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MacGirl80 Feb 13, 2013 08:45 AM
Monitoring Software
Tried to find a recent thread on this but no luck and this kind of software changes all the time.
Has anyone used a keylogger program on a Mac? I've been looking around for something to use with my teenage son and come across a company called Refog (REFOG Keylogger Software. Download Free Invisible Keylogger Now! Safeguard kids, catch cheating spouses and improve employee performance with a single product!) but I'm not even sure I'd actually look, I'm kind of hoping that just having it on there will make my son think twice about what he does online when I'm not around.
I'd like to know how easy it is to install and uninstall though. I know people have quite strong opinions on this kind of thing.
Any thoughts?
angelmb Feb 13, 2013 09:43 AM
- Open System Preferences, go to the Desktop & Screen Saver section. Set the image below as desktop picture.
- Go to System Preferences View Menu, click on Customizeā€¦ hide the Desktop & Screen Saver pane by doing clic on the checkbox near to it.
- Done.
andi*pandi Feb 13, 2013 12:18 PM
keyloggers are for spammers. Use the parental controls in OSX.
MacGirl80 Feb 14, 2013 06:54 AM
That's great, angelmb :)

I'll have a look at parental controls, do they log webistes visited though? Or just restrict access to pre determined sites?

angelmb Feb 14, 2013 07:26 AM
MacGirl, Mac OS X Parental Controls do log websites visited, as explained here:
Mac OS X: Parental Controls

If you are serious about installing 3rd party software (this means software not provided by Apple), I would suggest Intego Family Protector. They are the most well known and respected security company on the Mac world. But I think OS X Parental Control would do it.
macjockey Feb 15, 2013 03:57 PM
If it is P0RN that you're worried about, then use an DNS service that provides filtering.

Like ScrubIT

Or maybe you're actually wanting to find out what you're hubby or BFF is looking at or who they are talking to? This could be walking on the legal edge of evasion of privacy.
SunSeeker Feb 15, 2013 06:47 PM
There is certainly some depraved content out there and Internet bullying too so I understand you wanting to protect him and avoid corruption of his innocence, but keep a couple of things in mind

He is not innocent and has natural curiosity
His morals have already been shaped by your actions over the last 12+ years
He will want to test and set his own moral boundaries, getting caught and embarrassed is counterproductive

Invading his privacy is something you should very seriously think about not doing - rather like reading his diary

How old is he and what content actually is OK

How prudish/open minded are you and are you willing to know more about the disgusting cesspool that exists out there

How much time and energy are you willing to invest, this time might be better spent on positive family experiences and real activities like sport, music, drama, rock climbing, paintball etc.

Which is more true
You have raised an obnoxious, secretive, morally corrupt child OR you as a parent are scared silly that the Internet will turn him into one?

Either way at some point you have to start to trust him (perhaps the best thing is to explain your fears and let him know that you can observe and restrict his actions but will not do so unless there is good reason - this is something I said to my kids at 15yo after using parental controls to restrict content and hours/day through their early teens)

It's not just content. Don't forget the social aspect and that your child can just as easily be the one doing the manipulating

The easiest option for the non technically inclined parent is to allow no devices in private rooms. Keep the computer in a common area and install a simple camera that can be viewed over the Internet and has a good view of the whole screen (something like IZON: Stem Innovation)

Parental controls can be used to track and limit web browsing, but cannot observe files bought home from a friends house on an external drive

Don't forget to disable or track the guest user account

If he has an iOS device he cannot be observed or tracked anywhere near as easily and will naturally use one of these devices if restricted (this shouldn't allow you to cripple him by not buying one - carrying a dumb phone is the modern equivalent of too short, home-made hand me downs)
(I'm certain other manufactures care little about this since their operating systems are usually Swiss cheese even before any kind of jailbreaking and any restrictions that might exist could perhaps easily be worked around by a smart kid)

Parental controls on iOS amount to disabling the browser and the App Store altogether

Learn about screen sharing which allows you to observe (secretly if you wish) a Mac or PC while it is being used (from anywhere in the world if you are smart enough)

If I was your teen wanting to bypass parental control I would simply get myself an external drive, install a complete OS on it and boot from that whenever I wanted privacy and I would resent you for making me do it OR I would spend a lot more time with that unsavory friend whose parents don't seem to have any of these concerns
FireWire Feb 15, 2013 06:58 PM
I know it's none of my business, but as an ex-teenage boy who grew up with the Internet (I'm now 30), I would suggest not doing it. My father didn't know much about computers and I had the chance to have my own computer in my own room so nobody ever snooped around in my things, and I'm thankful for that. I could explore whatever I wanted to explore without restrain or feeling embarrassed. I don't think anything wrong can happen to him. We're not talking about a 6 years old girl, but a teenage boy. Teens always had a way to explore and have fun (old magazine found, late night movies, sears catalog, etc). Now just because technology makes it easier to monitor what happens doesn't make it more right. Kids need freedom and unhingered curiosity. What if he has questions he's embarassed to ask you and want to find the answer on wikipedia without you being aware? I would know much less today if my Internet access had been monitored. And if you do decide to monitor what he's viewing, at least make it clear so he doesn't walk into a trap and be embarassed for the rest of his life.
macmediausa Feb 15, 2013 11:24 PM
I use Perfect Keylogger ( on an imac that my 16 y.o. son uses in his room.
After I found out that he was secretly doing drugs and communicating with some scum from school, I had to get to the bottom of it.

This program works reasonably well. I bought it with the password add on
It's been running for about 8 months thus far and although he has been going to some porn sites, I'm more interested in monitoring the communications that he has. What 16 y.o. teenager doesn't look at porn?
I haven't needed to intervene once - just giving him his "perceived privacy" but will definitely act if I see some dealer trying to con him of some money.

Every day I get an email of his activity sent to a email address that I chose (and one that I don't use often so he never accidentally finds out). It's a very simple text email but gives me the passwords as well as keystrokes. I thought I understood teenage slang but I feel woefully outdated and old. It's difficult to figure out if the computer has this hidden program in there (and I am a Mac tech and Electronics tech by trade). The anti-virus program hasn't detected it either.

I definitely don't want him knowing of the spying I'm doing. I do feel it's somewhat wrong but his health and safety (from his druggie dealer friend) far trumps any privacy he is entitled to. I'm willing to overlook any normal curiosities but drugs/pedophiles/child pornography is where I draw the line for ANY person and will intervene if that line is crossed. If he was to know I was doing this, then he would move to do all his communicating via Cell phone and at that point I would not be able to track that type of behavior.

I do feel that the $45 was well spent for this program.
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