The internet is the greatest invention of all time. However, it can be a huge distraction and it can even be dangerous. There are websites with spyware and viruses, there is online bullying, there are cyber-attacks, and so on. This is why it is so important that everyone, from individuals to businesses, have user activity monitoring software in place. This software monitors everything that is done from a computer. Which programs were used, which websites were visited, and what was typed in. This is then presented in a report. There are many such software packages available today, so how do you recognize a good one?
What Activity Does it Record?
First of all, you need to make sure that it is capable of recording the activities you want to see. Perhaps you want to make sure your employees don’t surf the web, or maybe you want to be able to read your child’s chat logs. For businesses, website and email usage tends to be the most important, whereas families are more interested in social networking.
Can it Monitor Remotely?
Next, you need to make sure that you can monitor remotely. Sometimes, this is done through FTP, others require you to login online. Others, still, require viewing software to be installed on the device you want to monitor. Web based systems tend to be best for employers, as it means they can avoid installation of software on each machine.
Does it Have Stealth Mode?
A good program runs in the background silently, just as a different systems process. The best programs can be put in stealth mode remotely, even hiding the install file as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, so as not to arouse suspicions.
How Many Licenses Do You Need?
Licenses are very important, both for businesses and individuals. Most of us now have multiple devices, after all, and you may want to monitor them all. For businesses, it is vital that every computer can be monitored at all times.
What Type of Support Is Available?
If you require some help or have any questions, you need to be able to contact the software developer for this. Only work with responsive providers. Live chat and telephone support should be available to you.
Features of an Activity Monitor
There are also a number of key features that you should look for in your user activity monitor software, including:
- The ability to counter anti-spyware. User activity monitoring software packages are essentially a type of spyware and a type of keylogger. Good antivirus programs will block this. You have to make sure yours won’t, therefore.
- The ability to put in file locks and memory erasers, so that you get to decide which information is kept and which can be trashed.
Naturally, you do have to be responsible about how you use the software. As an employer, you should inform your staff of the fact they are being monitored and why. They should also have policies available to them that fully explain what acceptable computer behavior is within your organization.