Monitoring Software for Teen Chat
My other Hubs and Blogs
- Gaia and Social Sites – The dangers for our teens.
My research into the Social Sites my daughter was joining, including Gaia. They are scary!
- Parenting a Teen With OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
My journey to find treatment, acceptance, and healing for my daughter and my whole family. About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in teens and families.
- My Hard Drive Crashed - and NO Backup!
The name says it all. Stupid me! Please forgive me computer.
BEST Monitoring Software For Teens
I finally purchased my monitoring software. Like I said, I wanted the BEST! I decided to do it, and purchased WEBWATCHER. I love it. I will review why it's the best, and then tell you what I liked about it.
Editor's Choice Award Winner - WEBWATCHER
It is the only truly web-based computer activity / Internet monitor. WebWatcher is really stands out from the rest. WebWatcher also has the rare ability of both effective monitoring and web site blocking. The software installs easily and has an intuitive interface that even computer novices should find easy to use.
- Monitor children's key strokes real-time from anywhere
- Block ANY webpage based on content or web address
- Read Instant Message (IM or "Chat") Conversations
- Read Incoming and Outgoing Email
- Log every keystroke
- Take pictures of screenshots so you can see EXACTLY what is typed, surfed or read
- Record online and offline activities
- Quickly sift through data using unique keyword system
Now, why do I like it? I downloaded it instantly, and set it up in minutes. You do have to set it up on the computer you want to monitor. They have great discounts if you want more than one licence. I just told my daughter I needed to get something off that computer, and it would take 5 minutes.
She can't see it working, and has no idea that I am watching. It doesn't slow down the computer either. I can read the instant messages from all different programs. She usually used AIM or MSN.
For times when she chats on GaiaOnliine, it isn't registered as a separate IM, so I can look at all her keystrokes. You also can set up a large list of words to watch for. It will take a screen shot when she is viewing, or typing that word. It will alert you too. I put words in the list that a preditor might use, or she might use if she wanted to meet or do something dangerous. It gives you a huge list of suggestions. I also included our personal information so I can be sure it isn't going out.
So what happened the first night I used it. Whew. I have seen some of her other chats she saves, and the boys chatting with her scare me. She really only chats with one in particular, and he says he is in high school the same as her. I checked his MYSPACE site, and he seems for real. Well, the conversation last night was innocent, and even cute. I feel bad "listening in", but I feel like I am doing my best to protect her.
Remember, just because the conversations seem innocent, don't stop watching. If you look up information about preditors on the internet, they use the word "preening". They will preen their victim for months before they actually start to make their move. They start out friendly, and understanding. It is common for them to work themselves into the child's trust by telling them they totally understand everything they are going through even though no one else does.
It's a new world, with new dangers for our kids. Make sure you are doing your best to keep them safe. It not only protects them, it gives you peace of mind.
Oh...I am going to include a link on my other blog to purchase the product if you are interested. I will put the link on here in a minute.
Which Monitoring Software is the best for Parents?
My last post was about the Social Sites that my teens are using. They are very dangerous places. Even though I monitor my daughter's activity, talk to her daily about the dangers and the dos and don'ts, and she is a good kid, she is answering post that scare me and set her up for sexual preditors. She is a smart and obedient kid, but she just can't recognize the dangers. She gets posts full of fake flattery, sexual comments, and requests for naked pictures. I am reading all the posts that come in, but because of all the private chat, I am now going to look into monitoring software. Even if I shut off the site, she is still chatting with a bunch of "kids" with AIM and other messaging services.
So what is the best program? I guess it depends on what you want to do, and how much you have to spend. The most recognized name is Net Nanny. One of the nice things about that program is that you can set it up for different users, and set different levels.
Here are some features from their site http://www.netnanny.com/
This first one is the one I really like.
NetNanny is $39.95.
NetNanny also has Chat monitor. This is what I need for my daughter. I couldn't find a way to order this from there site, but I found it at Amazon.com. It will probably show up below for links from Amazon. Here are some of the features for this:
BenefitsFeaturesTells You Exactly What Your Kids Are Saying Online
- Records both sides of popular chat and instant messaging conversations.
- Sends activity reports to you by email, as often as every hour.
- Prevents your child from giving out personal, identifying information and records any attempts to do so.
- Sends immediate email alert to you if children receive solicitous messages, such as "do you like boys?" or "what r u wearing?," while they are chatting online.
- Optional termination of inappropriate chat or instant messenger conversations.
- Disables access to popular chat and instant messaging programs.
- Schedules daily and weekly "no chat" time periods.
- Installation and set-up in just minutes.
- It's easy to customize the default features to meet your unique needs.
- Protects settings and recordings with both a password and a hot-key combination that you choose.
- Optional stealth installation ensures the software is completely hidden from everyone except those with authorized access.
This can be purchase online for $19.99 to $29.99.
Another good site for software is http://www.spectorsoft.com/
I haven't heard of them before, but they have all different kinds of monitoring software. They cost a little more too. One cool thing is taking snapshots of the screen your kids are on up to every second! Then you check it later.
Spector works by taking a snapshot of whatever is on the computer screen and saves it away in a hidden location on your computer's hard drive. A few seconds later, Spector takes another picture. In fact, Spector can automatically take a picture of your computer screen as frequently as once per second.
I think that one starts at about $69.00
Here's another one at http://www.smartkeystrokerecorder.com/
I haven't heard of it, so I have no idea how it works. But it seems to do everything for one price of $29.90 to $49.90.
Easy to use - just install and let it do the rest.
Invisible keylogger - absolutely undetectable.
Monitors Internet activity.
Online chat logging - AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ sessions.
Password logging - captures every password, even those behind asterisks.
The PRO version combines powerful monitoring features with ease of use:
Visual surveillance - screenshots with quality and timeperiod settings.
Password protected - accessible only to you.
Remote monitoring - delivers the log to you by e-mail
That's just a few. I have to keep researching before I decide. If anyone knows a good one, and wants to recommend it, let me know. I would like to purchase it today. I prefer the download, but I could get a CD.
Here is one more good site, that lists all the products and their features side-by-side.
I found one more I have to mention. It seems to be rated the best on quite a few sites. (Of course they are all selling it too!)
Editor's Choice Award Winner - WEBWATCHER
As the only truly web-based computer activity / Internet monitor, WebWatcher is in a league of its own. With a complete suite of powerful features it includes (among other things) a web site monitor, a chat recorder, an invisible key logger, and an automated screenshot capture tool. WebWatcher also has the rare ability of both effective monitoring and web site blocking.
The software installs easily and has an intuitive interface that even computer novices should find easy to use.
In short: WebWatcher puts serious power in your hands. Couple the powerful features available "out-of-the-box" (no configuration required) with the ease of managing everything from a standard web browser, and it's easy to see why WebWatcher is our Editor's Choice. It's solid software.
Bye for now.