Is there a program that I can use to monitor my teen on Facebook?

Sammib November 1, 2011
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Is there a program that can monitor a teen on Facebook by checking the language that is used and reporting it back to the parent? I don’t need to check everything, I just want to know about inappropriate language and possibly photos.

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  1. Marley-moo1
    November 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    they might not know you are reading there massages and facebook inboxes. but you do im 18 to and i now think of it as i was 16 a little out of control drink a lot so i could understand of some leavels why they did it to me but at the same time i found it hard to pull my head round the fact that they had to use it rather then ask i would have told them what they needed to know.i think if it realy comes down to it you and your child need help and im not talking your both crazy i mean you need a counceler were you can both go and talk opanly with each other and hopefully you will understand a diray. facebook,myspace.bebo 12 -21years is private and should stay that way im with jeff here i think you should be far more concerned with their text messages and webcam activity. and to Donofry  you'r saying we don't understand till we have ow own well i can tell your an oldschool adult and you will have a horabel outcome with your child you are all forgeting you grew up in diffrent day of age but with is 2011 people you need to get up to get up to date befor saying someones wrong. one more thing remmber once you have done it you can't take it back and if it shits rain ova you don't feel sorry for yourselfs.

  2. StephanieM
    November 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    yes's but don't im 18 and i still have never forgive my mum or dad for useing net nana on me they got my passwords numbers e-mail addresses and i wasnt doing enything wrong but at the end of the day net nana or eny other program is still going to invad there privasy i strong recamend you don't stalk your child on the net if they say there going  out and you feel like they might be puting them selfs in danger witch is highlly possabel ask questions follow them if it makes you sleep at night but you should not be looking at there facebook fullstop your a mother/ father but you can not control your kids or there gunna want to take back ova control and i can tell you from exspreanc its never good when that happends.

  3. Anonymous
    November 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Emily - you can send me submissions to mark@makeuseof.com but we are not accepting that many guest submissions at the moment, simply because the publication schedule is already quite full.  But feel free to send me something and if we really like it, we may make an exception.

  4. sammib
    November 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

    First up, thank
    you to everyone for the replies, it certainly has been a interesting read

    I am the parent,
    a Mother of a just turned 14yr daughter and yes the real reason I ask the
    question was what I asked! I don’t want to record word for word conversations,
    but only to know if foul and inappropriate language (& certain words, ie
    sex, diet etc) is being used. A report could be then sent to the parent saying
    that ie ‘F###’ was used 3 times, ‘diet” was used 10 times, then I could sit
    down with her and discuss why.

    My daughter already
    as a program on her laptop, and knows about it, that stops certain websites/ photos
    etc showing on her laptop. BUT for some reason foul and inappropriate language
    does not get monitored on facebook. (I am not talking about basic foul
    language, not used by my daughter but a ‘male’ friend) (Now knows not to do
    that again!)

    We also have a
    great relationship, she tells me about 80% of everything.

    Yes I am also on
    her friend list on facebook!

    After some ‘Mom's intuition’ (So right lttgirl!) I checked
    her facebook and so pleased that I did! I am not just talking about a language problem
    either, but something that could have turned very serious!

    I also believe
    that online and offline language should be a concern, in the real professional world
    foul and inappropriate language is not tolerated. I
    realise that no-one can control what a teen says, but I believe consent
    monitoring and reminding a teen that it is not okay to use such language might
    help, especially in the future when they want to get a job!  (Or even a boyfriend, girlfriend to be okayed
    by a parent. Who would let their daughter date someone who swears a lot, online
    or offline, none of the parents I know!)

    This also has nothing to do with trust, we have taught
    her that trust play a big part in our lives, but as most replies have said, it
    is not also about trusting your child, but how much things out there are put in
    front of young teens that should not be there and now they see these things as
    everyday things, which is very wrong.

    I know lots of parents, teachers, IT professionals, navy
    personal who all feel the same way I do, teens need to be monitored and
    reminded that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    We all love our children.

     

    SammiB

    • Jay
      November 5, 2011 at 10:08 am

      If you do not join page and groups, and maintain a filtered and quality friend list, means do not allow any random person to be your friend then, the facebook news feed, chat, messages will stay clean, there will be nothing to worry about.
      because most of the inappropriate content content on facebook is either by a page or tagged photos or videos.

      You can clean your facebook account, but not the real world, better help her learn what exists in the world, and what, why and how she should avoid .

      Nice to know that she is your good friend, you can share passwords of each other , if both are comfortable, then there will be nothing like monitoring.
      If someone you trust has your password, it can help in several situations to both the persons.

      So let a mother take care of her child instead of a software!

  5. Aibek
    November 3, 2011 at 9:09 am
  6. Fu Man Chu
    November 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Oh what i CAN suggest however just to bring up the 'Trust' factor for this specific situation is this :

    1 - Sit with your teen one day and set up what is called as a 'mail-rule' in his/her email (let me know if you need help with how to do this) and set it to forward any email with the title "wants to be friends with you" (or whatever it is that Facebook sends out as a standard mail when someone sends a friend request) to your personal email. => What this does is : When anyone sends a friend request to your teen, you get the facebook email as well.

    2 - Create a folder in your own email and set the rule to fwd all those emails coming automatically from your teenager's email to go into that folder. (this step isn't absolutely necessary, it's just to keep things organized)

    this way atleast you know what 'friends' your teen is making.. and can question any one that you deem as 'questionable', it gives you the opportunity to have a healthy discussion with your kid, and you don't need to install anything.

  7. Fu Man Chu
    November 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I agree with Jeff and Ittlgirl.. you only understand this when you become a parent, until then you're simply "on the other side of the fence" and have no idea. The thing to understand is it's not about not trusting your kids.. but there are people out there that can be most beguiling and most patient and most friendly enough to lure the kids away.. so many news articles about kids being snatched like this, some never to be seen again, some are seen after years of abuse.. just better to not go there.

    Again, it's not NOT trusting your kids, but it's about not trusting strangers (for some, they're not even strangers) out there, evil doers lurking in the safety of anonymity and within easy reach.

    Sorry that this entire thread is becoming a rant/preaching of sorts.. i don't have any software to recommend, but hey.. my 2 cents as well, I feel this is all still within topic of the original question as online safety is a huge huge deal that is currently not being policed anywhere close to as much as the outside 'non-internet' world is.

    • Jeff Fabish
      November 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      I agree, in fact there was a recent kidnapping attempt in my neighbourhood. However, the OP didn't mention using privacy invasion to protect their children (though I'm sure that's a concern). What he said was, he wants to see what language they are using and what photos they are taking. From that, I suspect he's concerned about how his child is conducting themselves online, and that (to me) is trivial.

  8. lttlgirl
    November 2, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Sammib - Great question!!  
    Not only have we already raised 5 kids through adulthood, we're still raising a teen as I type this.  In addition, my brother in law is a sheriff in Billings, and when we asked him that same question (to be sure we weren't being overprotective parents), he couldn't have agreed more with us.  He told us that we have no idea the number of crimes/issues/heartache parents would be spared if only they would monitor their kids' online and cell phone activity - ESPECIALLY TEENS!  (Take some time and google the articles regarding this very topic.  You'll certainly be justified in your concerns!)  You need to be the PARENT - not their friend.  If you parent them when they're young, I guarantee, you'll be great friends when they are adults!!  In addition - they should never be having THAT intimate a conversation with anyone, that would be inappropriate to keep from their parents.

    We've always made a deal with our kids.  They have no privacy in our house until they're on their own.  Ok - that's "extreme", and they know it, however they also know we're serious as a heart attack when we require logins and passwords to everything they have, and as long as they live under our roof (ok - not after their graduation from HS and lived with us until they were either married or deployed), we have the right to check their accounts whenever we feel the need.  And if they even so much as threatened to block or delete - we helped them out, and either deleted their account, or blocked them off the internet ourselves.  They knew this wasn't a game they wanted to play.   
     
    There have been many occasions when I've been seriously thankful that I've checked into something I had that "Mom's intuition" about...whether it was concerning them, or a friend. And guess what?  I have great kids (several military)...a great relationship with each and every one...and my older kids are having these same arrangements with their kids - because it worked for us!!

    Take it or leave it - just my thoughts...and encouragement to be your kids' parent.  Sounds like you're truly on the right track.  :)

  9. Jay
    November 2, 2011 at 12:38 am

    First, I can understand you concern as a parent. (if you are a parent)
    Mostly,these programs are paid, monitoring someone is not legal, even if the person is your relative.
    you can install a key-logger to monitor your own pc.

    I suggest to trust your children, and trust the things you taught them to do or not to do.
    Facebook is just a part of their life, you can't be with them at every moment, unless you hire a spy.
    Bad company and bad language is not limited to facebook. and it also depends on what do you consider as "bad".
    You can be their best friends, not only on facebook, but in offline real life, I will give any of my passwords to my trusted friends, because I trust them.

    Skip the lecture :
    free and easy and legal way : send a request and add to closed friends list.
    if they accept or do not reject your requests(keep pending), you can see their public recent activity on your closed friends list.

    If they reject your request,
    or just keep visiting their profile, you will see public activities. (bookmark their wall)

    If you annoy them by letting them know about this, they may block you, so be careful.
    If your request is accepted, you can be restricted if they have applied privacy settings, but you can still view. the public recent activities.

    This is important to also those who wants to keep their facebook private, may be you also!

  10. Jeff Fabish
    November 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Well...To be clear, you're the parent right? It's a pretty important question (the legality of the question is dependent on your answer)

    Most parents chose to use spyware (keyloggers, network monitoring software, etc) which is considered highly unethical in this day and age. Either let your child have a Facebook account or not, privacy invasion isn't a good solution (would you want someone reading your most intimate conversation with other people?). However, if your child acknowledged that he or she is being monitored, there are programs you can use, see this list (organized by downloads)

    The best program: Trust. What language someone uses online is hardly a legitimate concern. I find it extremely difficult to believe that's the only reason you wish to monitor their conversations. 

    • Donofry
      November 2, 2011 at 5:27 am

      You have no clue what you're talking about UNTIL you become a parent.  Trust is NOT the best program with a teenager. Please. 

      • Jeff Fabish
        November 2, 2011 at 5:33 am

        Maybe you're right. Either way, I gave Sammib the list of programs to use. It's sceptical (to me) to record someone's conversation without them even knowing about it, that's entrapment. 

    • Shwnzgrl
      November 2, 2011 at 5:29 am

      how exactly is a conversation on fb intimate? just sayin...

      • Jeff Fabish
        November 2, 2011 at 5:34 am

        You'd be surprised. 

    • Mjevolve
      November 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

      hello Jeff , 
      what you say is perfectly idealistic ,  right , legal , fundamental and ethical .
      but sadly we live in a world which is far away from being what we intend or want or figure it to be .
      you might have given your child the best education in terms of scholastic or moralistic or ethical values ,
      raised him well , have his faith and confidence , and trust him .
      but its no matter of debate that there are enough crooked people out there with
      f #kd up minds who can easily corrupt a young mind and carry the child away from what he has been taught so long and make him fall to prey to things which are bad !
      people might be his own friend , an acquaintance, a passer by or any one .

      being a parent it is ones moral duty to ensure that yes your kid is doing the right thing and is not into something in which he should not be in the first place .
      so i dont think spying or monitoring your child on what he does over the internet is wrong or bad or some thing one should not do .
      you have got to be sure .

      our parents used to monitor us when we were young , 
      and its just that the techniques of monitoring have to be changed with the changing times . esp when the FB or Orkut etc are what kids are used to grow up with nowadays .

      if you notice anything wrong or suspicious in the child's behavior and activities, 
      you are in a position to do the needful at the time when the situation is still under control , 
      rather than cry out " oh , why did not i check this before, of what Johnny was up to .! " , when the beans have been spilled .

      and this makes more sense esp because we are talking about monitoring a child ( and not a spouse , relative , friend . when of course its bad .! ), who has to be taught what is right and what is wrong .
      and this is more important than whether that issue invades his privacy or he doesnt like it !

      ( and i m neither a parent myself :)  )

      a good day ...!

      • Jonathan
        November 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        If your child is adding people with "f #kd up minds" to their facebook friend list, I would question how well you've actually raised them... 

        • Mjevolve
          November 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

          hello Jon , 
          well , i make a lot of friends . online and offline .
          and i cant tell from just one or two meetings or chats with the fellow that whether he/she is a  genuine or just some one with bad intentions . 
          atleast its not written on their face !

          only when i get to know them better , i can make a judgment of whether to keep them in my friends list or ignore them .
          and judgment comes from what ever little experience and knowledge and my discretionary powers i have gained over the last few years .

          and i dont think a child has that much understanding or knowledge to weigh or judge a person or a situation or a thing .

          its the job of the care takers , guardians , parents ,
          who have to come in and do this job for the kid and tell them whats bad and whats good .

          you might be giving out the best knowledge to your kid and prepare him well to deal with such situations , 
          but you , in no way can just sit and relax " ok , told them good and bad . job done .! "
          no. 
          its a continuous process and thats why the need of monitoring .

          just watch this episode "The Child Molester " from the famous sitcom Different Strokes and you shall understand . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvmi5HO-a7A&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL900A266448BA853A

          ( its just that , you find such type of people Online and in many other different ways ..! ) 

    • sammib
      November 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

      I am the parent,
      a Mother of a just turned 14yr daughter and yes the real reason I ask the
      question was what I asked! I don’t want to record word for word conversations,
      but only to know if foul and inappropriate language (& certain words, ie
      sex, diet etc) is being used. A report could be then sent to the parent saying
      that ie ‘F###’ was used 3 times, ‘diet” was used 10 times, then I could sit
      down with her and discuss why. 

    • Parent of two daughers
      March 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Christ WHAT a muppet. "trust" my rear end. Teenagers are minors and as such need protection from themselves. The mind boggles. 

  11. Mjevolve
    November 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    a good free parental internet monitoring app -- Qostodio  http://qustodio.com/

    kid web protection app K9 - http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

    dont know if the programs do exactly what you are wanting to , 
    but these are good internet monitoring tools .

    and also , 
    F-Secure Internet Security has some really good Parental controls in it .

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