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Web usage proggy

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by SimonD, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Guys, a strange request.

    We have an au-pair who looks after our son (my wife and I both work long hours), unfortunately junior is had an operation on Friday which has meant that he is currently staying with my mother as we couldn't expect the au-pair to look after a whiney boy for 11 hours of the day (operation was ok, he is recovering nicely but at 3 1\2 years old you have to expect a little bit more attention seeking from him). My mum is great but the one thing she is complaining about is the excessive amount of time that the au-pair spends on the internet (it's one of my spare laptops that I have given the girl).

    She spends so much time on the net and not enough time looking after my son whilst at my mothers I am starting to wonder how much time she spends online when she isn't being watched by my mum. What's worse is she is neglecting my son (he was playing around earlier, crawling on the floor and said beep-beep when he got to her legs, she didn't even notice).

    I want to implement a monitoring solution that shows me how much time she actually spends online, what time she goes to websites and how long she spends on them. I want to ensure that she isn't spending too much time online when she should be spending it looking after our son (after all she is being paid to look after him, not IM\Facebook with her friends all the time).

    Preferably a free solution (I can host a server internally and have an agent deployed if I need to as it's my laptop and I have RDP access to it) but if I have to pay for a solution then I am up for that as well.
     
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  2. DC Pr0Mo

    DC Pr0Mo Kilobyte Poster

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    Maybe open dns could work for you to a certain degree.
     
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  3. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Maybe this would be suitable....although it isn't free.

    NB
     
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  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    How about Family Safety from Microsoft?

    See here.

    I'm not sure how indepth the reporting goes though.

    -Ken
     
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  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Not sure this will work because it has to be invisible to the girl.

    I am already using OpenDNS and have just enabled logging so I will see how good that is for the moment.
     
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  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Simon, just because a log may show she was on Facebook for 10 hours, it doesn't mean she was at the keyboard for all that time. It's quiet possible she was crawling around on the floor with your son for most of it :rolleyes:

    Also, whilst she is at your Mum's place, there was another adult there to watch him, so she may have felt inclined to pass the time IMing her friends.

    Rather than spy on her, you would be better off talking to her and asking her. If in the end you don't trust her, you should find someone else.
     
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  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    This. Having dealt with numerous bits of web monitoring software - from the free ones right up the commercial ones, I can state with confidence that none of them are accurate. I once had to prepare evidence for a disciplinary hearing based on web abuse - even though it was clear to me that the system (SurfControl) was reporting false usage stats (I'm guessing it was due to the way the software recorded inline content) the IT Director ignored me and presented it all at board level to try and big up the rep of the deaprtment. Didn't work - it eventually went to a tribunal where a bloke came in on behalf of the 'defendant' and laughed the 'evidence' out of court as unreliable. My advice at work is that web monitoring software should be there 95% to block spurious, timewasting or dangerous sites, and only 5% to check on people's general web usage. There's no reason to think any differently in your case. Have a word with her instead - it'll be much less grief than trying to implement something that will be a PITA to set up and, in all likelihood, won't work properly.

    Alternatively, if you're set on rolling out a proxy solution and you've got a domain at home, chuck her through a Linux box running Squid. That can give you the granular access control and reporting you want and is pretty easy to set up for a couple of users.

    Bottom line though - if you don't trust her, fire her ass.
     
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  8. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Another thing you could do is install an application that would block access to social networks, etc... But I don't think that a monitoring solution would help you much... I've also in the past tried so many different apps that it's just unreliable to trust these days...
     
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  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    What they said. :) Although you can implement Web filtering, you won't be able to get an accurate indication of how much time she spends.

    I keep a browser open to Gmail while at work, and I don't even close the window when I go home at night. It's entirely possible that your au-pair keeps Facebook open all day in case someone wants to message her. Of course, if you are friends with her, you can see her status indicator change from the gray moon (inactive) to the green dot (active).
     
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  10. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Simon,

    Glad to hear that your son is recovering well:) on the other hand I believe you trust the au pair to some extent hence she is looking after your son for the most part of the day.

    I would however, not so much concentrate on her web usage as long as she is not gambling, viewing porn and even most importantly neglecting your son's attention.

    I presume you have already voiced your concerns to the au pair? The next step would be to sit her down in a calm manner and express your concerns that your son needs all the attention he can get.

    You can also go as far as asking if you can do this without not getting too engulfed by the internet usage or even phone calls or texting. I wish you the best and hope all works well and out in this respect:)
     
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  11. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Hi Simon,

    Glad your son is doing OK. Some words of wisdom above from people in a "sort of related" situation but if I may I'd like to put my 2 pence in here. If this were me, because its my son, I'd have to be sure he was getting the care I expected. I'd probably set a hidden camera up, pointing towards the screen, then politely ask her what she gets up to during the day, does she go on the computer much, and see if she lies to my face. Even if she did lie, I wouldn't say a thing, I'd say ah OK, but she'd be gone the next day. Harsh? Yeah probably but its my kid. Sorry if thats shocking but if I'm worried about something..... I am a really understanding person usually, but regarding certain aspects of my life, I leave nothing to chance :S

    James
     
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  12. DC Pr0Mo

    DC Pr0Mo Kilobyte Poster

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    You could always just take the laptop off her if it is yours, or if you have gave her it to keep, then change your network settings and make out the laptop is no longer working:twisted:
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
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  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Why does it need to be invisible? Surely the best way to keep someone in line is to let them know they're being monitored?

    I use Family Safety on my son's account (he's 9 :rolleyes:) and it does a pretty good job. Easy to configure and limit usage/hours etc and the reporting is good enough.

    Or, as the others have said, take the laptop off her and tell her you pay her to look after your son and not surf the Internet... 8)
     
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  14. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Why not throw in a key logger for further invasion of her privacy :twisted:
     
  15. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Got any kids Asterix?
     
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  16. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Oh gods, not the "You dont have kids, so you dont know/understand anything" argument, please. I thought you were above such jibes.

    I agree with Asterix et al personally. Such measures could be construed as a breach of privacy (after all, employers cant really do it without notifying you of the case - usually through the IT policy).

    Either you trust her to do her job within acceptable limits, in which case all is rosy and theres no need to take these actions. Or you dont, in which you might as well fire her and get another in. Because if you dont trust her, even if the weblogs show things as acceptable you are just going to find another reason to be concerned and have to look into that. Save yourself the hassle now and find another if thats the case.

    Im not saying your kids welfare isnt important. It is. But theres just no point taking this route really. You either trust her or you dont. Nothing is going to change that fact now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
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  17. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Yup 2!
    I get your point tho, although it seems slightly unethical, I think a firm word might do the job, if not then..........

    8)
     
  18. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Not at all. And stop making assumptions - I don't have kids, and don't want them. I wasn't being snide - it was a genuine question. I suspect that people who DO have kids have a slightly different attitude to myself on privacy when it comes to the people charged with looking after them.

    I've seen enough of the 'oh won't somebody please think of the children' hand-wringing, *****-hunting Daily Mailers to last me a lifetime, thanks.

    Like I said - if you're concerned at all about her, fire her ass.
     
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  19. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Ah. My mistake, sorry. But it did sound like that.
     
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  20. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm very lucky that my wife stays at home with the kids while I go off to work
     
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