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Raleigh, NC

How to track someone's PC and online activities?

A friend of mine asked me this. She wants to track her teenage son's online activities, like chat rooms, email, sites, etc.

Never used anything like it before, I did a bit of googling for it. I found a few:



Anyone have any experience with these, or other activity tracking tools? She's not exactly tech savvy so I can't have her looking at histories and cookies and etc, besides those are too easy to delete for a kid.


I am having the same issue. I spoke to am IT person, and the told me the best way, without putting software on each computer (my kid is too savvy and would find it) was to hook up a wired router and a port mirror switch and use port forwarding on the main PC. In my case it is the only wired pc in the house. I am still waiting on the router, but I did get a port mirror switch. It has to be set up a certain way...this connects to that then connects to something else, ending with the access point. It apparently captures all the packets at the mother PC, and with the help of some software, (i bought WFilter), it is supposed to capture everything without anyone knowing it is happening. My problem is I dont know how to set up the mirror switch or configure the port forwarding so all the packets go to the mother PC. It is a little pricey to add 2 extra componants and software, but my kids are too smart when it comes to the software on their PC...

Like I said, I am still waiting for the wired router to come in, then I have to turn my wireless router into just an access point.....I do need help on the configurations though....

Grail Knight

·Verizon Online DSL
·Time Warner Cable
reply to EnzoM3
The first not so obvious answer would be to move the PC into an area of the home that is out in the open. Not int he child's bedroom etc...

Here is some info from MS:
»blogs.msdn.com/securitytipstalk/ ··· rols.xml

Also some other software.

Netnanny has been around for a long time.

PC Tattletale is another one you can look at.
My browser and email client of choice are Firefox & Thunderbird

Los Angeles, CA
reply to EnzoM3
if the kid is smart he will get around that in seconds
i am not a lawyer but I do play one on tv

La Luna
RIP Lisa
Warwick, NY
reply to EnzoM3
I don't think the OP is looking to block as much as *snoop*. Of course, with no further input, we'll never know.

Palin 2012

United State
reply to EnzoM3
Use parental controls. If you have Vista then use the ones built in, or if you have a security suite like Norton Internet Secuirty, Norton 360, Mcafee etc. use the add on packs or built in parental controls.

Also check with your ISP and see if they offer any. I know AT&T does.
Q.How many liberals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A.None, they're too busy making puny toilets to preserve water.


Simple, implement the logging capabilities and put the computer in a public place and state to the kid that if they visit xyz type of sites then xyz consequences will happen. The consequences have to be VERY VERY severe to the kid, and follow through with the consequences the first time it happens.

I know people do not like parenting advice on internet filtering software, but this is a PARENTING ISSUE NOT a Technical one.

If you are trying to protect the kid, the kid most likely has friend(s) that do not have as responsible parents as you.


W. Michigan
reply to EnzoM3
I'm using »www.webroot.com/consumer/product ··· 22f44354. It pretty much works as advertised for me.


Raleigh, NC
reply to EnzoM3
Sorry, I was out for the weekend after I posted the original message. My friend is really looking to monitor, as opposed to filter or block her son's activities.

I'm not a parent therefore wouldn't know a thing about controling a kid. She simply asked if there is an way that she could use without much technical know how, and that will be difficult for her son to bypass, and I agreed to look into it.

Packet inspection wouldn't work for her. She needs something in plain English.

Port Orchard, WA
reply to EnzoM3
There is always some form of physical inline keylogger. It would capture all activity and be plugged into the back of the computer where few people ever check.

My train of thought wasn't so much derailed as it was a simple case of the track not being fully laid out when the train arrived.

I hate Vogons
Burlington, ON
reply to EnzoM3
Get a router with parental control. You don't have to enable controls, but such routers usually have extended logging capabilities.