FAQ's about Computer Monitoring
I have been getting some emails about monitoring kid’s computers. Some questions were a little too personal so they will not be posted here. Most questions seem to be about the ethics of monitoring children on the computer and Internet. This next sentence could answer about every question:
Letting your children be on the Internet unsupervised is like dropping them off in an unknown city at 11:00 o’clock at night and telling them to go make some friends.
Is it okay to monitor my kid’s computer?
Most parents want to know what their kids are doing when they leave the house. You ask them where they are going, what they are going to be doing when they get there, and when they will be back. The Internet should be no different. You should know where they are going, what they did when they got there, and when they did it. If you tell them to do their homework or not to be on the computer all day when you are not home, don’t you want to know if they abided by your rules?
When I try to download and install a computer monitoring program my antivirus software detects it as a virus. Is the file still okay to use?
That is perfectly normal. That simply means that your antivirus software is doing its job. It actually doesn’t detect it as a virus. It is usually detected as spyware. That is what a computer monitoring program is – Spyware. You can tell most antivirus and spyware detection programs to exclude the program you are installing in future scans. See the example below:
Is it legal to monitor my children on the Internet?
Yes, it is legal. You have every right to know exactly what your children are doing at all times. It is not only your right to monitor them, it is your responsibility.
Is it an invasion of privacy to use a computer monitoring program on my daughters computer? I would feel guilty.
No. It is not like you are reading her diary or personal journals. What she does on the Internet, everybody can see, if not everyone then at least the other person she is chatting with can see what she is chatting. If you feel guilty about it then tell her she is being monitored. If she gives you a hard time about having her computer monitored, then she probably has something to hide.
I will post any interesting questions here as I get them. Until then, yes it is okay to monitor your children on the Internet. It is not only okay it is your responsibility as a parent to keep them safe.