When you mention “accountability software” to someone, one of the first questions you are likely to hear in return is, “What is that and what does it do?” Perhaps you also have the same question. In an age where accountability is often seen as an inconvenience or a punishment, it is important to consider the true role of accountability software and how it can be used as a tool to foster responsibility and integrity in today’s digital world.

Many of us are accustomed to accountability in several aspects of our daily life. In our careers, we are accountable for the quality and integrity of our work, the way that money is spent, and the way that we make use of our time. In our personal relationships, we are accountable for the things that we say, the places we go, and the things that we do. For most people, these things are done in view of someone else who can hold us accountable to do the right thing and to walk in integrity and purity. But what about on our digital devices?

Today’s digital age has opened an amazing world of possibilities, while simultaneously opening an endless world of temptation. Our digital devices offer us privacy and anonymity from the eyes of others, and suddenly a very prevalent part of our lives is absent of accountability.

This is where accountability software enters the picture. The purpose of accountability software is to provide a means of accountability across digital devices, without taking away any of the functionality and convenience of the digital age. It is a tool to promote openness and transparency in what could otherwise be a very secretive environment.

A good accountability software monitors activity such as web browsing and app usage, and reports this activity to an accountability partner whom the user would specify. Questionable activity, if detected by the software, would also be brought to the attention of the accountability partner(s) so that they could initiate a discussion with the user regarding the nature of the activity. In this way accountability software is a tool, designed to promote openness between individuals to challenge and encourage each other to walk in purity.

Accountability software differs from filtering software in that it does not prevent a user from accessing content or engaging in any sort of activity. The intent of accountability is not to forcefully stop someone from inappropriate activity, but to give them a reason to intentionally choose the path of integrity.

So, what if the software detects inappropriate activity? Accountability software is not designed to fix an issue, but simply to bring it out into the open so that it can be gracefully and effectively addressed. The software is, therefore, a simple tool, but when used within the context of strong relationships between users and accountability partners it can be a simple tool that results in great freedom!

Do you use accountability software? How does it work for you? Please let us know in the comments below!

4 Comments

  • Frank Senter says:

    How does Accountable2You work (not asking about features, but rather how the software functions)? What happens when Internet connectivity is sluggish, or non-existent?

    • Accountable2You says:

      Hi Frank,

      Accountable2You works slightly different depending on the device and operating system that it’s running on. Generally, Accountable2You utilizes a service called Accessibility, which is built into most operating systems, to collect activity information. That information is then sent to Accountable2You’s servers which process the activity against a rating system, which determines if the activity appears normal or questionable in nature. Activities are then posted to your reports for your accountability partners to review, and alerts are sent out for questionable items (depending on your accountability partner alert settings).

      One of the best features of Accountable2You is that it doesn’t directly handle your internet traffic. Think of Accountable2You more like a spectator on the 50-yard line. The app isn’t interfering with the activity on the field in any way, but it watches and reports everything that it sees. In this way your internet speeds are not impacted in any way.

      When your internet is slow, Accountable2You functions normally. Because it takes very little data to send records to our servers, your activity will typically appear just as quickly. In the event of no internet, Accountable2You continues to record your activity and the app keeps this activity until the internet is restored, at which time all of that activity is sent to our servers for processing and will appear on your reports.

      Please let us know in you have any followup questions. We are available at [email protected] for any questions or if you need assistance.

  • Wane says:

    I thought the accountability software was used to monitor & call alert to questionable sites over the internet. I noticed on my report that it also monitors every file opened on my computer. I am pursuing a possible career in writing. I noticed my journal files accessed, and even my Bible studies, the words I looked up in Greek & Hebrew. Besides working on writing a book, I also do exercises in free flow thinking & writing, as well as tracing words to the place of origin & content; those files are also on your report. This is not what I signed up for. I signed up to stay off of the internet sex sites, because they are distracting me from work & relationship. I feel like I am being spied on, under a microscope; the work I have been doing is now accessible to whomever you people are. Now, I feel like I have to scrap all the time & effort I put into my work, as well as no longer keeping a journal, through typing.
    If we are subject to someone to police our every thought, what then happens to truth? My first instinct is to hide and suppress my innermost understanding & search of truth, not only personal, but all truth. Intruding & prying busy bodies, often seem to cause more harm than good, because they take into account ONLY what they see, & interpreting the TRUTH that THEY see, based upon their own life experiences. This is not what I signed on for here. I think that is not accountability but intrusion, and can be extremely counter productive, as well as unhealthy.
    If we judge truth solely on content, rather than the Spirit or Essence of Presence, do we not run the risk of corrupting the very thing we seek, as precious?

    • accountable2you says:

      Hi Wayne,

      Thank you for your comments. On Windows and Android we have a program exclusion list that will allow you to keep confidential items that may not be helpful for accountability. The reason we record all activity by default is because many of our users want to be fully accountable to their partners. This app exclusion list is designed for situations where users require some activity to be confidential (text messages, word documents, etc…).

      To access the program exclusion list on a Windows computer you’ll want to right click on the AU icon in the system tray (bottom right corner near the time) and select Program Exclusion List. Check the items you want to be excluded from reporting and press save. To access on the Android devices you’ll want to open the Accountable2You app and select Settings–>App Exclusion list. Check the items you want to be excluded from reporting. We are adding these list to Mac in the very near future.

      Please let us know in you have any followup questions. We are available at [email protected] for any questions or if you need assistance.

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