Archive for the ‘Parental Control’ Category

Can I Monitor My Child’s Kik Account?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

This article has been written by the team at Gecko Monitor – The Stealth Computer Monitoring Software

If you are a parent you may be wondering whether or not it is a good idea to monitor your child’s Kik account or whether it is even possible. Kik is a messenger application that lets you text without using your phone’s texting service, and it has become a popular app for teenagers to keep in touch with each other. It can be used on devices like the iPod Touch and on devices that have a limited texting plan because of the fact that it doesn’t use the phone’s native texting service. There are several potential issues with Kik, one of them being the fact that Kik usernames can be posted in public forums where anyone can gain that information and contact the child or the account owner.

Kik is meant to be used for adults 17+

One thing to keep in consideration is the fact that Kik is meant to be used by adults aged 17+. Children who are under the age of 17 who use the application are actually breaking its terms of service. As a result, if there is any concern about how your child is using Kik and whether or not it is a safe application for them, the chances are that they should not be using it at all in the first place. They may have good intentions and only plan on keeping in touch with friends, but the fact that the app cannot be monitored by parental software monitoring programs means that there is the opportunity for trouble.

Parental monitoring software does not monitor Kik

One major issue with Kik is that most types of parental monitoring software cannot monitor its activity. This is because of the fact that Kik is a standalone messaging app. There are some parental monitoring software programs that can monitor keystrokes, and these applications won’t monitor Kik specifically, but you will be able to see what was written on the phone during a specific period of time. This is one of the only ways to monitor Kik activity, along with actually checking the phone on a regular basis. You may make it a requirement that if your child wants to use Kik that you have to be able to check on the phone’s activity at any time.

You can limit the apps that your child can download

If you have a young child or a young teenager they almost certainly should not be using Kik or any of the similar messaging apps that have been released recently. You can set up restrictions on the apps that your child is able to download on their iTunes or Google Play account. This way they will only be able to use their phone’s texting service to communicate, which can easily be monitored with a wide range of different parental control apps for both Mac and Android devices. It may not be easy to limit the apps that your child can use and setting phone restrictions, but doing so will protect them from strangers and ensure that appropriate conversations are being had.

kik messenger

Protecting Children Online – An Infographic

Monday, November 12th, 2012

protecting children online

Introducing Children To The Internet

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

How to introduce children to the internet is one of the many challenges parents face as their children hit that age of understanding the world. For many parents the thought of how to introduce the net, or the dangers involved will not have crossed their minds. After all, the internet is a relatively new phenomenon that probably isn’t on the top of everyone’s list when they think of challenging parenting tasks. The problem is, of course, that the internet is a dangerous place – an unrestricted dangerous place, where one minute you can be reading an article and the next your faced with unwanted adult material.

We all know that children are curious. And at some point parents are going to have to give some thought to the problem of how to introduce children to the digital world. I’ve always recommended a three step approach that leads kids online activities into their early teens. Of course, the question of ‘when’ to introduce children to the internet is an entirely different one, and one that is completely subjective to the parent and the family. I’ll leave that one up to you.

introducing children to the internet

The three step approach is this; Filter, Monitor, Trust. Pretty self-explanatory? As said before, the question of when to start this process is up to you, as is when to move on to the next step, but lets take a look at each step and it can be approached as a parent.

The first step is ‘Filter’. This means filtering and blocking the websites that can be accessed from a certain computer. This is perfect for children of a younger age, especially those too young to understand the dangers online. Luckily, this requires no technical skills. In fact, there are plenty of applications out there that are great for filtering (The market leader is Net Nanny). Parental control software works by scanning a web page before it’s shown for any profanity, adult material, hate speech or many other categories. Chat rooms and IM conversations can also be blocked or monitored and the software is highly customizable.

The first step is a great introductory step but at some point, as they grow up, your children are going to want to be allowed more freedom. It’s at this point that you may be reluctant to open the digital gates but sooner or later it will have to happen. This is where step two comes in – ‘Monitor’. Monitoring is perfect for those who want to allow their kids freedom, but still want to be involved in how they surf.

Computer Monitoring Software can be installed on the child’s computer and can either visibly or invisibly monitor everything that happens on that machine. In stealth mode, the user will never know they are being monitored, or you can let the child know the computers being monitored and have to software work visibly. When you install a program like Gecko Monitor, you’ll be able to see all websites visited, applications used, keystrokes typed, documents opened and more. Everything will also be password protected so that only you can access the software. This step is perfect for younger teenagers that are still vulnerable, or even older teenagers who you suspect of browsing questionable websites when they should be doing home work.

The final step is self-explanatory; ‘Trust’. Of course, we all know that at some point we’re going to have to let go as protective parents and trust them to look after themselves. Children (and more at this point, teenagers) will have to be allowed to be left alone to surf the net on the own accord at some point. It’s up to you when they’re ready.

You can download a free trial of Gecko Monitor here.

Mobistealth Review

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Mobistealth Review Logo

Mobistealth is the phone monitoring software for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia. We thought we’d give Mobistealth a short review on our blog as it compliments Gecko Monitor and will hopefully be useful to our target audience and customers. Mobistealth is probably the most popular phone monitoring software on the market today. Mobistealth has three versions – Lite, Pro and X-Pro. Each version provides slightly different versions of monitoring capabilities.

The Lite version of Mobistealth starts at around $8 per month and includes the following:

  • Call history logging.
  • SMS logging.
  • Browser history logging.
  • GPS tracking
  • Contact details.
  • Bookmark monitoring.
  • Appointment/Calender logging.

 

The Pro version starts at around $12 per month and includes all of the above plus the following:

  • Recording of surroundings.
  • Location tracking without GPS.
  • Picture/Camera logging.

 

The Pro-X version starts at around $17 per month and includes all of the above plus:

  • Recording of calls.
  • Video logging.
  • Blackberry messenger monitoring.

 

To install Mobistealth on the target phone you’ll need around 5 minutes alone with the handset to download the software, install and restart the phone. Once this is done there will be no trace of Mobistealth running on the handset and the software runs very effectively.

To view the phone logs and reports you simply have to log into your Mobistealth account through their website. The process is extremely easy and the reports are easy to read through and understand. The GPS information is particularly outstanding, displaying all the relevant information using Google maps. The recording of the calls and surrounding noises is also brilliant and clear. Another great feature is the SIM change feature that’ll alert you if an extra vigilant wrong-doer changes the SIM in their phone.

If you need to monitor a teens phone, or you have your suspicions about a cheating spouse then we recommend Mobistealth over all of its competitors, it’s a brilliant spy program that deserves a lot of praise. You can check out the Mobistealth website here. If you also need to monitor your childs or spouses computer take a look at our free trial of Gecko Monitor by heading to our homepage here.

Parental Control Features To Be Built Into Gecko Monitor

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Here at Gecko Monitor we strive to provide an unparalleled computer monitoring product and are always researching, planning and implementing new features and improved functionality. With this in mind we asked ourselves what other features our users would need. We came to two conclusions; Parental control features and networked office monitoring. As most of our users are home users monitoring their home computers, we decided on exploring parental control features first, although we will add more functionality for networked offices in the future.

Parental control (in computers) is obviously already an established market and a lot of our competitors already implement these features. We’ve looked at the market leader and other applications in the industry to decide how we can match and even improve on what’s already out there, and we think we’ve got something pretty special in the pipelines.
parental control software Of course the first thing we asked ourselves is what parents want from parental control at the most basic level. I’m sure all parents will agree that it’s safety, which we bare in mind at every stage in the development of the feature.

Blocking and Filtering is the bulk of parental controls and it’ll work like this; Every time a web page is loaded it’ll be scanned by Gecko Monitor before it’s shown. If there are words or images that appear inappropriate the web page will be blocked and will show a ‘locked’ splash screen instead of the website. But how does Gecko Monitor know what’s appropriate and what’s not? That’s up to you.

Behind the scenes we’ll have an extensive, comprehensive keyword list, sorted into categories that Gecko Monitor will check through when scanning a page. We’ll have suggested levels of filtering for different age groups and you can even add and remove keywords and phrases yourself. We’ll also include a setting for the youngest age group that only allows a select handful of sites (a children’s network) and block everything else.

The development of parental control is in its infancy at the moment so we’ve got a lot of work to do but we’re hoping to release the first version of the new Gecko Monitor within the next 4 months. Are main aim at this time is to create a program that’s an industry leader, a comprehensive tool that’s flexible and reliable. If you have any ideas, comments, requests or anything else you’d like to discuss with us please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

If you haven’t tried Gecko Monitor yet take a look at the free trial, available here.