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Is your computer being monitored?'s
Spectorsoft records everything your spouse, children, and employees do online  

March 19, 2001
Web posted at: 10:34 a.m. EST (1534 GMT)

It's called "snoopware" and it allows snooping into someone's computer to monitor their every movement -- including reading their e-mail and watching their chat rooms sessions. The software costs under $100.

Seventy-five percent of all companies in the United States currently monitor their employee's computers. And now it has spread to the home.

Snoopware can be used to target friends, spouses and the kids and it makes no bones about spying on your loved one's computer use.

Would you ever use snoopware to monitor a loved one?

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Anyone can download this software and install it into a computer. It's difficult to detect, and just about any attempt to delete Snoopware files can alert the person doing the snooping.

Think of it as wiretapping for the computer. The act of "tapping" in the U.S. is illegal. However, as it is with most technology, the law has yet to catch up. Snoopware is completely legal.

"Right now, there's nothing to limit anyone from doing this either at home or work," said Bud McLeod, Executive Editor for PC World Magazine. "But there are several bills out there at the Federal level that would require a minimum notification, but how that plays into a home situation is very nebulous. There is nothing specifically about home use, office use and work use, what's coming is formal notification."

Snoopware has been on the market for over two-and-a-half years and is becoming more and more popular.

There are three major Snoopware programs on the market, SpectorSoft, WinWhatWhere Investigator, and Insight. All three vary in the snooping services they provide -- but all will give you the information you could never otherwise obtain.

"It's a way of committing interpersonal spying on both your family, all your loved ones, employer, employee I should say; and it's an outgrowth of the same kind of technology for a number of years in large enterprises to check on people's use of their emails and web browsing and other applications," said McLeod.

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