Balancing Your Need for a Keystroke Logger with Respecting Your Children’s Privacy
Installing a keystroke logger can be a difficult decision for a parent, especially when you are concerned about respecting your child’s privacy. It is possible, however, to incorporate both these successful parenting strategies.
For many parents installing a keystroke logger on their children’s computer is not an easy decision. It is not too hard to recall a time when a parent reading our diary or searching our room felt like a massive betrayal and significant energy was devoted to keeping parents in the dark in the name of fun. As adults, we think about how we would feel if a keylogger was installed on our computer and hesitate. The difference between then and now, however, is that today you are a grown-up with the wisdom and experience necessary to protect yourself as you negotiate the internet and the world without. It was because of your parents’ efforts that you reached adulthood intact and capable of being a parent yourself. Now it is your turn to make difficult decisions such as installing computer monitoring software in the hopes of raising children who will eventually become safe, healthy, and happy adults.
While technology and the internet have transformed our world, parental control and monitoring of children have always been an essential part of successful parenting. If you ever refused to bring your son or daughter to a PG-13 movie or, unbeknownst to your children, asked your neighbor across the way to keep an eye out for mischief at your house while you were out for the evening, you have engaged in some of the tried and true methods that predate computer monitoring software but serve essentially the same purpose – protecting the well-being of your children.
For those parents who are still uncomfortable about monitoring their children’s computer activity with a keystroke logger, but are also concerned about their welfare, it is important to keep two things in mind:
- Once installed, WebWatcher’s software is completely undetectable even by the most technologically savvy individuals. While you can inform your children that you have installed a keylogger, having the option of discreetly monitoring your children’s internet and computer usage can eliminate unnecessary confrontations. While you are still concealing something from your children, you need also to remember all the times you did not disclose information in the best interest of your children. Sometimes complete transparency is not actually in their best interest.
- Even though WebWatcher will monitor and record everything on the computer including emails, both sides of IM conversations, internet usage, and all typing, even deletions, you can still be selective about what information you actually access. With the “Alert Words” software, you can direct WebWatcher to flag names of people, places, and activities that you have designated as possible areas of concern. When those terms appear in online chats or emails, the text in question is flagged and prioritized accordingly. It your choice whether you limit your use of the keylogger to solely these parameters or use WebWatcher to full capacity. In either case, when you review the flagged item, you can determine if it requires action. In the event you need additional context in order to evaluate what has been flagged, you can still access all the surrounding computer activity WebWatcher has continued to log even if you elected not access it before.
You love and respect your children and only want what is best for them. In this day and age, parental monitoring of computer and internet usage is not a choice, but an obligation. Some parents may attempt to do so by simply paying attention to internet browsing history, time spent on the computer, and asking your children questions about their usage. This does not tell the whole story, however, and can easily be manipulated by your kids to let you know only certain things. Keystroke loggers are a far more effective and accurate method of assessing your children’s activities, and depending on how you choose to use the results, you can still respect your children’s privacy while helping them grow into safe, healthy, and happy adults.