Monitoring Software

Software for monitoring the desktop and online activities of employees, family members, roommates or other users of a computer. Sometimes referred to as parental control software, monitoring software can quietly monitor and log PC and online activities or more actively filter content and block offensive websites from being accessed.

Monitoring Software List

Monitoring Software: Organizational Functions

Managers and sponsors are interested in organizational functioning data to make sure that the program is managing its efforts well and is using its resources to accomplish its essential tasks. Organizational monitoring involves identifying organizational indicators and measuring organizational actions and performance using these indicators. If you examine a well developed organizational plan you will easily come up with many program organizational questions needing answers. Here are a few possible questions to get you started:

  • Is the program operating according to the organizational plan?
  • Is the program delivering the correct services?
  • Are program resources being used appropriately?
  • Is the organization doing a good job of delivering services?
  • Are program staff currently well trained?
  • Are program staff doing what they are supposed to be doing?
  • Are the appropriate amount of program services being delivered?
  • Do program staff have the resources they need to carry out their mission?
  • Are the right people being served?
  • Are the different program components organized well?
  • Are the different program components being delivered properly?
  • Is program staff morale generally high?
  • Are burn-out and stress levels high among program staff?
  • Are the structural and organizational arrangements organized and delivered in a way that facilitates participation in the program?
  • You can add many more questions to this list based on your particular program and your thinking about monitoring the organizational functions.

Monitoring Software: Service Utilization

Managers and sponsors are interested in service utilization data to make sure the correct people are participating in the program. Service monitoring software involves identifying service utilization indicators and measuring performance on these indicators. If you examine a well developed service utilization plan you will easily come up with many service related questions needing answers. Here are a few possible questions to get you started:

  • Do clients go through the sequence correctly?
  • Where in the program sequence do some clients drop out?
  • Who drops out?
  • Why do they drop out?
  • How do clients view the service delivery?
  • What factors affect client demand for the program services?
  • Do different client groups have different patterns of use?
  • Are clients satisfied with program services?
  • You can add many more questions to this list based on your particular program and your thinking about service utilization.

What is Program Process Evaluation and Monitoring?

According to RLF program process evaluation is also know as implementation evaluation. Program process monitoring is just an extension of program process evaluation in that in program process monitoring the data are systematically collected repeatedly over time. The systematic documentation of aspects of program implementation that are indicative of whether the program is being delivered as promised and is functioning as intended, according to appropriate standards.

RLF points out that there are two common forms of program process evaluation:

  1. Process or Implementation Evaluation. Here we use the term process evaluation in a narrow sense to refer to a evaluation of program implementation of the service utilization and organizational plans, but this evaluation is not regular or a continuing part of the data collection. It answers the question, “Is the program delivered as intended?”  It provides a check on program process performance and provides formative information that can be used to further develop or improve a program. A process or implementation evaluation can be a stand alone evaluation; it also can be used to complement the impact evaluation (to help understand how and why impact did or did not occur).
  2. Continuous Program Process Evaluation (i.e., monitoring) and Management Information Systems. This refers to the continuous (i.e., periodic) monitoring of program process. The data are usually computerized, and periodic reports are provided to program management and others needing the information. Some examples of what is monitored are delivery of services, billing, costs, diagnostic information, data on clients’ status, background data, testing data, prospective and retrospective evaluation by clients, and any additional information that is needed for routine operation of a program. Continuous information is useful because it is built into the data collection system and it provides repeated information that can provide information about trends and provide data that suggest when corrective action is needed.

History of Monitoring Software

Barry Steinhardt of the ACLU Technology and Liberty Program said, “Keystroke monitors destroy boundaries between and employer’s facilities and the employee’s personal business ”  This issue about keyboard monitoring software comes from issue 5-1 on page 5.04.  Keyboard or keystroke monitoring software is an application program that captures the signals that move between the keyboard and the computer and then it stores all the keystrokes in a file on the computer or it sends them to a remote user. I think that keyboard monitoring software is good and that it should be used at work or at home with the knowledge of the user.  Many people say this is an invasion of privacy and they don’t think keyboard monitoring software should ever be used.

If some people say it is bad, should keyboard monitoring software ever be used?  If so, when?  I think that keyboard monitoring should be used both at home and at the workplace.  It is good to use at home because a person could check what a child or spouse is doing.  Most of the software coming out now has five monitoring tools all in one, they can simultaneously monitor

  • Email
  • Chats or chatrooms
  • Keystrokes
  • Instant messageing
  • Websites

Now people will say that monitoring is an invasion of privacy or that there should be trust from the spouse or child and I would agree but I also think monitoring is good if the user is told the sofware is installed.  I also think that the keyboard monitoring software should be used in business because when you are at work you are on their time and equipment.

Some businesses  like financial institutions, don’t have the option whether or not to monitor they are required to, but the company should use judgment and talk to the user if any incidents occur  and not just accuse them outright.  This software should be used right now because it will help protect both family and business.  Of course, it is up to them to decide if they want to use the software or not but I think it is beneficial.

Some of the makers of the software recommend the computer user be informed about the installed software. Is this good?  I think if the home user is told that the program has been put on the computer then there is less of a chance for problems to arise later on. I also think that the business user should be informed that the software is on the computer.  That way they know anything they write on that computer that is questionable the company will see it and so they don’t waste the companies time and money.  It is a good thing that the people who make the software even recommend the user be informed it shows thinking on their part that some serious problems could come up if a user does not know that what they type on the computer is being recorded.