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By setting up your account with Accountable2You, you’ve taken a big step towards protecting yourself and your testimony with your online activity. Now, if you haven’t yet established your account with Accountable2You, go back to edifyhub.com/accountability to help you figure out which kind of account is right for you. When you’re done, we’ll come back and pick up here again.
So yes, establishing that account is a big first step. And in order for that step to work, you need to tell Accountable2You who your accountability partners are. Who is it that’s going to get the reports of your online activity?
Before we step into the mechanics of setting up your partners, let’s take a moment to explore what makes a good accountability partner. I have two simple questions to ask to help you identify the ideal partners for you.
- Question 1: Will this person be willing to ask me about my questionable activity in a spirit of love?
- Question 2: Will I be able to answer this person honestly if my activity is inappropriate?
Let’s look at those questions just a little more deeply.
Question 1 again – Will this person be willing to ask me about my questionable activity in a spirit of love? You’ll notice there are two key pieces to this question. First, if this person is just going to delete the accountability report emails, or if they’re simply going to read them and archive them without ever engaging you when you start to get careless, then their partnership isn’t going to help you. On the other side of the coin, it’s a computer from Accountable2You trying to analyze what you’re looking at to see what’s questionable or “highly questionable” to flag activity in these accountability reports. While you can configure your account to be more or less cautious, and to consider certain words or phrases to be more or less questionable, it’s still a computer doing the analysis. It doesn’t know what you struggle with, and it can’t always tell the context of what it’s looking at. And it’s better to accidentally flag something innocent for your partner to review than to let you gradually stray into grayer and grayer areas without giving your partner a chance to intervene. So, if you use the internet with any regularity, you will eventually get questionable activity showing up in your report. You’ll want an accountability partner who can ask you about that activity in a spirit of love, without condemning you for it.
And knowing that your partner will ask you about your activity leads us to question 2 again – Will I be able to answer this person honestly if my activity is inappropriate. If you are starting to get careless, if you are straying down a dangerous path, if you did just deliberately visit a wicked website… how are you likely to answer when your partner asks? Do you have an honest enough relationship with this person that you can “confess your faults one to another”? If you’re likely to lie to this person and cover up your activity or blame something outside yourself, then that partner relationship could end up doing more harm than good to your efforts to manage your internet activity.
So, those are important questions to help you identify your ideal accountability partner. But it’s equally important not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good. If you can trust the person enough to be honest about your activity, then chances are, setting them up as an accountability partner will be helpful for you.
So let’s move on, and see exactly how you set up your accountability partner.
First, make sure you’re logged in to Accountable2You. If you just logged on, click the Set Up Partners button on the home page.a If you’re somewhere else, just click on the Partners menu.
In this example, I’ve already set up my own email address as a partner so I can see what my reports look like. That’s what I do with my real-life account, too. That way, when something comes up that may need a bit of explanation, I can reach out to my accountability partners proactively to let them know what happened. Getting my own daily reports also serves as a regular reminder that my internet activity is being watched, and that’s helpful, too.
But let’s go ahead and Add a New Partner.
Enter their name and email address. If you want highly questionable activity to trigger a text alert, enter their cell number, too. If they share their email address with others, you may want to require a password to view your reports. You’ll share that password only with your accountability partner.
Next, choose what kind of reports they’ll get. A Summary Report shares a summary of your activity, and it’s sent either every day or every week.
Here’s a quick sample of what a summary report includes. Besides the high-level summary for each device, it also includes the titles of apps or internet activity that looks questionable. Also notice the View Full Report button. With that button, the summary email also gives your accountability partner access to review all of your activity, even the things that weren’t considered questionable. Sometimes having access to the fuller context of your activity can help your accountability partner understand the reasoning behind some things that the software may flag as questionable. But if you use a device to work with confidential information that shouldn’t be shared outside of your company or ministry, you may choose not to send a summary report. Instead, you may choose to only Email Objectionable Alerts. Those emails are sent within an hour of questionable activity occurring, and they include only the questionable items. They don’t include access to see your full activity. If an hour is too long for you to wait for a call from your accountability partner, you can select Instant Text Alerts, and Acountable2You will send them a text message the moment it sees any activity it considers highly questionable. This option is extremely helpful for those with a particularly difficult struggle with temptation.
Finally, if your temptations go beyond online activity and also include visiting certain types of establishments, you can turn on GPS tracking, which allows your accountability partner to get a report with a link to see where you’ve been. In order for this option to be available, you’ll have to explicitly turn on GPS tracking on the Accountable2You app on your phone. By default, GPS tracking is turned off.
For now, I’ll send a daily summary report for all of my devices, as well as hourly alerts for any objectionable activity.
If you’re not quite done installing the software on all of your devices, you may also want to check this box and choose what kind of reports you want to send them for any devices you install later. If you want to enable GPS tracking, though, you’ll need to come back here again after enabling it on your app.
When you’re done, click Save Partner. You can always Remove a partner at a later time, but they’ll get one final notification email letting them know that you’ve removed them.
If you need to make several changes to partner notifications on one of your devices, you can open up that specific device. From here, you’ll see which partners are assigned to this device, and you can make any changes. Your partners will get an email informing them of any changes you make to their settings here.
If you’d like more details about what those email reports look like, visit edifyhub.com/accountability/reports.
If you’re ready to start installing the Accountable2You software on your devices, go to edifyhub.com/accountability/install.
And again, if you don’t yet have your own account with Accountable2You, start at edifyhub.com/accountability to figure out which kind of account is best for you.