Spector Pro Mac 2010
Extremely easy to use
Invasive of privacy
Keeping an eye on the Mac and online activities of a wayward child or employee can be hard, but Spector Pro Mac 2010 monitoring software makes it very easy indeed.
This is an application that you install on his or her Mac – with the proviso that it’s a Mac which you own – and then sits there quietly recording their every move.
Putting aside the ethics of doing this, let’s take a quick look at what Spector Pro does.
It records hundreds of screen snapshots every hour that you can play back; it records all chat sessions, websites visited, web searches, and emails or files sent and received; it details which programs were used, and when they were used; shows a log of all user activity; and gives a transcript of all keystrokes typed. The last one is particularly invasive, as it also shows all user names and passwords used.
Spector Pro has both Visible and Stealth modes. The former gives main menu access and visible recording status (a blinking red icon in the Menu Bar), while the latter has no menu access, doesn’t put an icon in the Applications folder and is accessible only via your own hotkey combination plus password.
You do need to have Admin privileges to install the software, and if it’s a shared computer, you can set it to only record actions by non-Admin users.
It’s not just passive – you can use it to block people from chats, block websites or web pages, and set it to send you an email when certain keywords are detected.
Australian Macworld’s buying advice
This is top monitoring software. It’s easy to use and powerful. The software licence agreement requires that you inform anyone you monitor, and that you only install the software on a Mac which you own. But it is so intrusive that you really must make an informed decision on the amount of trust you have in your kids or employees.
This review originally appeared in the August issue of Australian Macworld magazine.