Keeping track of what one does or says online

Monday, May 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A new spy software that acts as a hidden camera. A new computer program promises to record everything your children, spouse or employees do online.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright put the program to the test. It took us about 20 minutes to install the SpectorSoft program, it was developed for parents to keep track of what their children were doing online, but, 50% of the people who buy it, are suspicious spouses.

Ever wonder what your kids are looking at online or who they're talking to? Curious about what your spouse is doing on the computer at 2 AM? Or worry that employees are sending inappropriate jokes or confidential information through email?

A new spy software says it records everything someone does online, whether you're creating a document or sending an email or receiving an instant message, it works on Hotmail, Yahoo, Excite, and AOL. Doug Fowler, SpectorSoft VP: "The reason people like it so much is it works just like a VCR. You get a recording and get to see exactly what's going on." Parents can go back hours or days later and see everything their children have done during their computer time.

Bosses can do the same with employees and spouses can catch cheating partners. "We had a gentleman who suspected his wife was having an affair. Not only was she having an affair, but, she and the boyfriend were also plotting to kill the husband."

The recordings were used as evidence in court. You install the program in stealth mode so the user can't tell it's there. It acts like an invisible camcorder pointed at the computer screen, it records everything, then, saves it on the hard drive. You can watch the recording hours or days later. The program even does surveillance for you. You give it key words to look for like "sex", "where do you live?", or "I hate my boss." And whenever it sees one, it'll email you immediately at any address you choose. We used those as our alert words, then, typed them in an email and sure enough, moments later, a warning appeared on the designated email address.

This type of program is different from filters, which block access to web sites, but, don't monitor email content or chat room discussion. SpectorSoft can record a picture as often as once every second.
It only works while someone is using the keyboard, if no one types for three minutes or so, it shuts off until someone starts typing again.

The program costs about a hundred dollars. A Tulsa company makes a similar program called Sentrycam.