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My sister, who is computer illiterate, has asked me to take a look at her teenage son's web traffic to see what sites he has been using. He is not very computer literate either, but his history in Firefox is suspiciously low on the number of sites for the amount of time he spends online. Is there an easy way to record visited sites that wouldn't easily be noticed? I checked the DNS cache (ipconfig /displaydns) but didn't see anything suspicious yet. I would like to see all his traffic after a few weeks. Any suggestions? A free method would be preferred.

Or even better would be a simple program that would let me see what he is doing remotely. (I would have access to the computer initially to install any software and set up firewall exceptions - I'm just looking for a SIMPLE way to do this.)

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Ask him!

And yes, I'm serious. Would you go read his diary? Teenagers have a right to privacy too.

So he has "suspiciously low" sites in the history. So does that really make you suspect he's involved in serious illegal activity? If not, what problem would you actually be solve by sniffing his net use history?

If your, or your sister's, relationship with teenage children is based on survaillance techniques, there are more urgent problems to seek answers to than this. I hope he's at least told that he's under surveillance.

(Sure, this answer doesn't answer the question directly, but it does still attempt to solve the underlying problem.)

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this is all good and well, however, parents (the account holder) are fully responsible for all activities on the internet connection. the excuse "twas the kids" doesn't work in a court of law. –  Molly7244 Dec 13 '09 at 16:43
    
@Molly: Yes, that's why surveillance might be a reasonable method, if serious illegal activity is suspected. But I surely do hope "suspiciosly low" site count in browser history doesn't make parents immediately think their children are criminals. There was no mention of suspicion of criminal activity in the question. Yet, even when criminal activity is suspected I hope the parents have enough trust to ask their children about their activities, explain the issue of legality, and most importantly explain why they are placed under surveillance methods. –  Ilari Kajaste Dec 13 '09 at 17:31
    
Sorry, I forgot to mark the answer! There was no illegal activity suspected - just access of adult sites. I did end up suggesting that my sister have a discussion of what is and is not appropriate for her son to be looking at online. Thanks! –  SomeGuy Jul 23 '10 at 17:28
    
You're welcome! Glad to hear you found the advice helpful, even though I did present it in a quite aggressive way (sorry for that). I hope everything worked out well for your sister and her son! –  Ilari Kajaste Jul 23 '10 at 19:39
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KidLogger is a simple open-source keylogger program. It's designed for home and family users, and to keep watch on children's activity on the computer. It can log all Web sites visited, chatrooms talks, started programs, opened documents, and viewed pictures and movies. It also is a simple keylogger and activity-monitoring program for family needs. Its features include support for multiple users, and the ability to perform screen captures and monitor Web sites and chats.

Features list:

  1. Keyboard logging and keystrokes recording.
  2. Chat recording and monitoring. It can capture all instant messengers chats, online chats and forums typed by the kid or Guest on the keyboard.
  3. Email recording It will log every e-mail created on your computer. Should be congigured manually in snap.bat file.
  4. Monitoring USB flash drives and CD/DVD media activity. Removal / Insertion events. (PRO version only)
  5. Launch automatically at windows startup. Kidlogger invisibly starts on Windows startup. You don't need to launch monitoring features manually. All configurations is simple for your best convenience. .
  6. Support monitoring multiple users The keylogger will start monitoring only on selected user account. To select the user you should log into his/her user account and run it. The log entry for the user can be opened from Control Panel. .
  7. Application monitoring and screen shoot capture. Kidlogger record all applications ran and the text typed in these applications. You will know the exact time, date, window caption of the programs launched on your computer. Also every 15 minutes Kidlogger captures all display contents into a BMP file. So you see what was realy on the monitor at the moment.
  8. Log files are separated by date. KidLogger creates a separate folder for each user account log files. To browse for logs click "View log files..." button. This logger present logs in a user-friendly manner - HTML files.
  9. Log files to by email. You can receive log files and screen captures to your email every 15 minutes. Ir works like remote keylogger. (* dont work with yahoo, msn emails)
  10. PC activity monitor. It can log computer hibernation\resumes, standby events and screensaver as well as opened windows, web-sessions. It can monitor your child online activity.
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Holy ****. That thing is scary. –  Macha Dec 12 '09 at 22:03
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@Macha - and that's not even malicious. Imagine what a lot of spyware is doing? –  MDMarra Dec 12 '09 at 22:08
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