Cyber-security professionals are quick to point out the criminal uses of spyware, but these programs also provide essential protection and peace of mind for millions of concerned parents and businesses. Spyware logs keystrokes and tracks user activity to reveal the truth about how desktop computers, laptops, and business machines are being used. Instead of relying on a child or employee’s account of events, people with legitimate administrative access to the computer can see for themselves what has been going on.
Spy Software for Parents
In 2010 alone, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested over 5,400 individuals connected with child victimization and pornography. Over the previous decade, the department reviewed over 236,000 complaints for similar matters, and those numbers are growing. The prevalence of child predators, cyber bullies, and inappropriate material across the Internet mean that passive website filters are no longer enough.
Spy software helps parents understand what their children are truly doing online. These programs can log a range of activity, including emails, website visits, instant messages, chat room activity, and peer-to-peer file swapping. Advanced computer monitoring applications can also restrict the use of certain programs or websites during select times, thereby forcing children to concentrate on their schoolwork. Because the spy software is always running, parents can check on suspicious activities in real time through hourly and daily reports and email alerts. Leading spyware packages also provide video-style screenshots of all computer activity and permit software settings to be adjusted online anywhere around the globe.
Computer Monitoring for Businesses
The same spyware protection that helps home users can be applied to business operations as well. Employers who actively monitor their employees’ computer use report less wasted time and a greater level of productivity, both of which can add substantial profits to the balance sheet. They possess a greater level of control over workers checking their Facebook pages, answering personal emails, or shopping for the latest bargains. Furthermore, executives and business owners can limit the amount of confidential information being leaked from sensitive sources and ensure regulatory compliance across the network. Spy software can be useful for small, medium, or large organizations in the private, non-profit, and governmental sectors.
Through computer monitoring, IT personnel can also track workstation performance, report individual user logins, and remotely administer computers for software updates, application installations, and technical troubleshooting. Because spyware runs in the background, it does not interrupt normal functionality. Well-designed software also has little effect on computer performance. Most commercial applications are designed for the Windows operating system, but a limited number of Mac-based software packages are also available.
Overall, spy software provides critical protection at home and at the office. Through a simple installation process, parents, spouses, IT staff, and managers can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from effective computer monitoring.