Behind-the-Scenes Software to Protect Your Kids

 The invention of computer monitoring software means that parents can see exactly what their children do online,no matter how shocking that might be. Bob Watkins had no reason to suspect serious trouble with his 14 year old stepdaughter, until he saw an email on her computer screen. "It was somewhat, I thought at the time, sexually explicit. But I wanted to take a chance and look at it later so I copied it and sent it down to my office, and when I got to the office the next day I looked at it and it was as frightening as I thought it was," said Watkins.  Startled, Bob installed software to monitor his daughter's computer, and within hours, the program created a clear paper trail.  That trail led to someone who worked  at Snowden Middle School. Bob Watkins' 14-year old stepdaughter was having a sexual relationship
with a 36-year old man. It was one of her teachers.  "He had so completely woven his spell that she was completely enamored of him. And that's what he counted on." said Watkins.  The teacher was Mark E. Johnson, her music teacher.   After confessing to the relationship, Johnson was fired, fined and stripped of his teaching
license. Watkins says without the e-mail trail, the prosecutor wouldn't have had a case against Johnson. There would have been no case. I dont believe it. I know it. The only evidence used in this trial to convict this man was evidence that I hand
delivered to the district attorney's office," explained Watkins.  And this is how he did it.  Bob used "Spector", one of several programs that will covertly record everything done on a computer--and play it all back later.   The program allows parents to search their kids' emails for certain key words--like "meet". Maybe its most valuable feature is the early warning it can give to parents. Watkins says he doesn't know if the software could have prevented the crime, but the man who prosecuted the case says it can help an investigation.  "If we have anything that has been recorded or personally observed by anyone who is looking at the computer, that gives the case much more credibility in front of the jury and increases our probabilty of success
at trial," says David Shapiro, District Attorney.
      Find out more about the Spector software at this web site: 

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