WebWatcher

WebWatcher is a product of Awareness Technologies, founded in 2002 and based in Westport, Connecticut. Awareness Technologies also provides employee monitoring services to small businesses and corporations.
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Features

WebWatcher is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Blackberry devices. For Windows and Macs, it provides these features:

  • View all activity remotely
  • Block websites by category, URL, or keyword
  • Receive an alert whenever any word that you select is typed or viewed
  • Monitor which websites are visited, when they were visited and for how long
  • Email monitoring allows you to see every email sent and received on all major email programs, including webmail
  • Monitor web searches Google, Yahoo, and Bing
  • Records all keystrokes typed
  • View all incoming and outgoing instant messages and chat conversations from all major messaging programs and web-based chat, including Facebook Chat Messages
  • Web filtering
  • Block any program either permanently or on a schedule (Premium only)
  • Takes a screenshot every time an alert word (chosen by you) is typed or viewed
  • Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube continuous screenshot monitoring
  • LinkedIn monitoring

For mobile devices:

  • View all activity remotely
  • Receive an alert whenever any word that you select is typed or viewed
  • Monitor web browser history (except on Blackberry)
  • Email monitoring (Blackberry only)
  • View photos taken
  • View SMS text messages
  • Monitor all log history
  • Monitor app usage (Android only)
  • Monitor SnapChat and Instagram activities (Android only)

Performance

WebWatcher takes a different approach than most other competing products. That’s because WebWatcher bills itself as “computer & mobile monitoring software” and sells the feature that it’s undetectable, which makes it a tool not just for monitoring children but can be used for monitoring the online or smartphone activities of anyone, which puts it into a different class of software, making it very easy to violate the privacy rights of adults. This product seems to be a complete surveillance package that might be used by private investigators in divorce cases, which also can be applied to children. For example, it includes LinkedIn activity monitoring, which child and most teenagers don’t use. It includes a keylogger for recording everything entered into a keyboard. It is a complete evidence-gathering system.

You download the software onto the target devices. After that WebWatcher monitors and records all activity and sends it to your web-based account, which you can log into from any computer to see all recorded data. This product blurs the border between child protection and spying.

This is also billed as “Parental and Employee Monitoring Software,” which also accounts for it’s industrial surveillance feel.

Pricing

WebWatcher is on the higher end of the price range.  A separate license is required for each type of device, so it your household includes some combination of device types, such as Macs and iPhones, it gets expensive quickly. For each platform the cost is $99.95 (reg. $160) except for Blackberry, which is #69.95.

Additional add-ons are available:

  • e-Notify allows you to access recorded data through email: $29.95
  • Unlimited Update Package includes all upgrades for a year: $29.95
  • White Glove Service enables WebWatcher personnel to remotely install the software onto target devices: $19.95

Technical Support

WebWatcher provides excellent support, with phone support available 24/7. They also provide a chat support.

Conclusion

This is not so much about parental control as about surveillance. The options for regulating your child’s activities and preventing your child from engaging in activities, it allows you to monitor everything that they do. There may be some trust issues here. If your goals is to monitor all of your child’s activities, this is the package for you; if you want to give your child some autonomy and block and regulate activities specific to children and teenagers such as gaming activities, this is not the package.

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