Parental Protection

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by dmgann, May 9, 2006.

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  1. dmgann

    dmgann Registered Member

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    I have a sixteen yr old son. I was monitoring his use on the internet by reviewing his instant messenger. by the archives. He now knows how to delete the instant messages archives. How else can I go about reading his instant messages, without him knowing? Any help for a monitoring parent?
     
  2. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    What IM dose he use? I believe there are programs to do that. Shuold be able to find some via a Google search. Others here may already know of some.
     
  3. dmgann

    dmgann Registered Member

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    He mostly uses the yahoo and msn. I was reading the yahoo archives and he figured out how to delete them and I had the msn going to a spot on the harddrive, he learned how to delete them also. So I want something he's little computer mind will not know where to look. He thinks he's pulling something over on me. I NEED to make sure everythings alright, everything I have read of his is flirting with girls on chat rooms and such. Gave him lecture after lecture, but I'm mom, I know nothing. So if someone could please help me find something that is hard to spot or find, for a computer wizard, lol.
     
  4. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    http://www.google.com/search?hs=yS8&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=Instant+Messenger+monitoring+programs&btnG=Search
    Here is a Google search. I suggest you do NOT click on the top links in blue or the advertising links on the right of the page. Good luck.

    One other thought. There is free encryption software out there that will enable you to create a small invisible password protected area on your hard drive. This may enable you to continue to do as you were already doing, but he won`t be able to find it. http://www.cypherix.com/cryptainerle/ <- This is the one I have played with some. Seems to work well.
     
  5. dmgann

    dmgann Registered Member

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    Thank you!!!
     
  6. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    :D Hope you find something that helps.
     
  7. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    My question to you would be is this done on a an individual\per PC user basis? Or is the PC as a whole tracked. A bit obtrusive for what she is wanting I feel.
     
  8. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

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    Hi dmgann,

    Oh my lord, he's flirting - With Girls. At 16? Well, who'da thunk it.

    While I am sure there is software out there which will quite happily record everything your son does with his IM, I would strongly recommend that you do not even contemplate installing it.

    At 16 years old, I'm sure your son certainly values his privacy, and reading his instant messages is no different from you eavesdropping on all of his conversations, reading all his email, personal mail or his diaries.

    The fact that he's started to delete these messages is surely a sign that he values his privacy. Respect it. Respect him. You'll both be better off for it, I'm sure.


    Mike
     
  9. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    We will hope they are girls. :eek:
    While I totally agree with your statements in principal, it surely is not for us to decide how she deals with it in her own home. :doubt:
     
  10. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Hey; sorry but he won't be back to answer you. You've had a close encounter of the spammer kind ;)
     
  11. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    Thanks Detox. Thats what I kind of figured. Saw he had left some of his droppings else where around the Forum too. Kind of a shame, was looking forward to trying to draw him into a intelligent :rolleyes: conversation about just how his service, oops sorry was`t his,;) worked.
     
  12. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

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    Hi ThunderZ,

    Oh, I won't decide for her how she deals with it in her own home. Only she will do that.

    But, I do believe another perspective was in order. Maybe she'll just think I'm an asshole, but maybe she'll step back for a moment and think "Do I really need to do this?".

    I can just see this poor woman in a family help forum in a few years time looking for a product that will make her son respect and trust her.

    On a slightly irrelevant note, I came across this pearler of a flash animation which relates back to internet safety. Hope it gives you all a chuckle... http://eclectech.co.uk/dailymailpicnic.php



    Mike
     
  13. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    Fair enough Mike, if I may call you Mike. :D I do not envy parents now a days and the choices they have to make.

    Great link. Sure did get a chuckle, a badly needed one in fact. Thank You.
     
  14. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

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    Sure you can :)

    Yeah, that link is awesome...
     
  15. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Slightly offtopic - it's rather simple. Give the boy a football and send him outside. If he comes back too soon, smack him on the head.
    Mrk
     
  16. Vikorr

    Vikorr Registered Member

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    Just move the computer into the lounge room.
     
  17. dmgann

    dmgann Registered Member

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    While I appreciate all your parenting advice. HE'S my son, and monitoring him and leading him in the right direction (if he goes astray) is what a good parent does? Right? I'd hate to find out after he goes missing or finds out that the "girl" he was talking to is a "old man that just loves boys". I do not ever interfere with him unless he's taking the wrong road. THEN I ask him, "you sure you really want to do that son" makes him stop and think. Just being protective from affar and not letting him do something he thinks is innocent that could turn out to be ugly.
     
  18. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

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    Hi dmgann,

    I'm sorry if my post offended you. Clearly, you have the right to bring up your son in any way that you want and I did not mean to tell you otherwise. However, I replied in the hope I could try and bring a different perspective, and help you understand a couple of things as the technology is really changing the world, and your son (like mine) is in that new generation.

    When I was a kid, we didn't have this whole internet-thingy, so my parents got it easy. Don't talk to strangers. Don't get into cars with strangers. Don't swear in the street, Don't burn down people's houses - the usual stuff. I knew what was expected of me, and I had a fair guess at the consequences should I break the rules.

    Now, my folks surely expected me to abide by the rules, but they did not follow me around everywhere I went, watching everything I do. Nor did they require me to carry a recording device which recorded conversations that I had with my friends. They did not ask me if I had a diary, nor did they demand to read it, if I did. (I was kinda boring, didn't keep one.)

    At the age of 16, I was allowed to use the telephone without supervision. I was not required to have a parent listening in as I spoke to my friends and discussed which girl I would like to date, who I "hated" and so on.

    I was free to write letters to friends without my parents reading them before sending them. Letters that I received were opened by me, and read by me. If I chose to share the contents of those letters with my folks, I could. They did not open them first and decide if I could read them, or not.

    Of course, it would have been absurd for them to go to those lengths to "keep me safe" wouldn't it?

    What you perhaps do not realise is that for the kids of today, IM, email is replacing all of those other things. "Myspace" may suck, but your son may well communicate his innermost thoughts, feelings, and fantasies through these mechanisms, rather than hanging out behind the school block and smoking, he'll be chatting on IM or email.

    Ask yourself this question - if you had a diary - would you really want your parents reading it? This is what you are doing to your son. And, if he's deleting his chat logs - he knows it. How would that make you feel? How do you think he feels about it. I know how I'd feel about it - not good.

    By all means, set guidelines. Tell him there are sickos on the internet (he probably already knows), advise him on acceptable behaviour and safe surfing.

    Others could perhaps elaborate more on this, but the simple stuff works best - don't give out personally identifying details, if you are going to go meet someone, do it in a public place and don't go alone. Maybe, you could even drive him.

    If you still feel the need for closer monitoring - no, we're among friends here, so let's call it what it is - spying - then all that will happen is he'll use a friends computer or other software to subvert your monitoring. You'll be in exactly the same position you are now, but will have lost his trust.

    If your son was younger, I'd have a lot fewer problems with what you propose. But, at 16 he should be well on his way to adulthood.

    Now, maybe there are some extenuating circumstances here. Perhaps your son is easily suggestible, or mentally retarded - in which case, accept my apologies.

    Please, don't view this so much as parenting advice - but more a perspective on the technology which may help you better make a decision on what to do.


    Mike
     
  19. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, one qualifier I'd put around screening IM logs is the veracity of the content logged. A lot of it is simple posturing between acquaintances and blow-off-steam rants that's nothing more than kids talking smack to each other - take a look at a couple of random myspace pages pulled on a google search and you can see what I mean.

    When I was growing up, these sessions were held on the streets - now that's moved inside, on-line, with the potential of transcripts and persistence if it appears on myspace and related sites.

    The measures which can be reasonably taken depend on the PC savvy of your son. Anything you do with a PC can be circumvented using a live CD Linux distro (example - he could stop any PC based monitoring or control of IM by booting Knoppix and using GAIM). Whether or not he is aware of these approaches is another matter...

    There are no simple answers here since the desires for privacy and the need for protection are in conflict.

    Blue
     
  20. gerardwil

    gerardwil Registered Member

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    So you have to monitor all his things otherwise you cannot make the descission to interfere or not.

    I could give you an advice of a program, $99 and one year updates. I don't know if they also offer lifetime updates, but that must be very expensive. Naming this program I won't because it possibly violates with Wilders TOS, Google around and you will find it easy.

    Having three kids myself I bought a program with I am very happy about: trust, open minded, possibility to talk with eachother about everything (and we do), we are friends forever. We are all very happy with it. And...got the program at no cost with free lifetime updates., also known as Freeware :D
    Best regards

    Gerard
     
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