Help Center

Welcome to the IISafety Help Center.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

The Institute for Internet Safety is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible under IRS 501(c)(3) regulation.

How is donated money spent?

Most of our budget goes to infrastructure (the computers and other costs involved in providing our services) and outreach (to make sure people know about our services). We also have expenses associated with the development of new initiatives.

How long have you been around?

The software we use to provide our services was first made publicly available in 2013 as a subscription service. Due to the overwhelming need for these services to be available to as many people as possible, this software is now licensed by, and offered through, the Institute for Internet Safety for free to those in need.

Why do so many people misbehave online?

The answer depends on who you are speaking of:

In the case of adults, the “online world” makes some adults feel a sense of invincibility, while others feel as though they can finally express themselves without a filter or without fear of repercussion.

In the case of children it’s simply because no one is keeping an eye on them. In the 'real world' when children are at home, school, in a house of worship, at after school activity - even at a friend's house, there is usually an adult present. Knowing that someone is there makes a difference.

In the ‘online world’, children largely (and correctly) assume that no one is watching, and if they are watching they're not doing so with any degree of consistency. In every-day life, a parent might give their child some privacy when they are spending time with a friend or are having a party, but the same parent would be unlikely to leave the house and leave the children entirely unsupervised.

The knowledge that an adult is present can often provide a beneficial deterrent effect. This dynamic did not presently exist in the ‘online world’. Until now.

How much do the Visual Web Scan Reports cost?

Our Visual Web Scan Reports are free thanks to our Corporate and Individual sponsors. It conducts a comprehensive search and gives you a pretty clear picture of the publicly available information about you or your child.

How do I get started using the Visual Web Scan Reports?

Simply click here and sign up for your free report and start monitoring your online life.

If you are already a Member and need help using the program, please see our How To page.

How do I get the most out of my reports?

Using our Visual Web Scan report is an effective way of monitoring your online activities. However, it is only as effective as you make it. The more information you tell us, the better your report results will be. When completing your profile please be sure to complete as many fields as you can, the more detailed the better. This helps us to return the most accurate results we can.

When entering your name use the name you are most likely to use online. For example, if your name is "Rebecca Smith" but everyone calls you "Becky", enter "Becky Smith".

And don't forget, let your child know that you are using our services. The fact that you are receiving our reports will serve notice to your child that you are watching, and that they need to think twice before they post.

What if I find something that negatively affects my online image?

IISafety offers tools you can use to assist you in cleaning up your or your child's online image. We also offer techniques on how to create a positive image. Please visit our Education section for details.

Is this really necessary?

Yes, we believe that every individual who has access to the internet and plans on going to college or getting a job in the future needs to protect their online image. Quite simply, everyone has an embarrassing or compromising story or event. but today that one, single, momentary lapse in judgment can be posted online for everyone to see or read about. And even worse than that lapse going ‘viral’ is the fact that anything posted online is persistent - it can stay online forever and be posted in multiple locations and even downloaded to the computer of anyone connected to the Internet. So when applying to a school or looking for a new job these bits and pieces of our online lives become searchable and easily found by the decision makers that have a profound impact.

Can’t I just do this myself?

You certainly can go online to the multitude of sites and search engines and do searches and sift through the results. If you have the time and the patience to do this consistently, then by all means, yes it is possible. However, it is our experience that most people do not have the time, nor the inclination to take on this task. Our technology makes the process comprehensive and secure.

Can you find everything?

We can’t find everything if the communications are private or by text message. We can find most information that is posted PUBLICLY - it is the publicly shared information that typically is the most problematic and can be found by schools you or your child might be applying to or by employers considering you or your child for hire.

Where are my kids?

The fact that you have a facebook account means your kids are running far away. And, they are running to these other social media sites: Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, Ovoo, Google+, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp and many others. By nature kids are always looking for something new, the new “it” product or service. Student Inspectors scans the public areas of all these sites for you.

How are you different from keystroke and other computer monitoring software?

These types of software are passive monitoring systems and they only monitor the systems you install them on. Also, it is up to you to review and interpret the information that they yield. The fact is that your child is online on more that just the family desktop - you cannot possibly monitor every potential point of access of school-age children. We are an active system that scans and monitors publicly available information.

Is this spying?

Parental guidance and supervision is not spying. Checking publicly available information is not spying. One of the duties of a parent is protecting their child. Sometimes you have to protect that child from themselves.

Am I a good online parent?

In today’s society a part of good parenting must involve an internet strategy. Children are not any different than they’ve always been - most of us had to read “Lord of the Flies” when we were in school, a dramatization showing children left unsupervised on an island. Similarly, many of our children are being left with no guidance and no chaperones in the ever-growing online world. We would not have hundreds of children in our homes, or send our kids on a trip with no adult supervision, yet so many children are left to their own devices online: without any oversight and without the basic knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves. Being a good online parent means giving your children the appropriate guidance and support they need - Student Inspector can be an essential tool in your online parenting strategy.