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Watching another computer discreetly


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Hi, my daughter just turned 10, and today when I came into her room, I saw her minimize a window on her computer. Something she didn't want me to see, I guess, but that's not really acceptable for a 10-year-old.

Can anyone tell me about some easy-to-use network software that I could install on her computer, that would allow me to discreetly view her desktop from my computer? They're running on the same network. Just something so that I could see what she's doing on the computer when no one is watching. I don't want to confront her about the minimized window, because I don't want her to go to any lengths to hide whatever she's doing (hopefully nothing bad).

I hope that one of the experts on this forum will know of some program I can download that will allow me to see what she's doing.

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I use Intelliadmin here at work to monitor PC usage, which is part of my job.

Search for it, I didn't link but it's easy enough to find. It's not freeware but it's worth the price because it is unobtrusive. The end user will not see it running and you can install it remotely.

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respect her privacy...

ok this is just my opinion but...

Shes 10. She gets her privacy in 8 years. Until then a good parent is mindful of their child's activities.

as I stated its my opinion

thats a filtering program but thats not very discreet but id use this:

http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

ive also used a piece of software in the past called desktop detective (not free) that will allow you to see a live screenshot, time delay screnshots via email, traffic logging, and a bunch more i cant remember. but it might be a little overkill for this situation.

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my guess maybe she has a BF and was chating to him they say kids start young i would keep a clear eye on her for sure. use that free monitor program it's just as good as the pay for ones. also keep eyes out for child predators they like to pressure young kids into doing stuff bad. i keep a close tabs on my kid her computer is in a family room so i can see what it is she is doing. ether relocated the pc or use filters and a monitor program.

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I got 2 daughters about the same age.

i keep a close tabs on my kid her computer is in a family room so i can see what it is she is doing.

Same here and that works out great. They've asked to have one moved to their room, and the answer's always been NO (a lot of parents need to learn saying that word sometimes). A PC in their room is just asking for trouble, and then I'd feel like they have something to hide anyways, and I'd probably end up "spying" on them all the time too. Most of their browsing is either sites with flash games, wikipedia, and youtube. I might try Vista's parental controls soon.

But if you want to see where they've been, there's always very simple things you can do first, like checking the web browser history.

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Ahahaha, topics like this always make me smile. My parents were always suspicious of me when I'd minimize windows, specifically my mom. Truth is, I really didn't want them reading my conversations or spying on me while surfing the web (I wasn't doing anything bad, promise :) ). I really hate it when people look over my shoulder. And my parents wouldn't be able to spy on me using any software in the first place - they're both somewhat computer-illiterate - I'd disable it in seconds.

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have a good talk with her rather than spying on her

respect her privacy...

You don't have any children, do you Kindovic?

my parents wouldn't be able to spy on me using any software in the first place - they're both somewhat computer-illiterate - I'd disable it in seconds.

not if I were your parent, gamehead200.

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have a good talk with her rather than spying on her

respect her privacy...

You don't have any children, do you Kindovic?

my parents wouldn't be able to spy on me using any software in the first place - they're both somewhat computer-illiterate - I'd disable it in seconds.

not if I were your parent, gamehead200.

nah... i'm still single...

lol

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my parents wouldn't be able to spy on me using any software in the first place - they're both somewhat computer-illiterate - I'd disable it in seconds.

not if I were your parent, gamehead200.

Yeah, good luck with that. :P Especially since I live ALONE 600km away from both my parents right now. :lol: I have to deal with things like the printer not printing remotely from all the way over here.

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  • 1 month later...

Ah, the responsibility of being a good IT literate parent. I have shepherded two college age sons in their computer growth and responsibility. Respect, ground rules, openness and consequences. Plus some absolute policies and a little hardware. As they have grown older, they have gotten more ability to do their own thing.

1. I assume that you and your spouse purchased the machine. (We bought it, *I* am the one who fixes and upgrades it, therefore I get:

  • An administrator account on the machine.
  • The right and priveledge for unannounced inspection of the machine.
  • Approvals for all applications installed or downloaded.
  • The right of take-away, time-out, access or user level restritions for "bad behaviour"

2. To do the administration on my SOHO net, and keep track of these things I use some standard software and procedures that are mandatory. I use

  • Network Magic Pro - Best easy to use SOHO network package I have ever found.
  • Multiple User Packs of Avenquest-VCOM System Suite, Gives you AV, AntiSpyware, Firewall plus some of the better flavors of repair and recovery, optimization and tuning software packages.
  • Firefox, Irfanview, SysInternals, Nirsoft, Copernic DT Search and other appropriate open source or free packages.
  • We use MS Office 2K3 Teacher and Student edition, because most of the schoolwork to be turned in electronically needed to be in that format.

3. For monitoring and blocking

  • I administer the master account and all email passwords for the accounts provided by our ISP.
  • I use Logviewer on my Linksys Routers and send multiple reports schedule to DShield. I also review those logs several times a week.
  • I use site blocking techniques, graded appropriately by age.
  • Intrusion reporting runs on one of the retired desktops, and alerting is set up wherever possible.
  • I use one of the VNC packages for remote monitoring if required.

4. For filtering and access control I use or have used

  • Net Nanny back in the W95 days, but gave it up because of the spotty support.
  • For restrictions I've used DLink's Secure Spot Web Protection Device. (Has the best filtering for the SOHO user, approaches Websense in functionality.)
  • OpenDNS with custom filtering has replaced the D-Link because it wont keep up with my turbo rate.
  • Time restrictions can be applied on the Router (and are)
  • Son who is at college, on campus net also has an Alpha-Shield stateless filter device. I put that on his setup after the first family day, when "Dad. my machine is acting funny" came up. I did a quick analysis of the situation, he was hosed with all kinds of nasties. I then pulled out my traveling kit (honking USB thumb drive) and a good number of downloads and patches, then fixed everything. (Did miss the first half of the homecoming game though....) At supper after the game, he had to listen while I politely ripped him a new one in front of the whole family, without even raising my voice. I gave him all they whys and wherefores, then we went to the computer store, I gave him the $$$ and made him buy the Alpha-Shield, and install it before we left campus. He is now a true believer.

5. Sanctions for bad behavior depend on the severity of the offense.

  • Additional blocks on the web content
  • Increased scrutiny of logs with counseling on visits to bad places.
  • Specific site or type blocking.
  • Demotion of user level
  • Moving of machine from family room to the passage alcove next to the kitchen (High traffic area)
  • White/blacklist applications or uninstalling them if really bad.
  • Removal or disablement of features. e.g. take out the good display adaptor and leave the poor built in vga.
  • Seizing the computer, backing it up or using one of the forensics linux distros on it,
  • Then reinstalling the factory image. The miscreant then has to reinstall everything under my supervision.

6. "Emergency" Situations are handled on an ad-hoc basis.

  • Screen and Keyboard/Mouse recording when a son was being harassed in social networking, movies sent to providers and harasser's ISP, as well as saved for law enforcement. Stopped the little ~!@#$%^&*() pretty much cold.
  • Changing the wireless password on my seldom on router (we ususally run wired at 1 GB, even the wireless laptops)
  • Visiting the neighbors with unsecured AP's or wireless routers to help them lock *my* guys out of their networks. No wireless poaching allowed!
  • The Internet "Off" Switch. (I have an A/B switch logically the next device after the cable modem. A for Access the net, B for Block/Bitbucket.)

6a. Not only does the A/B switch stop that net game or chat or flash movie that needs to be stopped because it is time to go to school, eat, go out or whatever, but has other emergency use also.

6b. When something bad gets loose inside the firewall, I can disconnect from the net by reaching to the back of my desk and throwing the toggle over to "B". This was really handy, BTW, when my worst offender got an IRC 'bot as the bot herder tried to set up a DDOS against someone. When my alarms went off, I threw the switch and isolated the home from the net. Good thing too, since the +_)(*&^%$#@ bot then attacked the rest of our desktops using the standard $IPC attack tactics. We shut and locked down pronto. Came back up on Linux and USB keys and killed that sucker where it lived in our machines.

Lastly, you have to hold on to your trust as well as your temper. Anger and sanctions have their place, to get the kid's attention. But sitting down carefully and explaining why a certain behavior is bad and why is much better than being arbitrary. It is reason son who was being harassed felt that he could appeal to the old man when he was being beaten up electronically. I helped him install the recording software and suggested what he should say as he dealt with the miscreant, to keep my kid out of trouble and point out the bad things the other guy was doing that I never wanted to see or hear about my son doing.

Let them grow from the walled back garden of home computing in safety to being ready to enter the workforce and greater community with guidance, expectations and encouragement. We'll all be better off for it.

-F.B.I.G.

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Putting a PC in the kids room is a powder keg. Seen that crap a hundred times with buddies' kids where they put a PC in the kid's room and before long massive blowouts occur over chatting, my space and who the heck knows what else baby garbage flying around the net. Guys calling the house or appearing on cell phone bills from Bumblebang, Newbamavania, etc. etc.

I%20are%20serious%20cat%20This%20is%20serious%20thread.jpg

Edited by knowitall_wannabe
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