Track users' activities with Silent Keylogger Free Edition

Keep track of activities on the family PC with this freeware version of a premium keystroke logger.

Keystroke loggers are programs that log every key that is pressed on your system as well as every mouse click and other activities, usually secretly in the background. They're common in corporate and private networks where security and liability far outweigh privacy, but they're also useful for seeing who's been doing what on the family PC. Silent Keylogger Free Edition is a free version of a premium tool. It logs keystrokes, monitors applications and Internet use, and captures screenshots. The freeware sacrifices password protection, encryption, invisible mode, and other security-related features as well as some network and reporting options.

When Silent Keylogger's installer finished, an important pop-up message appeared notifying us that, for security reasons, the program creates no desktop or Start Menu shortcuts, and it described the default hot-key combo to open the program. We could also access Silent Keylogger via its System Tray icon, though the option to hide this icon is disabled in the freeware. Silent Keylogger's user interface is fairly basic and looks more like an options dialog than a Windows program, but all of its most useful and necessary features are right there, usually with a check box. A Logs view displayed all the program's log files; we merely had to select the one we wanted and click View Report or View Screenshots to see what had been going on while Silent Keylogger kept watch. The HTML-based report opened in our Web browser and clearly listed all activity, including screenshots. We could also open screenshots individually in our default image viewer. To stop Silent Keylogger from tracking our activity, we merely had to click Stop Monitoring. The program also offers an optional banner notification feature that can display a message you create every few minutes or seconds and that even lets you test your banners, very useful for "reminders." Other options include monitoring the clipboards and logging URLs of sites visited in IE.

Parents and anyone responsible for how others use a communal PC will find something to like about Silent Keylogger Free Edition, we're guessing. If you need more, the upgrade probably has it.

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