CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Spying Software for Parents and Employers

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, January 10, 2002

Monitoring what kids or employees are doing online. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Whether this kind of thing is a good idea or not is a matter of personal opinion... .but there are a variety of tools available for parents and employers to use to keep tabs on how computers are being used. A company called Ascentive is out with software called BeAware with ChatWatch. CEO Adam Schran...

"The problem is that when you own a computer and other people are doing things on it, you might want to see what they're doing, you might want to control their activities and you might, in the case of kids, want to make sure that they're not exposing themselves to risks online like predators and pornography and whatever parents believe that their kids shouldn't be doing. This is the first tool out there that you can use to capture the full text and graphics of chat sessions in the ChatWatch feature that's built into the tool. It's a quantum leap ahead of the keystroke logging or screen captures of prior tools."

A password makes those logs available to you and other users don't have to be aware that you're spying on them... .although Ascentive suggests it's a good idea to let kids or employees know they are being monitored...

"I think people have got the right to monitor what's going on on their own machines. If you're the head of a household, if you're a parent or an employer or if you own a Starbucks and you've got a little cyber caf? going on inside, I think you've got the right and sometimes a civic responsibility to monitor what's going on in the machine."

The 26 year old CEO developed the software, by the way with programming help from his 14 year old brother. It sells for about fifty dollars at ascentive.com. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.