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Golden Filter Premium has its eye on your computing habits

Monitor, track, and block Internet and PC activity with this stealthy parental control tool.

Golden Filter Premium v3.0 Safe Internet browsing filter is categorized as Parental Control freeware, and its installer and setup wizard depict shocked children viewing a computer screen. But its developer, Gsi Egypt, points out companies, universities, coffee shops, and other places can use it "for controlling computers and Internet from preventing adults from watching inappropriate content." It's designed to be hidden from users in daily operation, and it can't be uninstalled except from inside the software.

Despite an army of red flags, we downloaded and installed Golden Filter Premium. We're glad we found out before running Golden Filter that users must press F10 to show the program's interface and F9 to hide it again, and also that the default password is "admin," which we nevertheless had some trouble getting the program to accept. The user interface finally opened: Golden Filter Premium Beta. But we thought this was Version 3.0, and Safe with a capital "S"? We finally accessed the settings. The program asked if we wanted to see the list of restricted words. Did we! Uh oh; "passion"? "Swear"? "Adult"? Really; the word "adult"? And what on earth are those weird character strings? While there's little doubt most of the list is inappropriate for children or for adult citizens of certain countries, we sensed a bit of the overly restrictive hand found in some parts of the world. But you can add or delete items on the list as well as import or create your own list, so most objections about overly strict filtering can be addressed, with some effort. We could add restricted Web sites and even restricted programs, which prevents the wee ones from accessing certain apps without permission. We could even program time restrictions, enabling and disabling access on schedule. A hidden folders tool let us hide selected files and folders from view. The screenshot video tool is especially interesting; it creates a video of all screen activity when the feature is enabled. You can save the video to a hidden destination and watch it to see just what went on when you were away.

Golden Filter Premium certainly offers an array of stealthy tools for blocking and monitoring various activities on a secured PC. If you thought that governments, businesses, and hackers weren't following your every move, take a look at these "parental controls."

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