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Old 2007-11-09, 18:54   #1
petrw1
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"Wayne"
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Default Advice please on a MSN Chat Monitoring Tool....

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.

THANKS...
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Old 2007-11-09, 22:02   #2
Mini-Geek
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Quote:
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.

THANKS...
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 watched...so 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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Old 2007-11-09, 22:14   #3
mdettweiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-Geek View Post
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 watched...so 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.
Probably most commercial monitoring applications (the ones that companies use to monitor their employees) would do the trick--I've seen ads for a few of them, and they all include the ability to record various types of IM (which I'm assuming would include MSN), as well as email, web surfing, etc. They can even keep screenshots (both stills and video, I think) of activity of so requested. I would imagine they're able to run in a "hidden" mode too.

I don't know how much one would cost, but I would imagine that there's versions that cost a reasonable amount aimed at home users in situations like yours.

Probably anything out there for free would either be more along the lines of a forensic or hacking tool (and, consequently, probably be more complicated to use), rather than a monitoring tool like you're looking for. But then, I don't know much about what's out there for free (except Wireshark which I'm familiar with), so I could be wrong.

Last fiddled with by mdettweiler on 2007-11-09 at 22:14
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Old 2007-11-10, 11:47   #4
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http://www.download.com/ChatChecker/...ml?tag=lst-0-2
Not sure if it has stealth modes or anything, but I found this for free at download.com.
If not that one in particular, try this URL for a search at download.com of "chat monitor", filtered to freeware programs: http://www.download.com/3120-20_4-0-...49&dlsize=&ca=
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Old 2007-11-12, 16:56   #5
petrw1
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Default Update ... I am over protected

Well I found one and downloaded it ... it seemed to work quite well and quite stealthily.

A couple days later my regular weekly Norton Antivirus ran and decided it was spyware (duh!!) and deleted it
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Old 2007-11-12, 20:30   #6
mdettweiler
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Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
Well I found one and downloaded it ... it seemed to work quite well and quite stealthily.

A couple days later my regular weekly Norton Antivirus ran and decided it was spyware (duh!!) and deleted it
I guess you'd just have to mark it as an "exception" in Norton so that it won't be scanned.
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