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How to find out what my kids are doing..

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I have two kids, both teenagers :) . They use the internet a lot, mostly for Facebook or Myspace I think, and chatting with friends. But I want to know exactly what there doing.. protective mother instincts kicking in I guess. A lot of times there talking to people I have know idea who they are..

My oldest is pretty computer smart.. when college comes his major will be IT he believes. Whenever I use the computer for whatever I check the History, and most of the time it's been cleared.

I'm not as computer illiterate, but I can do most things, and can definitely follow directions -

Is their a program I could get to record what my kids have been doing? I know almost all Keyloggers are used for malware and hackers out there, and free ones online all contain viruses or something.. I just need like a small something that will give me a notepad of whats been said, and also something that records history to somewhere else so that I can view the file even if history on IE or firefox has been cleared.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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If the computer's hidden away in a bedroom, move it to the front room or wherever where you can see it. Your eldest may be able to defeat any solution you implement, that much you've admitted. Your son will probably not be able to defeat you if you are present.
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I don't think you were asking for a very ethical solution. Yes, constant physical access to the computer is probably the best way, and more trusting. But then this son will most likely find other sources of internet, if he is indeed doing something other than Myspace, Facebook.

I do not know if spying on these teens is the best option you have, it is just short of installing a webcam in their room. But Software and programming is available for this course of action.

In your post you mentioned you really did not want to download anything, since they all have some sort of malware involved. They must have malware in it, or the program would run like any other. This computer savvy teen you have would easily find it in the task bar, task manager, or whatever else. If curiousity overcomes dread, then read this:
It's not a spouse, but same idea. He may already have anti-keylogging software on the computer, so even if you downloaded a keylogger, it could also not work. If you found something that

Unfortunately, there is no plausible solution. You could start learning C++ or other languages, by the time they are out of High School you will start to learn how to program this sort of thing. But it's very extensive, and I couldn't find that sort of code anywhere online.

So one viable option is to find source code for a keylogger. Try searching google.com or bing.com for something like "C++ keylogger source code" and snoop around. You would also need a compiler for the language. I'm afraid nothing like this can be done in a native language (i.e. Windows batch).

Your second option is to get Software that saves history elsewhere (keyloggers are way too dangerous for my taste). So these links are safer, but not guaranteed:
Internet Explorer
Firefox(not sure, but try it)

Edited by Mrco, 22 August 2009 - 10:39 PM.

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    Kraków my love :)

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Spying is rather awful idea. Doing it to your own kids is even worse.
Do you think, they'll ever trust you, if they find out what you're doing?
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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it's not our place to decide whether what you're wanting to do is ethical or not...or what impact it will have on your relationship with your kids...you as a parent have any right to do anything you like on a computer you have purchased and maintain ownership of...so .....to keep the answers on topic

i use the corporate version of This software....there are two versions for home and office that are about $100 to buy....it's a VERY effective package and VERY difficult to get around (close enough to where i'll call it relatively impossible)...you can set up alerts to send you messages any time a specific action occurs (such as your kid typing in your home address on myspace or facebook)....or it can outright block it from happening...
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