Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

    So, I'm gonna let my kid have a computer on his desk in his bedroom, and we're debating whether or not to allow him have internet access in there.

    I'm of a mind to let him have internet IF I can remotely see everything that he does. I know that the IT guys at work can do this using Novell, but I was wondering if there was any consumer level software that does this. Right now, I'd rather just monitor his usage closely and talk to him and/or beat his ass if he does anything stupid, instead of using some sort of filter.

    Anyone know of anything like this?
    Become a supporting member!
    Buy a Tactical Duck!
    Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

  • #2
    Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

    Net Support School.

    netsupportschool.com

    It's used so the teacher can have a computer and let everyone see what he does. How ever, it's also used so he can monitor all the computers without gettin up. You can 'Watch' 'Share' or 'Control' a computer.

    You install the Teacher side onto your PC and the Student onto his. Once it is installed on both computers. Load it up on yous and sign in as "Dad" or what ever.. he does not see this. Once logged in it will search for all computers with net Support on ur Network. Once done. you can drag your mouse over his screen to get a small picture of what hes doing. if you want a full sized view you click on it. Remember to click Watch right when you do that so any of your mouse movements is not seen on his screen.

    If you want to freak him out, take control of his computer and then drag the mouse up to the x and exit his program:P

    You can do anything on his computer when in Conrtol mode. When in Share, he can move the mouse and has full control over hios PC as well, so you guys are "fighting" with eachothers mouse.'

    And if he gets good and starts to End Process(via Task manager) you can set it as a System Priority, so that he cannot shut it down. Dont know how to do that however.

    Everything you need to know is on that website.

    Agnew

    I am 17, and have alota experience with thsi program.. i mess with my sister all the time. its a great program to have.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

      I don't know how savvy your kid is, but something simple like VNC or the netsupportschool that Agnew suggested would probably be pretty keen. I use VNC for my daughter's computer: initially it was there for monitoring, but I've found that it's ten times better as a "DADDY I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS THING THAT POPPED UP MEANS CAN YOU PLEASE COME FIX THE COMPUTER" thing. I don't have to get up anymore! :)
      [volun2]
      NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
      Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
      <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
      <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

      Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

        Originally posted by Pokerface View Post
        I don't know how savvy your kid is, but something simple like VNC or the netsupportschool that Agnew suggested would probably be pretty keen. I use VNC for my daughter's computer: initially it was there for monitoring, but I've found that it's ten times better as a "DADDY I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS THING THAT POPPED UP MEANS CAN YOU PLEASE COME FIX THE COMPUTER" thing. I don't have to get up anymore! :)
        I was wondering about VNC or Windows Remote Desktop. With both of those, he can be using his computer and I can be monitoring without his knowledge? Assuming that I make it a requirement that VNC/Remote Desktop is always running on his computer...
        Become a supporting member!
        Buy a Tactical Duck!
        Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
        TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

          I run a program called Spectorsoft Pro on my son's computer and check what he's looking at every week or so. Here's a linky for it: http://www.spectorsoft.com/products/...sp?refer=12080

          At $100 it isn't cheap but there isn't anything he's doing that isn't captured. It does not allow for remote monitoriing or interface.

          He's 15, a good boy, in ROTC, doing well in school...but it just makes sense to be cautious. He's not doing anything bad but has surfed some porn sites occaisionally. I had a talk with him about how porn stars arent real life...he seemed to get it. I asked him not to look at porn on his machine and he hasn't since. At 15 I knew I'd find something like that and frankly I was more worried about drugs than anything else...thankfully drugs are not not an issue.

          I was mulling over filter vs. stealth and chose stealth because A. he'd probably find ways to beat the filter and B. he'd act like he knew he was being watched which wouldn't give me an accurate picture...I don't know why I went into all this detail but thought I'd share my experiences...
          sigpic
          |TG-1st|Grunt
          ARMA Admin (retired)
          Pathfinder-Spartan 5

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

            Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
            I was wondering about VNC or Windows Remote Desktop. With both of those, he can be using his computer and I can be monitoring without his knowledge? Assuming that I make it a requirement that VNC/Remote Desktop is always running on his computer...
            Remote desktop won't work, as it logs a concurrent session. Two users will be logged in without noticing each other, or, if a single username is used, the remote connection will lock out the monitor screen.

            VNC will work for unnoticed monitoring, if configured correctly. By default, it does stuff like strip the desktop picture which (among a couple of other things) might be noticable. Depending on what your kid is up to at the time, too, there might be some lag or such (don't remote in if they're playing a fullscreen game like CS or something).
            [volun2]
            NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
            Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
            <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
            <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

            Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

              Originally posted by Pokerface View Post
              VNC will work for unnoticed monitoring, if configured correctly. By default, it does stuff like strip the desktop picture which (among a couple of other things) might be noticable. Depending on what your kid is up to at the time, too, there might be some lag or such (don't remote in if they're playing a fullscreen game like CS or something).
              Hmmm.... So this might be good in combination with some sort of simpler event log that will allow me to see whether or not I should check up on him with VNC...

              I briefly toyed with getting VNC to work a few months back and I gave up. I guess I need to read up on it.
              Become a supporting member!
              Buy a Tactical Duck!
              Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
              TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                If you ever consider a hardware solution, I use Smoothwall with URL filter. You can also use IPCOP. I ended up using this because I was not satisfied with small home routers. You can look at logs from the proxy to find out who's going where:

                Log
                Time Source IP Website
                21:16:49 192.168.0.222 http://adfarm.mediaplex.com/ad/js/706-6204-11351-27?
                21:16:49 192.168.0.222 http://bsav.search.yahoo.com/serv?
                21:16:50 192.168.0.222 http://us.bc.yahoo.com/b?
                21:17:02 192.168.0.222 http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr
                21:17:02 192.168.0.222 http://babelfish.altavista.com/sponsored-results?
                21:17:03 192.168.0.222 http://bsav.search.yahoo.com/serv?

                and the URL filter to find out who went where they should not have gone:

                Log

                Total number of websites matching selected criteria for 2007 May 2: 164

                Time Category Client Destination
                07:05:47 ads 192.168.0.222 http://adserv.tacticalgamer.com/adjs...at=zone:12&tar...
                07:08:29 ads 192.168.0.222 http://adserv.tacticalgamer.com/adjs...at=zone:12&tar...
                07:09:52 ads 192.168.0.222 http://a.tribalfusion.com/j.ad?site=...pace=Windows&s...
                07:09:52 ads 192.168.0.222 http://a.tribalfusion.com/j.ad?site=...pace=Windows&s...

                I use an old PIII Dell Optiplex to run this. The other benefit: you can block ads, spyware, warez, etc.

                Example of a web site barred by URL filter as seen by the visitor's browser.

                DB

                «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

                | |





                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                  VNC is a great program. In addition, how about including a stealthy key logger. You can remote to the log or have it periodically send you a log via email.

                  This is for your kid RIGHT? ;-p

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                    OK, I have made do with the excellent K9 Web Filter and personal supervision, but now he's starting to use programs and sites (that I want him to have access) to chat with people that I don't know that I want him chatting with. So, I'm again looking at remote monitoring solutions. I guess I'm going to look at VNC and would love if anyone had recommendations on keylogging software that is legit.

                    And in a few years when his experience with computers increases, I'll have to find another solution to keep him from simply booting to a LiveCD to do whatever he wants... Hopefully, at that point, I'll be less concerned with him being able to handle whatever he stumbles upon, or whatever is looking for him...
                    Become a supporting member!
                    Buy a Tactical Duck!
                    Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                      Your router may have some options that would lock him out from using a LiveCD to bypass the installed programs, or you can set access to the internet at specific times for his machine so that you are around to know if he is trying to bypass it.

                      I really liked how Jeepo handled his kid and the porn, allow room to screw up and then treat him like an adult by informing him about the issue instead of trying to block his access altogether. I plan on having the computer for my daughter to be in a public area until I trust them enough to let them have it in their room, at which point I may give them the option to have their internet access blocked during night hours if they would rather have it in their room than a public room. I had a computer as a kid and it was in the living room, using it for adult purposes wasn't even considered until I was an adult and bought my own.
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                        running http://www.opendns.com/ also is another tool in your belt, custom DNS in you router will really put a lock down on the bad stuff.

                        But if he knows you can monitor and can tell if he's bypassing the system, that with parental support for his growing up issues will be the best thing. You can't shield him from it, but you can hold off the tide until he gets older and begins to understand why those things aren't healthy. Just make sure you have an open dialog because he will be curious. The fence needs to be there, but he's got to cross it someday, so dont make it a wall he can't see past. The internet can media-brainwash a person in so many aspects of life before they actually have to interface with reality of life. The key IMO is to hold off the influence until they are dealing with the reality. (actually have girls for friends before getting exposed to porn, and having a normal summer job before getting sucked into all the video game design/3d animation hopes)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                          Originally posted by ForGlory&Pain View Post
                          running http://www.opendns.com/ also is another tool in your belt, custom DNS in you router will really put a lock down on the bad stuff.

                          But if he knows you can monitor and can tell if he's bypassing the system, that with parental support for his growing up issues will be the best thing. You can't shield him from it, but you can hold off the tide until he gets older and begins to understand why those things aren't healthy. Just make sure you have an open dialog because he will be curious. The fence needs to be there, but he's got to cross it someday, so dont make it a wall he can't see past. The internet can media-brainwash a person in so many aspects of life before they actually have to interface with reality of life. The key IMO is to hold off the influence until they are dealing with the reality. (actually have girls for friends before getting exposed to porn, and having a normal summer job before getting sucked into all the video game design/3d animation hopes)
                          This is almost exactly what I'm thinking. I'm not as concerned about him going out looking for things as I am concerned about him stumbling onto things before he's ready, or worse, things looking for him. My main concern now is that he's learning to type and has discovered that he can chat with his Steam friends from Garry's Mod. He's been chatting with one 'girl' in particular, and while the conversations have all been innocent so far, it wouldn't surprise me to find that "Kitty" isn't who she says she is. He knows not to give out personal info, but he's not going to realize that a picture can be made from dozens of puzzle pieces extracted from him with the right questions, even if he doesn't outright answer any questions about who he is or where he lives.

                          Damn this is tricky. I want him to learn how to live without me being overprotective, but I certainly don't want to see him hurt.

                          Need to find a chat logging program.
                          Become a supporting member!
                          Buy a Tactical Duck!
                          Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                          TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                            From your description it sounds like he might be under 14 and with your concerns I would advise against having the computer in his room, especially without limiting access to when you are around until he is a bit older (varies by kid of course). I would really suggest using the router to limit access to parent friendly times and require his door be open while he is on it. That will limit his behavior without requiring tactics he might feel invasive, and you can always explain it as you wanting to make sure that he is using like he would a computer at the library, but with games :)
                            |TG-6th|Snooggums

                            Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Free or low-cost PC monitoring software?

                              Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                              He's been chatting with one 'girl' in particular, and while the conversations have all been innocent so far, it wouldn't surprise me to find that "Kitty" isn't who she says she is.
                              By far the biggest thing I would be worried about. That alone would make me not let the computer be in his room unless I had a good screencap or chat logger to datamine for suggestive stuff. A "girl" his age playing garry's mod? Sounds rather unlikely to me and I wouldn't give it the benefit of a doubt until you confirm it.

                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X