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need to track my teen daughters.

Dec 11, 2007 9:58PM PST

I have 2 teeenage daughters that use the internet alot, and I need and want to be able to access where they go, and thier passwords for the sites they visit, ect. They have friends that inform them how to erasre thier history, ect, and I have been unable to stealth behind them so far, they even change the settings on the web browser(firefox) so that passwords are not remembered. I need help, is there a share wear or free wear program that will allow me to do what I need.Thanks in advance for anyone that can help me with this.

Discussion is locked

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Logging passwords...
Dec 11, 2007 10:54PM PST

There is plenty of software designed to record websites visited, applications run, take screenshots periodically, and record full IM conversations. NetNanny is currently the premier option with CyberPatrol coming in close behind. They can also restrict access to specific websites, keywords, and internet access during certain hours.

However, logging passwords is not a standard feature, and crosses over into the realm of keyloggers. The issue is that most security software will detect any such program as malware and attempt to remove it, forcibly. You could white-list it, but that doesn't always work with real-time protection or updates, and if the keylogger is linked with the internet control options you could end up locked off line.

Personally, I'd start off with either of the above, both of which offer free trials, and see if the standard monitor-and-block system is sufficient. You'll still get to see everything they say and do online, but without the concern of having spyware on your system. Plus they won't be nearly as upset about having their privacy invaded as they would if you logged their passwords as well.


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X3 Watch
Dec 14, 2007 12:56PM PST


Do a Google search for X3 Watch, and you'll be directed to a website that allows you to download a great little program. It's called X3 Watch and it sits in your system tray. It monitors mainly for pornography stuff, and every 2 or 4 weeks (you get to choose), it sends an email to 2 "accountability partners" and one of those could be you, and it informs you of the things that your daughters have been visiting that they shouldn't. It can't be easially canceled unless you do a CTRL ALT DEL and remove it, but if that happens, you will be informed in the next email that it was stopped at a certain time.

It's well worth a look.


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I suggest limiting access
Dec 14, 2007 3:30PM PST

I suggest limiting your children's access, rather than just snooping. If you're concerned about where they are going, let them know that you will be installing software that will tell you where they've been. You are their parent and are concerned about their safety. Some software or subscription services allow you to limit access to web sites, and only allow access to the internet during certain times, etc. Check out for software and service reviews and information. The previous post from John offers a lot of common sense information and sites some effective monitoring tools. However, the most effective way of monitoring your girls is to have their computers in a public area and to let them know that you will be monitoring their activity. They may not like it much, but it will work. Good luck!

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No you don't.. Give them some trust.
Dec 14, 2007 3:39PM PST

How can you seriously ask to do this? It's a complete breach of any trust and will simply drive a wedge between you and your kids. They are deleting the history for a reason and you need to accept that. Get a life for yourself and talk to your kids about what they're doing and suggest why they shouldn't be doing others.

YES you need to keep them out of dodgy, risky, bad sites... but totally eavesdropping on their privacy isn't the way to do it. How would you react if you found they were looking at all your site hits, your banking details, cosy chats with firends etc? I wouldn't like it at all!

You're a parent not a spy. Trust them, give them some respect, and they'll give you some back. My three do (and I wouldn't like them knowing my business) !

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Not really advisable
Dec 14, 2007 3:54PM PST

As a father of two daughters myself, I feel that no matter what you do, your daughters are going to be one step ahead of you. Kids nowadays are much more savvy in tech matters than parents.

I personally find that it's easier and more advisable to communicate with them in such a manner that they don't need to, or have to hide anything from you, whether it is the sites they see or people that they chat with. Above all, avoid preaching and being judgemental. If they get the feeling that you are trying to snoop on them, the more they will try to hide their activities, and if it gets too much for them, they might access the internet from another location (friend's house, cybercafe, etc.) where you would'nt have any control any way.

I know this is not the advice you are looking for, but I feel that the best way to get their trust is to trust them. We can't possibly control or guide them for the rest of their lives, just give good advice for them to make their own decisions. We just have to hope that they will come to us when they need help and advice, and that really depends on the signals we send them.

Good luck

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Dec 14, 2007 5:57PM PST

My dear friend are you mad, I have 3 girls and one is only 11 and there is no way you can beat them on a computer they at 8 know more tricks than you or I could learn in a lifetime on a computer.
Forget it and have some faith in your kids.If that does not work sell them an get boys because they would rather play with girls not computers.

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re:need to track
Dec 14, 2007 9:29PM PST

Check out a company called Spectorsoft.
I have two daughters now 21 and 18 and found both eBlaster and SpectorPro invaluable when they were younger. Completely stealth.

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Track em!
Dec 14, 2007 10:42PM PST

I had three teenagers in my home, and I knew they were being inappropriate on the computer. But you can't limit or "ground" them without proof. So I told them I was installing tracking software, to include a key logger. My oldest daughter STILL got caught doing totally inappropriate things with her boyfriend on line. Only she couldn't deny it after we had key logs and a screen shot. I tried several freeware programs, and ended up paying for one instead. I will be at work until Sunday, and I can't remember the name of the program. It was $20 or $30 I think, but well worth it. I will post the name tomorrow if you would like. The program was not real user friendly, but it did let you set up periodical screen shots, it tracked web addresses, IM conversations, and programs run. I also set each child up with their own user account because the program lists usage by Windows user name.

For those that disagree with this, let my state my case. By telling them up front you are installing this software, you are not being nosy or snooping. If they don't like it, they don't have to use the computer. End of story. In her case, the children are already being suspicious themselves by deleting history and such, so I think her actions are warranted.

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I have 3 teenagers!!!
Dec 14, 2007 10:46PM PST

First off let me say I TOTALLY understand what you are going thru, I have 3 teenagers. I wont go into the WHYS of why I ended up getting a program to do EXACTLY what you are needing. But go to:
I promise you, it will do everything that you are really needing. It does have a keylogger - you see passwords, you can then see what Facebook accounts, myspace accounts they have. It tracks all websites, and keeps logs of all IM's including ones sent phone to computer.

For the ones that say its an invasion of privacy? I say....Ney's MY house,and it's my responsibility to protect my children. If I choose to stick my head in the sand and pretend that they are little angels...then I am in lala land. Its time to pull your head out of the sand, and deal with it. What you do with whatever information is up to you. but trust me, there will be times you wish you didnt have to deal with it.

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Thank you....The WWW can be very Dangerous
Dec 15, 2007 2:57AM PST

I am raising a Granddaughter (13 going on 19/20),,so as a older Pappa(61) maybe I am "old fashioned",,but to see my girls manners,actions,etc. compared to her friends who's parents are in LAA-laa land is astonishing...I am not using a program yet,,but she knows deleting histories etc.(As she also knows I DO look) gets the "Puter un-Plugged".
I Do have all the trust in the world with/in her..But to think looking in on her activities is a breech of that trust would be TOTALLY "irresponsible" on MY part of the child raising duties.
There is NO such thing as the Perfect child/parent..but it is my goal to recieve @ least a "B" on this score...Thank you....Slim
ps....I actually look @ the report card toooo....LOL..

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I think the prog you
Dec 15, 2007 10:23AM PST

are talking about is called "Family Cyber Alert". I am using this program to track my childrens' web access and behavior online. It is a keylogging program, and will show screenshots of files accessed, websites visited, IM messages, and is affordably priced. It doesn't show up on the task bar. The feature I liked best was that it was a "hidden" program, and can ONLY be accessed if you know the password. I am using a couple AV and anti-spy programs, and while Cyber Alert does show up as a potential threat, it's not hard to configure them to ignore.
You cannot be too careful where your children are concerned. I'm of the opinion that if they give you reason to suspect, you have reason to search until you are satisfied nothing is amiss. Trust, but verify. And for the poster who trusts his children implicitly with the internet, take time to watch the Dateline NBC shows regarding child predators.

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invasion of privacy
Dec 15, 2007 2:22AM PST

wouldn't it be better to make them get some sort of job and keep them busy? my son is 10 yrs old and he has a computer, but he mostly just plays games and when he's not on the computer he's practicing his sax for band. keep them busy so they don't have time to get into trouble.

i have no idea what a teenager does online, but i bet is't mostly bs.

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Dec 15, 2007 2:37AM PST

Some of you people are totally insane. Your suggestions are totally rediculous. How can you possibly say that a parent should NOT track what their kids do online. I'm a teenager myself, with my own computer, and my parents trust me because I put some of that software on myself. I have it set to email my parents every 2 weeks with the things I've been doing. That's why my parents trust me.

Many parents are a step behind their kids every step of the way. However, that's not necessary. For example, look at this thread! This is a parent trying to stay one step ahead, not behind, their kids. Again, a totally stupid and uneducated comment.

As for the comment that parents should make communication very easy, and just blindly trust... that NEVER works. STUPID AND UNEDUCATED...

It is not a breach of trust doing this, you're the damn parent aren't you? They live under your roof don't they?

Lastly, "You're a parent not a spy. Trust them, give them some respect, and they'll give you some back. My three do (and I wouldn't like them knowing my business) !" Why would you say that? Maybe you don't want that kind of software on the computer becuase you don't want it tracking you!

I can't believe some people are so stupid.


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Matt....I salute you !
Dec 15, 2007 3:04AM PST

YOU are right on and I would luv to have you as a neighbor or friend "hangin-out" with my granddaughter
Thanks for your Excellent thread......Slim

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Dec 15, 2007 5:31AM PST

Good on you Matt....couldn't agree more with your erudite comments. We have recently had our 15 year old grand daughter living with us (for 12 months) and I was both frustrated and amazed by the flippant attitude of many of her 'friends' attitude that I see repeated here. Parenting is a huge responsibility, one that includes keeping children safe from harm and clear of danger, how can that be achieved without monitoring their activities. Invasion of privacy???? What a load of is NOT a trust issue, if the kids don't want their parents to know what they are doing then chances are they are doing something of which their parents wouldn't approve...or worse, something that could be dangerous.
Do any of these simpletons ask their children where they are going when they ask to go out on Saturday night or give them a time to be home?.....That's monitoring their activities, isn't it? Why should it be any different for computer usage.....I wonder if any of them realise just how many of our young people fall victim to IM predators, for example.
BTW, I have raised four children and currently have 12 grand children....would I monitor my children's computer activities in this era?.....YOU BET I WOULD!


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You are a sad individual.... but clearly not alone.
Dec 15, 2007 9:37AM PST

Understand one thing please: Prying has nothing to do with protection. There is perfectly good nanny protection software to be had, and I trust my kids enough to let them roam within the parameters set out by that.

They know not to use ANY chat rooms AND ask me before they dish out email addresses. BT kindly only lets them get mail from folk I add into their address book, and they use MS Outlook via the BT pop3 mailserver. Simple parameters to let them roam safely without me snooping!

Anyone who snoops to the level mentioned in this thread isn't doing anything to protect anyone. It's totally obscene to track private messages regardless of who you are, and who they are. If you need to do this YOU have a problem as far as I'm concerned! That's my honest oppinion and nothing in this thread will change that.

Snooping to this level says more about you; your relationship with your family; and is just not conjusive to a warm trusting relationship. No point in talking cos they'd already know what you were about to say.

ps. We all have private lifes (except you apparently). What I do, my wife does, and my kids do is entirely our own business. I don't want to know every discussion they've had. Why should I ? Why would your parents need to know every chat, mail, discussion, or site hits?

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What a crock!!!!!
Dec 15, 2007 12:00PM PST

Geez PJ.....You are the sad individual....people like you make my blood boil. It's not entirely down to whether or not you trust your OWN kids....there is tremendous peer pressure out there, not to mention the many devious individuals who prey on the innocents. It's all very good if you can trust your children to the level you espouse, but not everyone is as fortunate as you claim to be AND maybe, just maybe your naivety is putting your own children at risk.
Don't be so closed minded....there are real dangers involved and I speak from personal experience.


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just one 'small' point here
Dec 15, 2007 12:22PM PST

#What my kids do is entirely our own business. I don't want to know every discussion they've had. Why should I ?#

you may trust your kids when they go online, but do you also trust the 40 yr old pervert who is coming on as a 'sweet' 15 yr old??



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Can you guys read..... read first, understand, then reply.
Dec 16, 2007 1:34AM PST

Who mentioned unrestricted access? I didn't ever suggest that! I clearly said they DO NOT visit chat rooms OR RECEIVE mail from addresses I don't personally add to their mail subfolders. They have enough sense to know not to use a hotmail address of there own; they read stories of kids being abused and murdered and know there's a risk. Maybe my kids have more sense than some of you. Definitely sounds like it.

They know there are weirdos and sad folk out there who pretend to be something else. I'm pretty happy knowing they're bufferred from all that.

Most of you guys seriously need to evaluate yourselves. I'll say this one more time; I have no interest in knowing everything my kids say OR to whom. In my eyes that would make me a control freak, or pervert.

Snoooping & prying is not protection. It's a sign you're not happy in yourself!

Anyway this has clearly run it's life. Nothing but trivial control freaks adding any input. I'm surprised nobody sugested a web cam of their room and some GPS gadget to track their every movement. I'll bow out as there appear few sane folk involved in this discussion.

Regards the original question. Educate your kids and protect them as best you can. Personally I wouldn't go as far as you're asking but it's a personal choice and you alone know what your kids are up against. Good luck!

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Dec 15, 2007 5:48AM PST

I know that as a teen I'm a biased source here, but biased or not, I think that my input could be appreciated [almost]
I'd rather my parents not know all of the stuff I do on the computer, but mostly because if I get in another fight with a friend, I rather they not know every detail
Maybe if they're doing sketchy stuff on the computer then you need to put the computer in a more public place, such as the kitchen or the living room, then they might be a little less apt to doing some of the more objectionable stuff there is out there. One of my friends had this happen to her, and she didn't really appreciate it.
I'm just thinking that may be more the solution, because I know that I wouldn't trust my ma and dad if they put stuff like that on the computer.

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Dec 15, 2007 6:08AM PST

Yes, we appreciate all constructive input!

However, in my particular case, the kids computer was in the living room. Still, after telling them and installing this software, we came upon a screen shot of my daughters boyfriend... who had a web cam.... (ewww) I need to elaborate further? Was a rather interesting conversation I had with his mother after seeing that.

Trust is a two way street, and if there are parents out there who can trust their teens, great for them. But not all teens are deserving of complete and absolute trust, and like it or not, the internet can be a dangerous place, especially for teens that "know it all". As parents, we have to do what we can to protect them from themselves. My daughter would never have admitted to doing that. Only by showing her "the evidence" could we directly address it, and she could not deny the truth of the situation. It's sad, and it actually sucks to know that your kids will lie to your face about things that are important to us, but you still have to deal with it, and not (like another poster said) bury your head in the sand.

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I do agree to keep an eye on the one under my roof
Dec 15, 2007 9:09PM PST

for those who desagree to have some appz in the pc to track the kids are deadly wrong.
if you are a responsable parent you need to know what are your kids surfing behavior .especially girls under age.after 18 .I wouldn't do it ,but as a parent I would ensure they know everything about the sexual life so they will not fall or at least not to hard .
the curiosity kill the cat and teneger girls get pregnant becuase their inmaturity sexual knoledge

remember that boys will need more freedom ,especially with their sexual life.

this happened in my mother land.
the boy used to tell his father all his moves ,so he had a girlfriend
who wanted to snick out at night time and make love with him.and hee told his father everything and the end was ,his father took off before him and sexually abused the girl.

my niece girlfriend came for sleepover to her house on friday night .
her mom was to come to pick her up on saturday at 9 am.very irresponsable Canadian mother who showed up next monday still drunk .sleepovers ended that day