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Concerned about buying Monitoring Software

Posted by GuardChild 5 Comments

My husband and I have been strongly considering purchasing software to monitor what our children are doing when they are using the Internet (we have two children, 7 and 12). However, we are struggling with the notion that we would be ‘spying’ on their personal choices.

We recognize the dangers of the Internet as well as the many benefits. Yet we continue to debate if this is the right thing to do and if we do so are we invading their privacy.

What are your thoughts and suggestions about our concerns?

5 Responses so far.

  1. GuardChild says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your concern with us and know that you are not alone in deciding about monitoring your children’s use of the Internet and or if doing so is invading their privacy.

    Unfortunately, today’s world is very different that it was ten years ago. Back then, children did not spent as much time on computers as they do now and there were no ‘Social Networks’ such as MySpace, YouTube or Facebook where children can meet and exchange personal information with complete strangers.

    First, let’s discuss the notion of ‘spying’ or invading your children’s privacy. Our view, as well as many others, is that monitoring a child’s activity on the internet is a parent’s responsibility. It’s no different from wanting to know where your child is going when they leave the house, who they will be with and obtaining contact information. Parents have always ‘monitored’ their children and asked for detailed information about what they are doing. One of the issues is the use of the word ‘spyware’ or spy. Well, you’re not spying on your child; you are monitoring what they are doing to ensure they are not involved with the wrong people or sharing personal information that could potentially be dangerous to them and your family.

    There have been many documented cases where parents were able to intervene because of information they obtained from using monitoring software. At the same time, there are also cases where parents did not monitor their children and their child became involved in drug use, illegal file sharing and sometimes a more serious situation.

    Clearly, this is a choice you and your husband need to make and feel comfortable with your decision. If you decide to purchase software, you can meet with your children and let them know that you are installing monitoring software on their computers for their safety as well as for the safety of the family.

  2. Lisa says:

    We had the same problem, but after speaking with friends and doing some research, we realized that as parents it was our responsibility to know what our children are doing online. In fact, now we are looking at cell phone monitoring software. While you and your husband need to make your own decision – keep in mind that you aren’t spying, you’re monitoring what your kids are doing online.

  3. Anne says:

    You’re not alone in feeling uncomfortable about the thought of ‘spying’ on your children. I had the same concern however, after looking at the sites my son was visiting and some long hard thinking, I realized I had to know what he was doing online to protect him. I also came to the realization that what I was doing was NOT spying but instead – protecting my son just as I would in any other situation.Take my word – but software – we as parents need to understand that it’s our job to know what our children are doing. Good Luck!

  4. Sheri says:

    I was looking through the bookmarks and web search history on my daughter’s computer and noticed she had a site saved. Initially, I thought, oh, it’s a website for teens… but something gnawed at me to looked further and wondered what I was about to find….so I checked it out and I was shocked to find that this was not a “teen” web site but instead it was a pornography site. I talked to my daughter about the dangers of the internet and how these types of websites were not appropriate for her. My daughter is only 12 and she told me she went on the site with friend’s that were visiting and that she felt pressured to do so because her friend’s were well aware of the type of site it was.

    The other day she told me she was glad I checked her bookmarks because she didn’t really like the site but was pressured by friends to look at it. Since then, I purchased RealTime Spy and told my daughter that all of her Internet activity would be monitored to ensure that we didn’t have any further problems with her online activity.

    Initially, she was upset with us for installing the software but she seems to have come around and understands it was for her own good.

  5. ELJ37 says:

    Good for you Sheri to have the courage to look at your daughter’s bookmarks and search history and I gather her browser history. This at a minimum is what all parents should do as a starting point to determine if their children are visiting inappropriate websites. Obviously, you were concerned she was headed in the wrong direction and your actions were timely. Always follow your instincts as a parent.

    Clearly, her initial reaction was anger but it seems like she realized that you were concerned for her safety.

    We had a similar experience and decided to talk to our daughter and let her know about the dangers on the Internet. We told her we were installing monitoring software because of our concern for her and our family. After we downloaded and installed the software, my husband and I felt relieved that we could monitor what our children do online and it provided us with an opportunity to have an open discussion with them.

    However, before we spoke with our daughter we read some of the articles and statistics so we were clear about the dangers. This also gave us an opportunity to present her with some frightening facts.

    In today’s world, we cannot take any chances and we need to keep abreast of what our children are doing online.