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Old 2007-11-09, 22:02   #2
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Mini-Geek's Avatar
"Tim Sorbera"
Aug 2006
San Antonio, TX USA

17·251 Posts

Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
Can anyone give me some first hand advice on MSN Chat Monitoring?

What tools work best (or which to avoid) ... on Windows XP.

We have a need to ensure our house guest is remaining ethical and moral on MSN.

I want to be able to know who is in on the conversations and what is being sent or received on the session without them knowing I am watching (i.e. doesn't show up in task manager for one).

I want them to NOT be able to disable or password protect their converstaions ... or to work even if they do.

It needs to be easy to set up and operate. We are NOT System Administrators.

And of course I'd prefer the software free!!!

I found lots of products that claim to do all this but I'd like to hear some first hand experiences.

You can set MSN to keep a log of its chat, but this is easily deleted or edited if the person is tech-savvy and knows you're trying to watch them. You could run a network monitoring tool on their computer (like Wireshark), but this would generate a process and possibly a window. If your router has any sort of monitoring, you might be able to use that. If you use a computer as a router anywhere along the line, you can run Wireshark, I think promiscuous mode would be necessary, to monitor it.

Good ol' fashioned watch-em-over-the-shoulder would work too, but would make them know they're even if they do do unethical/immoral stuff, they could just hide it while you're watching, unless you watch 24/7...or you could hide a webcam or get some screenshot program that automatically takes screenies, but that would probably make a process too.
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