Imagine the situation; Your child has just been let loose on the internet for the first time. You can't watch them 24/7 but you are extremely worried about what they may accidentally uncover online. Or maybe your spouse has been acting suspiciously, and you may think that knowing what they have been sending in their emails or reading online may shed some light on the answer. Or maybe your son is spending too much time locked in his bedroom playing computer games, when he should be doing homework. What do all of these scenarios have in common? They could be solved with Computer Monitoring Software.
Computer Monitoring Software (formally known as a keyloggers) are powerful applications used to monitor the activity of the target computer when you are away. These applications can be downloaded and installed in a matter of minutes, and once installed will run completely silently and stealthily in the background of the computer. These programs are usually so stealthy that not even the most advanced computer user would have their suspicions that they are being monitored. The software won't be seen in the task manager, start menu, system tray, program files directory or the add/remove programs list, and are usually installed deep inside the windows directory, making them hard to uncover.
When you install Computer Monitoring Software for the first time, you'll set a password and a secret key combination (Control+Alt+K for example) that once entered will spring the application into life. At this point you'll be able to configure the settings and check the logs, to see what your fellow users have been up to. Up to this time, everything that has happened since the programs install will have been logged. You'll be able to view these logs (sometimes referred to as reports) in organised tabs and lists, making it easy to scan through and uncover the following:
- All websites visited (and the time/date)
- All applications and programs used (and the time/date)
- All files/documents opened, saved, moved or deleted (and the time/date)
- Anything copied and pasted
- Everything typed and the window/website it was typed in (including passwords/time/date)
- Anything printed (and the time/date)
As you can see the angles the software will monitor from are comprehensive. In a snap you'll be able to see what's been going on, and to make things even easier the software will take screenshots periodically – or whenever a new window or website is opened – and store it along with the time and date and the name of the active window.
Most computer monitoring software varies slightly on features, but the above will usually be standard. Another great feature that's usually included is the ability to send the logs/reports to you via email, meaning you won't have to risk logging back into the actual computer, which means no chance of getting caught!