Spector Pro mac 2009 review

Spector Pro mac 2009, like its sister application eBlaster 2009, is software that specializes in capturing every keystroke on one computer so it can be viewed by someone else on another computer. I understand why software of this sort - also known as keylogging software- is sometimes necessary; but it’s software that some people will find difficult to get comfortable with. Aimed at companies that want to control employees’ online activity, or at worried parents wondering what their teens are up to online, SpectorPro makes tracking this activity simple, but I wonder if the behaviors that this software is designed to track couldn’t be controlled in a more direct and open way.

When direct and open fails, Spector Pro handles its rather unsavory job with aplomb and with a bit of a twist. While most keylogging software is designed to capture and report keystrokes, Spector Pro goes a step further, capturing screenshots every few seconds, so that you can see as well as read everything that’s happening on another Mac.

Once installed, Spector Pro is invisible to the person using the target computer, and can’t be found by using Spotlight or by looking in the Applications folder. The only way to open the program on the Mac being watched is by pressing a user-configurable key combination and entering a user-defined password.

But, while the application can’t be located, depending on where you choose to save the files Spector Pro uses to store its logs, it may be possible for someone with a bit of computer savvy to locate those files and wonder what they are. And it’s this fact that, for me, somewhat limits the usefulness of Spector Pro.

While eBlaster collects information and sends reports via email to someone else, Spector Pro requires the computer on which you’re viewing the reports to have access to the log folder on the monitored computer—which means that File Sharing has to be enabled on the target computer, and that you have to have rights to the folder from which the data is being shared.

In many cases this won’t be a problem, as long as you have administrative access to the Mac you're monitoring; but when I tried to install the software on a computer that I didn’t have administrative rights to, it required me to do a little social engineering and talk the user into giving me their password, without raising any suspicion as to why I might need that password. Plus, if the user had changed their password after they gave it to me, and I hadn't given myself rights to the folder where the log files reside, I’d no longer have access to the data. eBlaster’s secretly emailed reports avoid this possibility altogether.

NEXT: Spector Pro reporting


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