Posts Tagged ‘computer monitoring software’

Adding A Keylogger To Norton Anti-virus Exceptions

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Even if the keylogger works well without being added, and your anti-virus doesn’t detect it, it’s always wise to add the keylogger to the exceptions list anyway. This ensures that the keylogger or computer monitoring software doesn’t get detected at a later date unexpectedly, which could happen when Norton Anti-virus updates it’s definitions.

Adding any program to Norton’s exceptions is quick and easy, but could vary slightly depending on what version of Norton you have installed on your machine. With a bit of common sense, it’s very easy to do.

Presuming you have Norton 2008 installed, follow these simple steps:

  1. Within the Norton Anti-virus user interface click the settings link, next to the Computer category.
  1. Look for the category that says ‘Exclusions/Low Risks”.
  1. Click ‘Configure’ which is next to scan exclusions.
  1. Click ‘Add’ and browse to the folder that contains the program you want excluded, usually within the Program Files directory.
  1. Click ‘Apply’ followed by ‘OK’ and you’re done.

 

NOTE: Gecko Monitor is not located in the Program Files directory. Browse to and add the following folder to add Gecko Monitor to Norton’s exceptions:

 If using 64bit Windows:
C: > Windows > SysWOW64 > Catroot > {GEC0AA…

Or if using 32bit Windows:
C: > Windows > System32 > Catroot > {GEC0AA…

If you have AVG and want to achieve the same results head here

You can download a trial of Gecko Monitor by heading here

 

 

Are Keyloggers Safe To Use?

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

There’s a lot of negatively terminology associated with the term ‘keylogger’ and if you’re one of those people who actually needs to use one, it may be causing you concern. Are they or aren’t they safe to use? The short answer: yes, they are. But before I explain why, a short and very boring history lesson…

The term keylogger comes from the days of Microsoft DOS, when typing was the only thing you could do on a computer. Before you could use a mouse, DOS was the operating system of choice, and what you could do with it was limited. If you wanted to monitor a computer running DOS the only thing you’d need to watch is the keystrokes, to get a full picture of what was being done on that computer – hence ‘keylogger’.

Mircrosoft DOS

Now, at first these programs were used in a non-malicious way but hackers soon realised that they could use them to intercept and acquire sensitive information. Credit card numbers and passwords were the main catch, but they’d still need to be passed on and the keylogger would still need to be some how installed on the target system.

Fast forward a few years to the inception of Microsoft Windows and a few things happened that caused the situation to advance. First, the use of the mouse meant that now keystrokes didn’t reveal the entire picture, and second, the internet making an entry into the home meant hackers had a new way to access our lives and steal information.

At this point keyloggers went in two separate directions. In one direction, people who wanted to use them legitimately incorporated all the new features into them that would be necessary for monitoring a Windows computer (screenshots, websites, applications, etc). At this point the term keylogger became slightly outdated so they started being referred to as ‘Computer Monitoring Software’. These programs are very safe to use and are used in a whole range of situations; from monitoring the kids computer, to monitoring the office network.

The second direction was the one hackers went in. They’d incorporate keyloggers into viruses, that would infect your computer in a number of ways, hijack your passwords and/or card numbers then send this information back to the hacker via the internet. One example of how this would work would be hackers sending out millions of spam emails to random addresses with links in, when someone who isn’t particularly computer savvy clicks on a link the virus automatically downloads, infects the computer and starts running.

computer virus

But as internet security has improved, the above scenario has become harder and harder to implement. In today’s world, Windows internet security and anti-virus software combined makes it tough for hackers to work in this way, making keyloggers within viruses of this nature very rare.

To cut a long story short: Computer Monitoring Software is very safe to use, and there are plenty of large, popular companies out there that supply it. Keylogger Viruses, are not, but this isn’t something you’d search out and download yourself anyway, it would be a very unlucky chance encounter, just like with any other virus.

Of course, you may think we’re slightly biased! Considering we have our very own Computer Monitoring Software. To check out a free trial of Gecko Monitor click here

Kids Computer Use Rules: A Computer Use Agreement with Your Child

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Kids these days are obsessed with social media and the Internet in general and while this craze can offer a lot of education and even a place for kids and teens to be a part of a community where they are free to express themselves, there are a lot of dangers both obvious and hidden that parents should be aware of.

It is always the responsibility of the parent or guardian to be savvy and tuned into what activities their children are partaking in on the computer. The fact is, most children will be unaware of the safety measures that need to be taken and will at times not make smart choices. Therefore, parents should remain diligent in keeping their children safe and educated when it comes to computer and online Internet use.

kids computer use

The Dangers Lurking

There are a plethora of dangers to different degrees online and the vast majority of kids won’t think twice about them. Not only are they apt to share private information to complete strangers or those they consider to be ‘cyber friends,’ they also can get caught up in the excitement of chatting and connecting with people; some of which have bad intentions.

Educating kids about these potential dangers which include identity theft, bullying, chat room conduct, posting photos giving out personal information and online predators is essential if they are to remain safe and responsible while using the computer. Placing too much weight and trust in the fact that children already know about these dangers, or assuming that they will always make the correct choices, can be a fatal mistake.

Instead everyone involved needs to remain proactive and take precautionary measures to ensure that kids are safe at all times and responsible.

Computer Use Agreement

Thankfully parents everywhere are turning to computer use agreement tactics as one way to help their children be responsible and stay safe while using the computer. Such agreements are available for downloading online or parents can create one of their own at home. It is a great idea to also involve the children while constructing computer use agreements. The purposes for them are varied but should always be primarily utilized for two reasons: to lay down the rules and clarify them between all parties and to keep children safe at all times.

A solid agreement should include the following, though parents should also feel free to tailor such agreements depending on their needs and guidelines.

  • Outline all safety rules such as forbidding them to ever share any person information online including their address, birthdate, phone number or location of their school or extracurricular activities.
  • Create a definitive statement that reflects that they will bring any suspicious or threatening behaviors to your attention. Educate them about their ‘gut feelings’ and trusting that when something doesn’t seem or feel right, that it probably isn’t.
  • Include a statement that forbids them to ever agree to any sort of face to face meeting without your knowledge and consent.
  • Clarify what type of language and behaviors are acceptable and what isn’t.
  • Educate and place limits or expectations on which pictures can or cannot be downloaded online, if ever.
  • Agree to terms of use such as which room in the home they are permitted to use the computer and the acceptable amount of minutes or hours per day that they can be online.

Other inclusions can also be educating kids about how to utilize the ‘ignore’ or ‘blocking’ functions if and when they need to and also explain to them that they are not permitted to visit off-colored sites or those that cost money to be a part of.

Before drafting or signing an agreement be sure to have a serious and thorough conversation with your child so that they understand not only the purpose of this agreement and why they need to sign it, but also so that they understand what the consequences may or could be should they not heed to the contract guidelines. This will ensure that the process is fluid and that they have a clear understanding of the intentions and expectations. Once the computer contract is complete have all parties sign and date it so that you have a copy for referencing.

Computer Monitoring Software

In some cases parents can gain additional protection and assurance by downloading or purchasing one of the many computer monitoring software programs that are available. Such programs allow parents to restrict access to inappropriate websites, will have access to children’s passwords and also be able to see exactly what their children are involved in and doing while they are online.

Computer monitoring software is affordable and has become an essential and vital tool for parents that have children that want and need access to the Internet but also want to keep them safe and responsible. If you’d like to download a free trial of our very own Gecko Monitor, head to our home page here.

 

Using a Keylogger as a Backup Tool

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Because keylogger programs virtually detect and store every stroke, site, instant message and email that was sent on a personal computer, it also makes for an astounding (and in some cases a saving grace) backup tool for your system.

There are many different keylogging programs and most of them allow you to monitor all the activity that goes on within your PC. Some of the software and hardware will take screenshots, track emails and instant messages, record any passwords that were used and some of the more sophisticated programs even have the ability to record the microphone activity that happened on that computer. They will also work in the event that a virus makes it way into your system and destroys the memory and encrypted information.

In cases where your system may crash, having a keylogging system that has a detailed record of all your data is a good thing. Most of the hardware and software programs now come equipped with text editors. These are nifty components built right within the hardware that will automatically create backup copies of documents that you create on your computer. Therefore in instances where you are maybe working on a research paper or business proposal and accidentally click out of your document that you forgot to save, the program has automatically been recording every key stroke and has a hard copy saved for you.

Additionally, many USB keylogger programs will save your web browsing activities and also remember and recall any sites that you have visited or searches you have entered into the web. This is handy when you need to recall some research and forgot to write down the website. Or if you are one that likes to join or subscribe to pages and blogs, but have a short memory for all those passwords, keylogging programs will also keep a steady record of all the passwords to those accounts.

Backing up

The purpose of these programs is less about spying and more about logging your applications. The software will communicate to the hardware on the PC not only password information, but it also has the ability to recall and record the titles of their windows, along with every keystroke you made to get there.

With these programs the concern that you will lose any text at all is virtually non-existent. There are functions included referred to as email clients which will keep track of any emails you send or will also keep track of your drafts. It is necessary at times to be able to have the ability to copy and paste fragments of partial texts from a website you are on and these programs can also help you do that.

The clipboard functions are also a great addition because they allow the user to copy one piece text from your board at one time instead of the entire text as a whole. You can then copy only the information you want or need to your Windows clipboard and the program will store it and make a backup copy that you can refer to at a later date or if and when you lose or crash a system.

Backing Up Your Logs

With many of the keylogger programs backing up your logs is simple. Generally the program will give you detailed instructions on how to do so and it almost always consists of burning your log into a log folder or burning the information onto a CD or USB. In some cases you can burn or save it directly to the hard drive.  Take a look at our free trial of Gecko Monitor to see how we could help you with your backing up needs.

Are Keyloggers Legal? Or Illegal?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

There is much heated debate about the utilization of keyloggers and with so many individuals using them to track cheating spouses as well as companies using them to monitor employees behaviors and production, those for an against them being legal all have seemingly valid arguments. However, the question that needs to be answered has nothing to do with morality; it has to do with defining what the law states in regards to their use, as this is the only evidence that will be deemed acceptable should one choose to take a stance with a partner or employer.

The biggest contention for those who oppose these software programs is that on a large scale they do invade one’s privacy. Unfortunately many of the laws surrounding electronic devices do not have specific limitations or restrictions for using them and therefore, keyloggers are still considered legal in many parts of the United States and elsewhere in the world.

legal or illegal

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

In 1986 Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as a way for the public at large to be able to keep their private information safe while at the same time allowing government agencies the license to monitor and record wiretaps, telephone calls and electronic data. The idea behind this act was to offer a balance between the privacy rights of citizens and to also allow the federal government to gain access to information relating to criminal and unlawful activity.

Since its initial passing, more acts have been passed in an effort to narrow the scope and better define what this act does and does not allow. Such amendments include the Federal Wiretap Act (FWA) and the Stored Communication Act (SCA). Neither of those acts includes making keyloggers illegal either.

Why it’s Still Legal to Use Keyloggers

Much of the confusion and discrepancies surrounding keyloggers comes down to how the acts are interpreted by the general public and the court systems. Even the federal government can’t agree on where the line should be drawn as far as what defines infringing upon one’s privacy rights. Most recently many court systems have attempted to interpret the protective acts in such a way that allowing the general public’s key strokes to be monitored should be seen as being unconstitutional and a definitive invasion of privacy.

The blatant conflict within defining these acts continues to cause a conundrum across the globe and in addition continues to cause conflict between employees and employers because the lines remain blurred, and the definitions and interpretations unclear. Many employees violently oppose employers spying on what they are doing even during work hours and feel that keyloggers are unlawful.

Because someone who installs keylogger software must have administrative rights on the system that it is being installed on, this gives them full access and license to do so as they see fit. Because employers can argue that there are legitimate reasons as to why activity on a computer needs to be monitored and surveyed, the practice of utilizing them is deemed as legal and in many cases, necessary. Companies have the right to protect their personal assets and information from being misused and shared and thus, using that argument alone will bypass any one employee from arguing that it is an invasion of privacy.

On an individual level, many parents utilize this software as a way to protect their children when they are online, which again is legal and recommended by people and professionals across the board. For the most part, those who use keylogger programs are doing so in a lawful and ethical way. The flipside is that with this software, there are many unethical and unlawful uses as well. Criminals are able to gain access to personal information, passwords and bank account information and therein lies the issues with those that are opposed to such software programs.

Canada Law and Keylogger Software

Much like the US Canada also have a Privacy Act that is in place and also like the US, their Privacy Act is written with many gray areas, making keylogger software definitely legal for private homes and employers. With the current acts and laws, as long as the person who installed the keylogger program is the owner of the computer or device that the software is being installed on, they have full and legal rights to utilize such software.

The laws and regulations become less arduous when individuals who are not owners of the computers or devices attempt to use them. If for example an ex-spouse or partner installs it on a computer or device without that person’s knowledge, a law suit can be filed and many have been brought up on criminal charges for doing so. In these instances it is because the installer is not the owner of the device and therefore infringes upon the computer owner’s privacy.

UK Laws and Keylogger Software

AS previously discussed, the laws and privacy acts also state that it is legal in the UK for individuals and companies to utilize keylogger software on any computer that they rightfully own. Many companies in the UK have a disclaimer in their employee manuals that specifically states that they have the right to monitor all employee activity in the case of suspicion and otherwise.

It is illegal only in instances where the information obtained is used in an unlawful way, for example as a way to collect passwords or using bank account information in an effort to steal personal funds.

If you’d like to download a free trial of Gecko Monitor, head to our homepage here.

Hardware VS Software Keyloggers

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Keylogging has gained a lot of popularity especially within the realm of businesses. Employers now want to keep track of what their employees are doing during working hours, and many companies have come to the realization that employee production has decreased since the onset of social media and online shopping. By utilizing keylogger hardware or software, the individual who uses it can easily see what those who are using the PC, laptop or mobile device is doing, which websites are being visited and other information such as the contents of any emails that are sent out or received.

Keylogging is offered in hardware and software, prompting those who want to use it to ask which is better. Both types can be effective and as with anything else, both have their strengths and weaknesses. When comparing whether to use keylogger hardware or software, keep these things in mind.

hardware keylogger

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using the hardware lies in the fact that unlike software keyloggers, hardware keyloggers are virtually undetectable. When the software is used there are options for those who may suspect they are being monitored to deactivate the programs by installing anti-spy or eraser software or programs. With hardware keyloggers, these anti programs will not detect that there is keylogger software built into the system and therefore there is no way to deactivate it.

With software keyloggers there is also a risk that the person who is active on the device may intentionally or accidentally put in the password that you have chosen to monitor the software; in these instances the software will automatically deactivate itself and the monitor will no longer have access to the activity on that computer or device.

Because of these ‘flaws’ it takes much more diligence on the part of the person utilizing the software to consistently check to make sure the software is performing the way that it should and that it hasn’t been compromised or deactivated. For some this proves to be too much work; for others it is not an issue. This aspect comes down to personal preference and the amount of time on wants to spend monitoring the functionality in addition to the activity on the device.

Another benefit of utilizing hardware in lieu of software is that should there ever be a power outage or if the device it is installed on somehow gets unplugged, the non-volatile memory will continue to track all the activities that are happening. When software is used, because it doesn’t have the non-volatile component, once the device is unplugged or there is no power feeding it, the software can no longer monitor the activities until power is restored or it is again plugged in.

Because the hardware keylogger is portable it can be used on multiple computers at one time. When software is utilized, it is specifically downloaded to one computer and therefore only the activities of that computer can be monitored. Having the hardware version allows the owner to move their portable device from one computer to another at any time, which means the functions are not as limiting as with the software.

Unlike software keyloggers, there is nothing to download when monitoring activity and instead the hardware works and records activity via a host server. The added benefit of this is that no type of malware can interfere with the monitoring of the hardware; this is not true of software which does need to be downloaded, and therefore brings with it more risks.

Fortunately the newer keylogging software is catching up with the times however and now much of it can also record things like digital images and record emails and send them back to the user’s hosting site. However, the programs that do have these capabilities also require that much of the computer hard drive space is consumed, and depending on the software, it is fairly easy to detect. The result is usually that the software will slow down the performance of the computer overall. This is not the case with hardware keyloggers.

But more advances are being made to software and it is much more affordable than the hardware versions of keylogging. For this reason many individuals and companies still choose to use the software version. Take a look at our own keylogger software; Gecko Monitor

Spying on Emails, Text Messages & Phone Calls

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Although most people greatly value their privacy and many wouldn’t dream of infringing upon other’s personal emails, phone messages and texts, there are still a vast majority who for one reason or another feel the need to peer in on loved one’s private happenings either because they want to know what is going on or in many cases, because their suspect infidelity.

Like it or not and regardless of personal opinions about spying, there is a booming business for devices and apparatuses that will help those who need to be ‘in the know’ on their journeys of discovery. The realm of communications is advancing by the minute and thus, so isn’t the technology for those who wish to spy.

Cell Phone Spying Equipment (Mobistealth)

With the influx of people using their mobile phones to communicate, companies every day are creating monitoring software that can utilized to spy on anyone’s phone messages, texts and will even keep track of websites that they visit while using their cell phone.

Girl with cell phone

How it Works

Once you have targeted the cell phone of your choice, beginning your spying is as easy as downloading whichever software program you choose to buy or invest in to the cell phone you want to monitor. For parents who are giving their underage children a cell phone, there are many companies that sell such software already installed. If however, you are being sneakier with your monitoring, you will have to download the software when the owner is not around.

Once the software has been installed and downloaded, it will begin to work immediately by transmitting (without the owner’s knowledge) masses of data to a secure server that you have set up. This is a separate account to which only the person spying has the password to and is the hub where all the cell phone activity will be sent to.

Once your secure server hub has been set up, you will receive every detail that happens with the cell phone and it goes directly to your secured site. The information transmitted will include all and any websites that the cell phone user visits, a complete log of all the incoming and outgoing calls they make and receive and a complete log of any text messages that are sent and received, including ones that are deleted.

Additionally most also have the option to use the software as a GPS tracking device so that you can track and monitor the cell phone user’s exact location at any time of the day or evening.

There are various options when it comes to cell phone spying software and therefore a little research may be required. Some software only works with specific kinds of phones, while other types will work with any phone. There is also specific monitoring software designed for Blackberry phones and Smart phones because those types have special functions that a traditional phone does not have and therefore you will need specific software if you are to track and spy on those functions.

Email Monitoring Software (http://www.geckomonitor.com)

While many people use their cell phones for the majority of their interactions, most still also use and access a home computer or laptop. Corporations have become particularly interested in this type of software as it allows them to track exactly what their employees are doing during their work hours, but it has also become quite popular in the general community as well.

email monitoring software

 

Most of the software programs sold today work in such a way that the user of the PC is not aware that their every key stroke is being recorded and monitored, making it the most efficient way to spy on the user without getting caught.

Depending on the type of software you purchase and download, every action that happens on the PC can be recorded and viewed at a later date to include screenshots, websites visited (along with the time and date stamped), a complete record of any emails sent and received (both present and deleted) and a record of any chat or instant messages that have been sent or received on the computer.

It is also possible with most of these software programs to track, record and monitor every individual key stroke that happens which means the spying individual can gain access to pertinent information such as passwords and any URL that has been typed into the computer.

Though one would think that a software program this complex and involved would be complicated to set up, the truth is that once you have selected the software you want, all you have to do is install and download it to the PC of your choice and it will begin logging information immediately, with all the collected data going to a secure server that you have set up and that is password protected.

When researching different programs and software it is important to make sure the software you select will work with the specific programs used on the computer such as Windows or Mac programs. While some software is cross-relevant and will work with a myriad of programs, others are designed in such a way that you have to match the software with a specific program type.

 

Windows 8 Keylogger – Gecko Monitor Upgrades

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Gecko Monitor has been growing in strength over the past 6 months. Thank you to everyone who has supported to us through development and too everyone who has used the software.

As Windows 8 hits stores and PC’s around the world, and more and more people upgrade to Microsoft’s new operating system, we thought it best to begin upgrading Gecko Monitor to make sure our Keylogger is 100% compatible with the new incarnation of Windows.

Although Windows 8 works similarly to previous versions of Windows (apart from the addition of the new style start menu) there are some minor alterations, especially behind the scenes. The main feature of Gecko Monitor that needed upgrading to be comprehensively compatible was the Keylogger, which has been upgraded to offer improved stability and functionality.

We are also in the process of adjusting the trial length of Gecko Monitor to a longer time period, to allow users to test the features more before purchasing the software. If you’d like to download Gecko Monitor and see the software in action, head to our home page here:

http://www.geckomonitor.com

More new features will be announced here on the blog in the the not too distant future. At the moment the team behind Gecko is looking at microphone recording, web cam monitoring and Skype integration. Check back soon if any of that excites you!

What is Computer Monitoring Software? A Quick Guide

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Computer monitoring software isn’t a new concept; however as technology advances on the Internet and people become more adept are searching, the need for this type of software particularly for household with children has vastly increased.

Essentially a computer monitoring software program will allow the owner or registers of a laptop or desktop to monitor all the activity that happens on that computer without the user knowing that their activities are being recorded and monitored. This is the same software that is also known as parental software which many parents have put on their computers that are used by underage children as well as other family members.

Once the software is installed, the program will monitor all online activities as well as filter the content. It also has settings that allow the owner of the computer to block particular sites from gaining access to the computer, and controls can be set so that certain cites cannot be accessed by those using the computer. Generally the controls placed are those sites that are at high risk of containing viruses and sites that contain adult material such as pornography.

Computer monitoring software often gets confused with other software programs that fall under the spyware programs. There are vast differences between the two and in order for particular software to fall under monitoring software one of three key elements must be present:

  • The person who installs the monitoring software must be the owner of the PC or laptop that it is being installed on.
  • The owner has permission from other family members or users of that computer to install the software.
  • Whoever installs the software is the parent of an underage child.

Computer monitoring software is not only used by parents, but is also vastly used in many workplaces where the business owner or owners want to regulate what their employees can access and what programs can have access to their PC’s. These monitoring software programs will recognize key words that directly contradict what that employer will allow their employees to search for. When an employee tries to search for things that should not be accessed they will be brought to a screen that states something like “Unauthorized to view this website” or something similar.

Considerations Before Purchasing or Installing Computer Monitoring Software

There are hundreds of available software programs and not all are created equally. You should devote some time to researching the many that are available so that you invest in one that is affordable, is easy to install and navigate and that will do everything you need it to do. There are many programs available online that is free, while others will charge but have more bells and whistles available.

Things you should take into consideration are:

  • Compare pricing and capabilities of the software
  • Be sure that the software you buy is the latest version
  • Make sure that it is compatible with your operating system
  • Purchase one that has stellar customer support services as you will probably have questions along the way. Also ask what their turnaround time is for addressing your questions or issues

Interested in learning more? Check out our very own Gecko Monitor. Gecko Monitor’s advanced systems comfortably and easily allow parents to monitor all of their computer’s and user’s activities while online and our program works equally as well for employers who want to monitor their employee’s activities.

When choosing a program consumers need one that is easy to install and that is easily navigated and Gecko is not only is affordable, but it is the easiest to install and manage on the market. Once the program is installed and the user assigns a password, all activity on the computer can be quietly monitored to ensure the safety of all users.

We offer a free two hour trial so you can get to know the program and then make an educated decision as to whether this is the computer monitoring program for you, your family or your place of business.

Gecko Monitor also offers many unique features which include:

  • Monitoring of any and all printed documents constructed on the computer
  • Compiles screenshots of all activity and sites visited
  • Easy to use and understand time stamping system
  • Emailing documentation and reporting to the email you assign to the program which offers reports and alerts
  • Complete monitoring of all files which are opened, deleted or saved
  • Guaranteed monitoring that is hidden and can unhide with password/secret key combination

To download a free trial of Gecko Monitor click here.

 

Protecting Children Online – An Infographic

Monday, November 12th, 2012

protecting children online