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Internet activity monitoring software

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The Importance of Network Activity Monitoring Software

The first thing you need to bear in mind is that monitoring online activity of certain users must have the reason for doing it. If you are confident in your actions and know what you actually need, then it will be easier to choose the necessary type of monitoring with the certain approach and tools for succeeding in your objective.

How to Monitor Users` Internet Activity?

Any use of the Internet leaves marks on the browser; temporary files and cookies are the very same marks. In addition, every browser records history by default. After checking all this information, you can easily size up the general situation, i.e. what purposes the Internet connection of that particular PC was used for. However, you must keep in mind that temporary files can be deleted as well as the browsing history can be easily cleaned. Thus, this method is easy-to-use, but the most unreliable at the same time.

Another way is to use the specialized programs to intercept and analyze the network traffic. They allow you to monitor any network activity of any PC or even of the entire local network, filter the information received according to various criteria (device being monitored, user, protocol, port, etc.). However, such programs aren`t suitable for use on home PCs because of their complexity and expensiveness.

Moreover, even when these programs are viewed in the context of use for staff monitoring purposes, they perform rather poorly compared to specialized employee monitoring software, in terms of the informativity of reports and ease of use, not to mention that network traffic analyzers cannot monitor non-networked activity of users. Actually, the objectives of such types of programs are different: traffic analyzers are used for finding out the reasons of the channel load, localization of network faults, the channel distribution among consumers, protection against unauthorized access (along with a firewall) and similar objectives.

For software, which is used for monitoring computer activity, the main characteristics are the following:

  • Support of the most common protocols and application software (e-mail, browsers, instant messengers and other software using the Internet connection);
  • ability to control usage of the network connection (Internet content filter);
  • creating simple and comprehensive reports without unnecessary technical information.

Thus, if we are talking about parental control, employee surveillance, home PC's activity control, spouse monitoring or similar use cases, the application of a separate specialized software for network activity monitoring isn`t a reasonable solution, because most PC activity monitoring software already have quite enough essential features for Internet usage monitoring.

Functions of Modern Monitoring Software Products

The modern monitoring programs allow you to follow almost any PC activity of the user (keystrokes, file changes, program startup, etc.). If we consider their capabilities in relation to monitor the user`s Internet activity, the function area of the modern keyloggers includes:

  • e-mail monitoring
    • incoming and outgoing messages monitoring;
    • notifications when a particular keyword is typed;
  • browsers` activity monitoring
    • tracking visited sites;
    • tracking social networks usage;
    • making screenshots when certain sites are visited;
    • content filtering and notifications system
      • ‘black’ and ‘white’ lists of websites;
      • notifications about visiting certain sites;
      • notifications about typing of a definite keyword in the browser;
  • messengers monitoring
    • support of the most common ones — Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, etc.;
    • notifications about typing of a specific keyword.
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IMPORTANT! Installing computer monitoring tools on computers you do not own or do not have permission to monitor may violate local, state or federal law.