WebWatcher

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Coordinates: 34°3′28.2″N 118°23′51″W / 34.057833°N 118.39750°W / 34.057833; -118.39750

WebWatcher
Webwatcher-logo.png
Developer(s) Awareness Technologies
Stable release
8.2.37.1168 (PC)[1]

2.0.27.142 (MAC)[2] 3.6 (Android)

Operating system
Type Computer monitoring
License Proprietary commercial software
Website www.webwatcher.com

WebWatcher is a proprietary licensed computer and mobile device monitoring software developed by Awareness Technologies.[3] WebWatcher is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS operating systems. WebWatcher Mobile records text messages, call logs, web history, photos, and GPS. WebWatcher for PC and Mac features include email & Instant Message monitoring, keystroke logging, web content filtering and monitoring, and screenshot monitoring.[4]

History[edit]

WebWatcher was developed in 2002 initially for uses of counter-terrorism for Windows PCs.[5] The software is now used by parents to monitor their children's online activities.[6] In 2010, a version of the software was released for BlackBerry and Android devices. In 2012, WebWatcher for Mac was released. WebWatcher for iOS was released in 2014.

Features[edit]

WebWatcher utilizes a client-server architecture which monitors and records user activity on the client machine. After data is recorded, it is then encrypted and transmitted through a secure SSL connection to a remote server. The user can then login to a website portal to view this recorded data.[7] This process allows a customer to view the recorded data remotely. WebWatcher also offers a 7-day Free Trial for Android, iOS, Windows & Mac platforms.

Features WebWatcher for Android WebWatcher for iPhone
Websites Visited Yes Yes
Website Searches Yes Yes
SMS Text Messages Yes Yes
Call History Yes Yes
Photos Taken Yes Yes
Device Geolocation Yes Yes

Reception and Criticism[edit]

WebWatcher received the PC Magazine editors’ choice award in a 2011 review of Parental Control & Monitoring software. In the article, WebWatcher was referred to as "Heavy-handed" saying: "if you find it necessary to track a child who's engaging in risky activities, WebWatcher will record every detail and even send you instant notification when it encounters certain words."[3] Also, About.com readers named WebWatcher as the “Best Internet Safety Tool” as part of its 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards.[8]

Critics have noted that since the software runs stealth on a device, there is an opportunity for the software to be installed illegally. To mitigate this issue, WebWatcher requires administrator credentials to be installed on a device.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WebWatcher Downloads". Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "CNET WebWatcher for Mac". Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Rubenking, Neil. "WebWatcher Review & Rating". pcmag.com. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ Norbury, Keith. "The case against Big Brother at work". theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ Cohan, Peter. "Awareness Technologies Spies on Workers, Teens". Forbes.com. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "4 services for monitoring your kid's online activities". dailynews.com. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "webwatcher.com". Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "WebWatcher Named 'Best Internet Safety Tool' by About.com Readers". Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Kate. "NSA-Style Surveillance for Parents Looking to Monitor their Kids". Retrieved May 2, 2014.