Instant Messenger Monitor and internet safety for the kids

Do you need an Instant Messenger Monitor to watch over your child's security on the internet ?

Microsoft reports 5.8 million active MSN users. 90% of all teenagers below 20 uses an instant messenger service.

Considering the increasing amount of stories in the news about kids and online predators it's good to know that there is software that can assist you and your kids in correct behavior with MSN Messenger.

The market offers several software packages that can help protect your pc against improper use of MSN Messenger. This article reveals the possibilities to save conversations, send conversations by email, listen in through the network and analyze conversations by means of an instant messenger monitor.

Depending on the age of your children, they may feel that it hurts their privacy when you monitor their conversations. On the other hand, some children feel they have nothing to hide and they don't object against the use of chat monitoring software.

What to use ?

Chat Watch from Zemerick software is an example of a good MSN Messenger monitor (http://www.zemericks.com/products/chatwatch/index.asp)

It offers every desirable functionality, you can even monitor live conversations with it from another computer. The makers of the software use the feedback from their users to improve their product and to include functionality that parents really want.

A warning message can inform the chatter that conversations may be recorded.

You can Monitor different instant messaging conversations like MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Messenger, AIM Express and others and you can even set a schedule when chatting is allowed and when it isn't.

Your kids will still be able to launch their favorite chat program at "chat-prohibited" times but they won't be able to make a conversation.

Offensive words

You can quickly monitor chats that may contain offensive words. And you can add words to the content monitor watch list. Conversations that contain these words will appear in red in the chat logs.

When considering an instant messenger monitor, make sure that it includes the possibility to send chat logs via e-mail or FTP to a certain address or location. Also look for hidden, "stealth"-mode and password protection capabilities. And remember that the software only works on the computer where it was installed, not on other computers that your children use to go on the internet.

Conclusion

An instant messenger monitor gives you insight in chat behavior at home. You know by whom your children are contacted without having to follow each conversation word for word.

That's a time saver !

You can watch over the internet safety of your youngest computer wizards. As long as they don't object against the Big Brother ambitions of their folks, that is. Protection is limited to the computer where the instant messenger monitor is installed. Your kids can always decide to use another computer to explore the internet.

Common sense is still invaluable when it comes to explaining the possibilities, but also the dangers of the internet to your kids.

Back from this "instant messenger monitor " tip to the page about parental controls in windows xp

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