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As your children get older, the question will arise about introducing them to using a computer. The opinion of what age you think is appropriate will of course vary from parent to parent and there’s never a right answer. There will also be the question of what to introduce your children to. Some will think age friendly games are a good way to start, others will think certain age friendly websites. Either way, we all know the dangers of letting a child loose on the internet.

Of course, there are certain parental control programs that can be used to limit what your child sees online. There are also certain packages that have a variety of software and applications that are appropriate for certain age groups. Using programs like this are a great way to introduce your children to the world of computing and the internet but at some point, at whatever age you decide is appropriate, the gates of the world wide web will have to be opened.

At this point, you may wish to trust your child to have the freedom to explore the internet on their own but at the same time want to keep some sort of precautions in place. Computer Monitoring Software is a great way to keep the balance. Monitoring software can be installed on the computer and run in complete stealth mode (or visible mode if you want the user to know they’re being monitored). The software will then monitor everything that the user does on the computer.

There’s a variety of Computer Monitoring Software available to download, and they all vary slightly in their feature set. That begin said, most software will have a similar basic set of functions. The most important of them include:

Taking screenshots every X minutes or when a new window or website is opened.

Logging all keystrokes typed and which application they were typed in.

Logging all applications used, along with the time and date of use.

Monitoring all websites visited, along with the time and date of the visit.

Logging all documents created, saved, opened, moved and deleted.

Logging all documents and files printed, along with the name of the printer.

Monitoring anything copied and pasted with the clipboard.

All these features will vary and work slightly differently from software to software, but this basic set of functions will allow you to easily monitor every aspect of your child’s computer use, most importantly being the websites that they visited. Computer Monitoring Software can also email the reports to you at a remote location so that you can check what’s happening when you’re not at home.

Of course, there are other reasons you may want to monitor you child’s computer. If you think homework isn’t being done, too many games are being played, or inappropriate websites are being visited, these are all reasons you may want to use computer monitoring software.

If you want to take a look at some software with all the above features, check out Gecko Monitor, which has a free trial which can be downloaded from http://www.GeckoMonitor.com

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to stay safe online.