Pc activity monitoring software

vbimport

#1

I’m using some trial software that a friend recommended and am getting ready to purchase it. My kids are getting older and spending alot of time on the the PC - online most of it. We have rules and we talk about what they are getting into, but the web is a wide open space with no limits, and they are getting curiious, pretty bold…

So I’m trying out this software called Family Cyber Alert - it logs all that they are doing on the PC. It seems pretty easy to use, pretty straight-forward, and at first use seems to give me a better handle on what they are getting into, “where” they are going, etc., so maybe I can better steer them away from trouble.

My question is whether anyone else is familiar with this software (or this type software) and has any experience to share or feedback to offer. For example, logging everything the way it does, does that create any greater risk for someone hacking into my personal information somehow - identity theft?


#2

Hi and Welcome![QUOTE=fullspeedahead;2541631]I’m using some trial software that a friend recommended and am getting ready to purchase it. My kids are getting older and spending alot of time on the the PC - online most of it. We have rules and we talk about what they are getting into, but the web is a wide open space with no limits, and they are getting curiious, pretty bold…[/quote]The latter is very good.

So I’m trying out this software called Family Cyber Alert - it logs all that they are doing on the PC.
So you want to install spyware on your computer. Have you informed your kids about that?

A few things are to consider:
If you are not able to lock down your Windows computer (user rights, software restriction policies etc.), this spyware won’t reside long on the system. Kids are very clever.
In case you have some “security software” running, it might treat them as what-it-is (spyware) and deal with it accordingly.
That’s for the technical part.

For the other question - yes such a software might affect your system’s integrity and perhaps open security holes that can be exploited by criminals.
If the manufacturer of that software is a scambag - well, that’s why there are search engines on the web. Minimum should be the address on the company’s website, so you can send the Marines, the Taliban or whomever to. An anonymous whois-record for that website is fishy also.

Identity theft is made easier if the victims don’t stop posting their personal stuff on {insert your favourite social media website here}. And it’s getting really ugly, if your kids are old enough to get a job, and the potential employers find the drunk-party-pictures on socialmediawebsite-dot-com. This is something to talk about with your kids. Also, set up a time schedule for online activities. And don’t let them alone during this time (depending on age of course).
Windows has very nifty built-in tools to enforce this schedule btw :bigsmile:

Michael


#3

If your looking for content filtering software, there is a free solution, and no its not spyware or a scam. Its called K9 web protection.
Its quite sweet actually, there are no “easy” ways around it. Its browser agnostic and OS agnostic, even running virtual machines in windows are blocked by it.
It uses a centrally hosted database on their servers, the software basically queries the server on every website someone visits and finds what category its listed under. It uses that against the settings / categories you have picked to allow / deny and it will reject the connection or let it through based on your settings.

Ive found it DOES NOT slow down internet speeds, it DOES NOT put a overhead on windows performance. Its very effecient and fast.
It logs EVERY site they visit and you can login into the client via web browser and view everywhere they have been.

Can also tell it to allow them to only surf the web via “safe search” engines, and it will preconfigure google to use safe search setting.
Can specify domains to block or keywords as well.
Its pretty cool.


#4

Appreciate all the good feedback.

I have done a bit of research on the provider of the Family Cyber Alert software, and they seem to be trustworthy, so I’m not too concerned with them. I found some good information on their website. My friend’s husband is an IT guy and uses other software from them.

In my case it will not be “spyware” as I have told my kids that I will be using it and how. I’m sure other parents may decide to use this more stealthily - I’m not comfortable with that personally, but realize different parents have different parenting approaches, circumstances and challenges.

I’ve used a filter for when my kids were younger, but that is not what I’m looking for at this point. It looks like I can still block specific sites with this software if I want, but more important to me is having greater visability to their online habits…for the purpose of enabling me to have more productive discussions with them about online habits, what to be careful with and why, what are some of the possible lasting ramifications of using poor judgement online.

we have rules / guidelines, and we talk, but even the best kids are not always the most communicative and thus you have to pry sometimes to get info…with this monitor program, it gives me a bit more to go on when I do talk to them about online habits…if I happen to see something that concerns me somehow, I plan to use that to learn a bit more about it so that I can have a more constructive follow-up conversation if it is warranted.

Thanks.


#5

Count me as another vote for the K9 web protection . . . worked like a charm when I had it on my kids’ PC.


#6

[QUOTE=fullspeedahead;2541827]Appreciate all the good feedback.

In my case it will not be “spyware” as I have told my kids that I will be using it and how. [/QUOTE]:bow: Big thumbs up! :iagree:

Michael


#7

If you want to block access to certain websites then i rather would suggest using something like OpenDNS. You can find the Parental Controls explanation right here. See their Family Shield solution right here. You can even protect your Nintendo Wii. :slight_smile:

You could even protect your entire internet connection using OpenDNS, without ever worrying about what kind of device tries to use the internet via your connection by using their DNS instead of the DNS of your ISP. (Disadvantage is that mom and dad now also cannot download porn).

Just use 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123 on your router/pc/device as your DNS servers for internet connectivity and you have the Family Shield active. No need to sign up, pay anything, etc.

(I’m not affiliated with OpenDNS, but i used their services in the past and they were always lighting fast. Just more to choose from! :slight_smile: )

Regarding Windows machines i would also recommend you take a look at the freely available Windows Steady State. It takes quite a lot of resources, but when configured properly there is no way your kids could destroy your precious data.


#8

Cool. Thanks Mr. B.


#9

Just tested the OpenDNS Family ip’s. Work flawlessly and even remembered my 2 year old account. :slight_smile: