In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to secretly check on your teen’s online behavior. The two of you would have sat down together, set up rules you both agreed on, and your teen would have behaved in a trustworthy manner.
Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world.
Whatever reason you have for being concerned about your teen’s online activities, you may decide that you need to secretly check on that behavior.
Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be able to check on everything. Teens nowadays have access to the Internet practically everyone, from school to the library to friends’ homes to Wi-Fi hotspots all over town. And with today’s new devices, they don’t even need a computer.
Not only that, but they probably have friends who can show them methods, such as using a proxy server, to bypass blocks you may place on their Internet access.
This being the case, you may decide to use available tools to secretly track what your teen has been doing online. After all, as the parent, you are responsible for making sure your teen is safe.
One of the easiest ways to “spy” on your teen is to check on their history and bookmarks. Even if they know how, most kids don’t remember to clear their history, so checking that is a good way to spy on the sites they’ve been visiting. (As an example, you can view the history in IE by clicking on the History button.)
And Bookmarks, also known as Favorites, are also easy to check out. Make sure you actually click on a few to make sure they go to where they’re supposed to go. While most kids don’t think to rename them, it’s easy to do, so you want to make sure.
If you want to do more in-depth spying, you can install monitoring software that records practically every single detail and action performed on a computer, such as IMs, chat conversations, emails, websites, programs opened…even every single keystroke your teen makes. Best of all, all this is done in stealth mode, so your teen doesn’t know you’re monitoring them.
Hopefully you don’t need to secretly check on your teen’s online behavior but, if you do, there are tools out there to help.