What is Network Surveillance?
By definition, the act of network surveillance is undertaken by individuals, organizations, and governments. The aim is to monitor activities or capture information from a computer, a network, or other devices. It’s typically done in a covert manner, and you may be familiar with it in law enforcement terms. For the most part, network surveillance is done to catch fraudsters, terrorists, and those who flout digital copyright laws.
However, there are concerns that it is encroaching on the everyday lives of citizens, causing privacy issues. But, what if you felt the need to spy on a loved one’s activities? Is it possible?
Why would you want to do network surveillance?
While network surveillance may sound a little drastic, many parents use covert methods to monitor their child’s social media activities. So, not only is it possible, more and more people are doing it. Parents have realized they need technology-based tools, like surveillance monitoring software, to protect children from online dangers, such as grooming, gambling, and bullying.
Fox Business reports Neil Rubenking, lead security analyst for PC Magazine, as saying “parents are engaging in NASA-style network surveillance.” He points to the increasing use of surveillance software to identify potential risks.
What are those risks?
Around one in five students in the US report being bullied, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. Studies carried out in 2014*, showed there was a mean prevalence rate of 15% for cyberbullying.
Up to 64% of those being bullied never report it. According to NoBullying.com, one of the world’s leading authorities, most online grooming in the US takes place online. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says 82-percent of online sex crimes involves child victims.
What other reasons are there?
The dangers outlined above are fueling increased interest in network surveillance. But protecting children is not the only reason why individuals invest in the technology.
An increasing amount of Americans use network surveillance to monitor spending habits and infidelity. The most prevalent cases are when a spouse/partner may have a gambling addiction or is suspected of being unfaithful. According to US-based Rehab International, around 2.5-million adults in America are compulsive gamblers. Even more, close to 3-million, are classified as problem gamblers.
What information can you acquire from network surveillance
PC surveillance software can give you the power to know what websites people in your home are visiting. For example, you can discover if your child is using chat rooms to talk to strangers. And it doesn’t matter whether they are using a PC or cell phone. You can see how often and for how long someone uses social media. You can even discover if someone in your network is online gambling.
This type of information can help you keep members of your family on track and safe. For example, you probably wouldn’t want your child spending hours on social media if their high-school/college grades needed improving. Furthermore, internet surveillance can tell you exactly what users are downloading. Would you want a family member downloading pornography or material that requires a subscription to your network?
What do you need for network surveillance?
Software has been developed to make it easier for you to monitor network use in your home. You can use these products to monitor network use on computers and mobile devices. Top rated products include:
- OpenDNS Home VIP ($19.95 per year)
- ContentWatch Net Nanny 7 ($39.99 per year)
- Symantec Norton Family Premier ($49.99 per year)
Most network surveillance software works across multiple platforms, including Windows, Android, and iOS devices. They offer content filtering and video tracking. You can also use this software to control SMS contacts on cell phones and other Android devices.
If you want to protect your family from online threats, surveillance may be an option. It has never been easier to keep the closest possible eye on your network and loved ones.
*Modecki, Minchin, Harbaugh, Guerra, & Runions