Wasn’t it Andrew Grove, one of the founders of chip giant Intel, who is credited with saying that “only the paranoid survive.” Many in positions of authority believe it to be true. There’s safety in paranoia.
If you have an office or school full or Macs, or just a family of Mac users, do you know what they’re doing on their Macs? Macs can be guarded with secret monitoring and recording apps that capture everything a user does on their Macs. Everything.
Spy On Friends, Family, Coworkers
Look around your office, home, or school. If you have Macs or PCs then you have users who could be doing what they should not be doing. See? Great paranoias from little fears grow.
If you worry about what’s happening on your computers while you’re not watching, then maybe DutyWatch is a Mac app you can use.
First and foremost, DutyWatch is spyware. Authorized, sanctioned, but secret spyware that can monitor and record nearly everything that takes place on your Mac.
DutyWatch can capture data on every Mac app that’s being used, when, and by whom. It captures every web site a user visits, even every keystroke a user makes—including email, iChat, or whatever requires a keyboard touch.
DutyWatch can also be called stealthware. It runs undetectable, in the background, so it won’t cause alarm or concern. It can even take screen shots in specific intervals, over a long period of time, to provide a more accurate picture of what happened and when.
Set up is simple and straightforward. Install the app, set the preferences, then wait for the reports.
Snitching For Fun, Snitching For Productivity
DutyWatch’s strength is data. The reports you get tell you about each user’s computer and online habits in very graphic detail.
For example, the Keyboard Usage report above displays the amount of time, start and end times, number of apps used, number of keystrokes for a particular user, and much more.
Data from recorded sessions can be viewed many ways, including graphs and pie charts to match specific applications.
DutyWatch can monitor multiple users on the same Mac. Data can also be exported in a variety of formats, ranging from HTML to Excel to CSV files. It can even take iSight camera shots of who is sitting in front of the Mac and when and what apps they’re using at the time.
If ever you wanted a Mac snitch for home, office, or school use, DutyWatch is it.
That brings up an interesting question or two. If family members, students, or employees know their Macs are being monitored behind the scenes will they behave differently?
My guess is a qualified yes. We have a number of monitoring apps on the Macs and PCs in our school. Students know they’re being monitored, but not to what extent.
I Am, Therefore, I Spy
In general, most students don’t view monitoring as much of a problem. After all, the school provides the computer, the apps, and internet access, so some oversight is expected. Privilege has a price tag, and monitoring what goes on on many computers is just one element of good management.
DutyWatch is not inexpensive. Schools or offices with many hundreds of Macs may have a healthy misuse prevention bill to get started with computer monitoring. Measured against the overall cost of each computer, or the damage that could be inflicted in lost productivity or loss of company data, the per person cost might be a bargain.
What about the ethics of sanctioned spyware? Would you work for a company that tracks your every move on the company Mac?