Frequently Asked Questions

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Q : Why is ChatShield free?

NetIDme develops internet security solutions that help both businesses and consumers. By developing security products for the business world, we have been able to fund the development of ChatShield, and offer it as a free tool for home users. Therefore, unlike other free parental control tools, we do not need to support ChatShield by advertising. It is strictly 100% free from adware and spyware. NetIDme was originally founded to help protect children online, and this remains a key focus for the business. We will continue to develop and support ChatShield as a free tool to help protect families when using instant messenger.


Q : What is ChatShield for Instant Messenger?

ChatShield will scan incoming and outgoing instant messages to ensure that they have originated from a known, identity verified source. ChatShield offers protection for people using Instant Messenger by ensuring that contacts are checked prior to chatting. The software works with the NetIDme service to automatically verify that the messenger contacts "are who they say they are" and blocks communication if unknown, unverified or they fall outside the specified age restriction.


Q : How can I contact ChatShield customer services?

Our customer services team are available between 9am and 5pm (GMT), Monday to Friday. You can contact customer services on : +44(0)8700 500 735, or send an email to chatshield@netidme.com. Where possible, we will respond to all customer service enquiries within two working days.

Q : My children only chat to their friends using IM, do I really need ChatShield?

Children who use IM (Instant Messaging) to stay in touch with friends are at risk of being contacted by strangers. Children can be contacted by unknown people in Instant Messaging if the stranger manages to get the child's email address from someone else. Internet predators are very skilled at initiating relationships with young people online. Predators can quickly find out a young person's likes and dislikes, and will use this knowledge as the basis for building a friendship. Both predators and bullies often use frightening blackmail to make sure their victim does not tell anyone, for fear of getting into trouble.

Q : Can I restrict the age of the people my child can chat with using ChatShield?

Yes, in the parental control section (password protected), you can specify the maximum age of people you wish your child to chat with. Anyone older than this age will NOT be allowed to chat with your child. Please note: The age restriction will not apply to those in the 'Trusted Contacts' list.

Q : Can I over-ride ChatShield for adult use?

Yes, in the parental control panel, you can specify 'No ChatShield protection for this user' in the security settings section.


Q : How does ChatShield check peoples' identities online?

The software automatically checks personal information against NetIDme identity verification databases, allowing ChatShield to confirm the age and identity of IM contacts before allowing them to chat with your children via Instant Messaging.


Q : I have a 9 year old and a 12 year old, can I set a different level of protection for them?

Yes, ChatShield allows you to specify the protection level for each individual user.


Q : Will my children be able to remove ChatShield from the computer or change the settings?

No, ChatShield is password protected so that only you will have full control. Also, although ChatShield does appear in the add/remove programme section of your computer's control panel, it cannot be un-installed by that method. Un-installation can only be done once logged in to the parental control panel within ChatShield itself.


Q : Can I allow my children to speak to trusted people who are not currently verified by NetIDme?

Yes, ChatShield allows you to simply create a 'Trusted Contacts' list, adding and deleting contacts as often as you need to.


Q : Will ChatShield stop me from using Instant Messaging?

A : No, simply add the email addresses that you use to login to Windows Live Messenger to ChatShield. In the security settings section, select: 'No ChatShield protection for this user'. You can add as many adults, or older teens to this list as you need to.


If your question has not been answered here, please contact us