Thursday, October 4, 2012

How To Monitor Your Kids Online – Gecko Monitor

We all know of the dangers lurking around the digital corners of the internet, especially when it comes to letting kids loose online. Of course, sometimes we can do everything we can do avoid these unwanted websites, but occasionally there's no avoiding them. There's also another side to the issue – Kids curiosity. Whether children mean to click something or not, curiosity sometimes gets the better of us all, which means sometimes those dangers are unavoidable.

But luckily, help is at hand. When I talk to people about how to introduce kids to the world of the internet I talk about a 3 step process; Control, Monitor and Trust. The first step – Control, is the first introductory stage to the web. It means controlling what your kids can access and filtering what they see. Applications like Net Nanny can put a lock on internet browsing, meaning any webpages that contain profanity, adult material or a number of other questionable topics are blocked, and on some 'allowed' websites swear words and marked out.

Of course, there's no right age at which you should allow your children free reign over the net, and every parents opinions will be different. But at some point it is going to happen, and this (along with a few other situations) is where is recommend stage two – Monitor. Monitoring your kids online is a great way of letting them have their digital freedom, while at the same time maintaining some control and peace of mind. You can check over what they've been looking at at any time, even without them knowing if you wish.

Gecko Monitor makes this process easy and manageable. The software, once installed, will run silently in stealth mode (or visible if you wish) monitoring everything that occurs on the computer. When you wish to review the activity logs, you can open the software with a secret key combination and password.

When you view the logs you'll be able to see everything that has happened while you've been away from the computer. Gecko Monitor, will monitor and report on all of the following:
  • All applications used.
  • All websites visited.
  • All documents opened, created, saved and deleted.
  • Anything copied and pasted.
  • Any documents printed.
  • All keystrokes entered.
The software will also log the times and dates of all activities. You can either review the logs on your home computer or have them sent to your email address to view from a remote location. Gecko Monitor has a free trial available on the website.

The third and final stage is of course – Trust. At this point (as hard as it may be!) trust must prevail over monitoring and control. Hopefully with the help of the above software getting to that stage might be a little bit easier!

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