Surveillance Software: record chat logs and more?

Dennis Faas's picture

Have you ever wondered what your loved one is doing online?

Infopackets Reader Lisa E. addressed a few of her concerns over the weekend:

" Dear Dennis,

I have Windows XP. I have several people using this computer and would like to know how to access chat files. Everyone has their logon password protected, and my children do a lot of chatting on Yahoo and MSN Messenger. Can you tell me how to find and access these files?"

My response:

I only use MSN Messenger on my Windows XP system, so I downloaded and installed the latest versions of Yahoo Messenger, ICQ Pro 2003, ICQ Lite, and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) to compare differences. Here is what I found:

  • MSN Messenger 4.7 (which comes standard with Windows XP) does not log chats.
  • Yahoo Messenger 5.6 can monitor conversation; however, this feature is disabled by default.
  • ICQ Pro 2003 [build 3196] logs Message History, but this feature can be disabled. Subsequently, ICQ Lite [build 1300] does not archive messages.
  • AOL Instant Messenger version 5.2.3292 does not have an option to save messages.

Having said all of that --

Regardless of which instant messenger (IM) used, access to chat logs are controlled by the owner of the instant messenger account. In other words, you must be logged into the account in order to view the account's messages being sent or received.

Is there a better solution?

Since accessing Chat Log files are pretty much out the question, the next best option (aside from being present when a chat is in progress) is to use a third-party program capable of recording key strokes.

In techy terms, these types of programs are often referred to as Key Loggers. I've talked about Key Loggers in the past -- they're typically used by Hackers to 'sniff' passwords as they are being typed.

Guardian Monitor 8.0 improves upon the idea of Key Logging by offering a complete suite of PC surveillance capable of addressing Lisa's dilemma -- and a heck of a lot more. In short:

  • Guardian Monitor permits you to supervise everything your child / spouse / loved one does online by secretly recording online activity, including: surfing the Web, email, chat, Instant Messaging, plus peer to peer (P2P) sites which offer music and video. Side note: Many file-swapping programs (such as Kazaa) are a haven for online porn and provide very little deterrence for minors.
  • Guardian Monitor records all keystrokes, out-going information, display screens, files downloaded, online games, and monitors both sides of conversations. You can also record video of computer usage -- not just snapshots (as with many other surveillance programs).

Guardian Monitor 8.0 was recently reviewed in the Washington Post newspaper and compared against 2 other top-notch surveillance programs (Spytech Software's SpyAgent4.4 and Xelerate Software's SpyPC 7.0). In a nutshell, Guardian Monitor won hands-down by offering the most features for the least amount of money. The review is worth a look:

Guardian Monitor 8.0: Compatibility

Guardian Monitor 8.0 is compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP. It works with all versions of AOL (including 7 and 8), as well as all POP3-based email programs, including Outlook Express, Eudora, Incredimail, and more.

Guardian Monitor 8.0: Screen Shots

You can view an online demo of Guardian Monitor 8.0 by clicking on the link here. Screens will cycle every 6 seconds.


When it comes to the Internet, there is no substitute for adult supervision.

In many cases, however, it is difficult (if not impossible) to oversee online usage all of the time. Whether it's making sure your loved ones are safe online -- or whatever the case may be -- Guardian Monitor 8.0 makes supervision a heck of a lot easier.

Download Guardian Monitor 8.0

The kind folks at are offering Infopackets Readers a whopping 38% discount from the list price if you download Guardian Monitor 8.0 today. They're also throwing in Cyber Scrub Basic -- completely free (a $29.95 value). For more info:

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