What is Monitoring Software?
Computer monitoring software also known as spyware or key logger software is a program that tracks most activity on a computer. The program may require physical access to the computer although some programs allow computers to be monitored from the internet. A good monitoring software program will track all keystrokes made on the computer, be able to provide complete Internet monitoring usage including monitoring of chat rooms, record both sides of instant messaging programs, monitor web site access, monitor incoming and outgoing emails, and track downloads. It is important for parents that are monitoring their children’s Internet activities to have a program that will report both sides of a conversation on programs like AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and that will functional in the most popular social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook.
Choices for Internet Monitoring Programs
Monitoring Software companies tend to target specific market segments, with some appealing to parents wanting to protect there children, employers wanting to protect their businesses, and spouses wanting keep track of their significant others. Although software specifically designed for businesses is overkill for parents looking to protect their children, the other two are equally suitable for parents and spouses. When one strips away the companies marketing it comes down to which program has the features that you need.
What is Filtering Software?
Filtering software also known as content control software, parental control software, censorware or web filtering software is designed to control the content that a person using a computer can see. This software is most often seen in businesses, with many web sites made unavailable to employees due to their either being considered inappropriate or intrusive on the work flow, and in homes where parents prevent their children from being exposed to the seedier side of the internet. A good monitoring software program will have a preset list of sites that are excluded from viewing. This list should be updatable. It should also be editable by the parents, as invariably some sites that are not harmful and may be desirable to access are put on this list. Which brings us to one of the most important factors, how accurately does the filtering software do its job, i.e. keep the harmful sites away from our children, while allowing them to explore the many beneficial sides of the internet.. The FBI in their Internet safety guide designed for parents state that “Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software.”