Children are capable of doing almost anything with today’s technology. Parents often worry about what their children are exposed to either through their friends or through online connections. With both parents and children having busy schedules, it can be difficult to know what children are doing when they are home alone or out with their friends. An activity monitor is often the solution. Monitors can be placed on several devices and allow parents to track what their children are doing and who they are talking to when they do not have adequate parental supervision.
How to Monitor Computer Activity
The internet has opened up an entirely new universe for children and teens. Typing a single word into a search bar can lead to several different websites, some of which are not suitable for children. Activity monitors can help parents determine what sites their children visit regularly and what types of monitors can be used to prevent them from accessing sites they shouldn’t be visiting.
Activity monitors can be downloaded on computers, smart phones, tablets and laptops. They can even be installed on game systems. Monitors can be installed that track keystrokes, track internet use, track text and instant messages and monitor the use of cameras that are part of the device. Monitors can be set up to send information to a satellite or secondary device where the parents can see what their children are doing whenever they want to.
Internet Activity Monitor
Internet activity monitors can be installed on any electronic device that is able to connect to an internet connection. This includes Wi-fi as well as regular connections that are secured with internet cables. These monitors are designed to track a person’s internet use. The amount of data that is used is recorded as well as what sites are visited and how long they remain on the site. An activity monitor can collect messages sent and received in chat rooms or in instant messenger programs.
Monitor Cell Phone Activity
An activity monitor that is downloaded to a smart phone can track almost any function the phone performs. It can track phone calls and messages that are both sent and received on the device. Trackers that are capable of recording voice and video can monitor camera usage and record phone calls and voice-mails.
Smart phones are automatically equipped with GPS trackers that send information and coordinates with every message that is sent. This allows the phones location to be picked up at all times as long as it is within range of a tower or able to pick up a satellite signal. This enables parents to keep track of where their children are as long as they can make calls or send and receive text or instant messages.
Business Activity Monitoring
Many businesses provide smart phones, PDA’s, laptops, tablets and personal computers for their employees to use as part of their job. The devices are supplied to the employee with the understanding (in most cases), that they are only to be used for company or business purposes. While most employees comply with these rules and regulations, others do not. They use the devices for personal use.
Using a business computer for personal use poses several problems. First, it compromises the integrity of the system. Visiting questionable websites can result in the exposure to viruses or spam websites that can infiltrate the company’s system leading to crashes and leaks. Many employees use their business computers and smart phones to keep up on their social media sites. Social media is one of the biggest threats to security when it comes to viruses and worms that can disrupt how a computer functions.
A network activity monitor is often used within the internal internet network of the company. This type of monitor keeps track of computer and device usage while it is connected to the company’s internet server. Network monitors are designed to track all types of activity. In most cases, they are connected to a back up system, that records every document, transaction and website that is visited. Companies have IT professionals who monitor each device’s use and can make reports when an employee crosses the line and uses their business device for personal communication.
People have different reasons for wanting to monitor an employee, family member or child’s activity on an electronic device. In a business setting, employees are often told from the beginning what is expected of them when it comes to the use of the company’s equipment. Family situations, however, can be much more duplicitous. Parents can install parental controls on any device they choose as long as they were the ones who purchased it and are in complete control of how it is supposed to be used.
Teens who are over the age of 18 are considered adults and have the same rights to privacy as an adult. In this situation, installing a tracking monitor on any device may be illegal, even if it is one that they pay for. Up until the child reaches legal age, however, a parent can install and monitor a child’s activity without having to inform them that the tracker has been downloaded. While most parents only do this to make sure their children remain safe and free from harm, children often feel as if they have no privacy.