content filtering. You definitely don't want to disable notifications for the SOS and Pick Me Up notifications mentioned above.

But you can choose whether or not you want three other types of notification.

FamilyTime tracks your child's location history, so you might not necessarily want geofencing notifications. You can also choose whether or not to receive notification when the child tries to launch a blacklisted app, or calls a watchlisted contact. Limited ReportsTapping Reports on a child's profile gets you a somewhat confusing welter of choices.
Initially, it just shows the history of where your child has been. Places History is a separate list of geofencing events, times when your child entered or left a defined geofence area. To get at the other reports, you tap the hamburger menu at top left.
In addition to Places History and Location History, you can view Call History and Web History.

All of the Android devices I have for testing are tablets, not phones, so I couldn't see call history.

And, strangely, the Web History page only showed pages visited last November. Other items on the menu aren't precisely reports. Rather, they duplicate choices from Settings.

Tapping Contacts gets you the same list you'd see if you were aiming to edit the contact watchlist, and you can edit it here too. Looking closely, you can see that watched contacts have a blue icon, unwatched contacts, a grey one.

Tapping the icon changes its status. In the same fashion, the Installed Apps item under Reports displays the same interminable list of apps, each with an open padlock icon if it's allowed, locked padlock if it's locked. Here, too, you tap the icon to toggle its state.
I don't see any point in these duplicate user interface elements. A Different ApproachI've had parents tell me, "Why should I filter Internet content? My kids watch Game of Thrones, for Pete's sake!" It's a valid point.
In the mobile era, parental monitoring includes keeping track of where kids are more than what they're viewing, and responding to calls for help, not notifications that Billy's looking at naughty pictures again.

FamilyTime Premium (for Android) clearly supports this new approach. Note that content filtering is in the works for the iPhone edition, awaiting review by Apple. FamilyTime also quite visibly a work in progress.
If you page through the list of features, you'll find quite a few that are marked as coming soon.

And in testing, I found that a number of features didn't work quite right. When FamilyTime has had a chance to work out the kinks and add those not-yet-present features, it could be pretty impressive.

For now, though, Norton Family Parental Control remains our Editors' Choice for Android parental control. Back to top PCMag may earn affiliate commissions from the shopping links included on this page.

These commissions do not affect how we test, rate or review products.

To find out more, read our complete terms of use.

Top Security To-Dos For Entertainment Industry

"The biz" has unique security needs.

And it isn't only about preventing "the next Sony." The 2014 disaster at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which was the cherry on top of a very sweet year for cyberattackers, was a watershed moment for the entertainment industry, says Eric Friedberg, co-founder and chairman of risk management firm Stroz Friedberg.

Entertainment companies realized that cybercrimes were a legitimate and severe threat to their businesses...but that didn't mean they had an accurate understanding of what they needed to protect and how to protect it. "The crown jewels [for the entertainment industry]," says Friedberg, "typically involve pre-release content, the ability to broadcast, email, and ... strategic plans." Risk assessments, therefore, should focus on looking for the likely vectors against those assets and tailoring security efforts accordingly, he says. Pre-release content -- for example, films that are still in the final stages of production or television shows that have not been aired yet -- is both extremely valuable and confidential. Leaked content could be valuable to both pirates or competitors.
So all production houses have strict internal policies about monitoring chain of custody and restricting access. However, there is often a large gap between what the policy says and what the users actually do, says Friedberg. He suggests that when calling in penetration testers, these would be the particular gaps and holes to ask them to go looking for first.   Not all pre-release content needs to be treated the same, though, he says, because not all of it is at high risk for piracy. Millions of viewers salivate at the faintest scent of an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead; so the pirates who can sate fans' hunger a few days early could make a lot of money.
If a show only has a few viewers to begin with, then why would pirates invest in stealing it, and why should entertainment companies invest in protecting it against piracy?   Just because content is not monetizable or a target of piracy, however, does not mean it should be left unprotected altogether, says Friedberg.

There are other attacks and other attackers to worry about, as Sony learned to their detriment. Hacktivists' motives might be simply to injure or destroy. Destructive attacks are notoriously hard to stop, but Friedberg says that if a certain project or company is expected to be a target of hacktivists "especially if they have had a history of drawing the attention of activists," he says, "we night work with them very proactively on DDOS prevention," for example. The DDOSes in question could be quite severe.

For example, in April 2014, French network TVMonde5 was attacked, its television broadcast interrupted for hours, and its website and social networking profiles defaced.

Cyber Caliphate (a pro-ISIS hacktivist group) claimed responsibility for the attack, (although investigators later stated that Russian APT group Pawn Storm might be involved).  One basic, but often overlooked way that entertainment companies can better protect themselves is to segregate their production/broadcast networks from their office networks -- like segregating classified from unclassified networks. Just as important as preparing the kinds of attacks hacktivists might commit, says Friedberg, is that entertainment companies put in place processes by which they look at their content through the eyes of potential hacktivists, so they can prepare for their risks accordingly. "Track all the haters out there," he says, "classify them into low, medium, high risk ... and understand whether or not that risk is changing." Those risk assessments are based not only on how angry certain groups of "haters" will be, but on the fluctuating maturity of their cyberattack capabilities, he says. Just because a threat actor isn't prepared to launch a devastating attack today doesn't mean they can't tomorrow (on their own, or with their help of a new friend). Friedberg also mentions that the entertainment industry also has some of the same concerns every other company has: like regulatory compliance and users who use poor social networking judgment and password management.  Despite all the cases of celebrities having their social network accounts hacked, Friedberg says that the "beautiful people" apparently don't learn from the experiences of their fancy friends.

Even celebs "really don't do anything to protect themselves until they've been attacked."  Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ...
View Full Bio More Insights

Top Security To-Dos For The Entertainment Industry

'The biz' has unique security needs.

And it isn't only about preventing 'the next Sony.' The 2014 disaster at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which was the cherry on top of a very sweet year for cyberattackers, was a watershed moment for the entertainment industry, says Eric Friedberg, co-founder and chairman of risk management firm Stroz Friedberg.

Entertainment companies realized that cybercrimes were a legitimate and severe threat to their businesses...but that didn't mean they had an accurate understanding of what they needed to protect and how to protect it. "The crown jewels [for the entertainment industry]," says Friedberg, "typically involve pre-release content, the ability to broadcast, email, and ... strategic plans." Risk assessments, therefore, should focus on looking for the likely vectors against those assets and tailoring security efforts accordingly, he says. Pre-release content -- for example, films that are still in the final stages of production or television shows that have not been aired yet -- is both extremely valuable and confidential. Leaked content could be valuable to both pirates or competitors.
So all production houses have strict internal policies about monitoring chain of custody and restricting access. However, there is often a large gap between what the policy says and what the users actually do, says Friedberg. He suggests that when calling in penetration testers, these would be the particular gaps and holes to ask them to go looking for first.   Not all pre-release content needs to be treated the same, though, he says, because not all of it is at high risk for piracy. Millions of viewers salivate at the faintest scent of an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead; so the pirates who can sate fans' hunger a few days early could make a lot of money.
If a show only has a few viewers to begin with, then why would pirates invest in stealing it, and why should entertainment companies invest in protecting it against piracy?   Just because content is not monetizable or a target of piracy, however, does not mean it should be left unprotected altogether, says Friedberg.

There are other attacks and other attackers to worry about, as Sony learned to their detriment. Hacktivists' motives might be simply to injure or destroy. Destructive attacks are notoriously hard to stop, but Friedberg says that if a certain project or company is expected to be a target of hacktivists "especially if they have had a history of drawing the attention of activists," he says, "we night work with them very proactively on DDOS prevention," for example. The DDOSes in question could be quite severe.

For example, in April 2014, French network TVMonde5 was attacked, its television broadcast interrupted for hours, and its website and social networking profiles defaced.

Cyber Caliphate (a pro-ISIS hacktivist group) claimed responsibility for the attack, (although investigators later stated that Russian APT group Pawn Storm might be involved).  One basic, but often overlooked way that entertainment companies can better protect themselves is to segregate their production/broadcast networks from their office networks -- like segregating classified from unclassified networks. Just as important as preparing the kinds of attacks hacktivists might commit, says Friedberg, is that entertainment companies put in place processes by which they look at their content through the eyes of potential hacktivists, so they can prepare for their risks accordingly. "Track all the haters out there," he says, "classify them into low, medium, high risk ... and understand whether or not that risk is changing." Those risk assessments are based not only on how angry certain groups of "haters" will be, but on the fluctuating maturity of their cyberattack capabilities, he says. Just because a threat actor isn't prepared to launch a devastating attack today doesn't mean they can't tomorrow (on their own, or with their help of a new friend). Friedberg also mentions that the entertainment industry also has some of the same concerns every other company has: like regulatory compliance and users who use poor social networking judgment and password management.  Despite all the cases of celebrities having their social network accounts hacked, Friedberg says that the "beautiful people" apparently don't learn from the experiences of their fancy friends.

Even celebs "really don't do anything to protect themselves until they've been attacked."  Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ...
View Full Bio More Insights