New software from Checkpoint allows over protective parents to hack into their kid's Facebook account without having to warn them by being made a friend first.
The ZoneAlarm SocialGuard warns parents of signs of trouble in a child's Facebook account without them having to see everything.
The software scans Facebook profiles, communications and "friend" requests and uses algorithms to identify potential bullying, sexual overtures, or talk of drugs, violence or suicide.
It runs unseen in the background of the kid's computer and flags suspicious activity and sending alerts to parents.
Check Point vice president of consumer sales Bari Abdu said the software was about protecting your kids from the social threats while still respecting their privacy and fostering open communication.
While SocialGuard is crafted to detect hacked accounts, malicious links, online predators, and cyber-bullies, it is probably the cyber snooping function that will get the most attention.
Apparently the software checks to determine whether people contacting children online are being deceptive about their ages or if a stranger is trying to become a Facebook "friend."
However, is this not sending out a message to kids that it is OK for parents to use hidden means to invade their privacy?
Check Point claims that it is necessary for parents to install spyware on their kids computer because 38 percent of teenagers ignore requests from parents to be friends on Facebook, and that 16 percent of children have only done so as a condition of using the social network.
Psychologists would have a field day about the messages that parents would be sending to their kids about control, the rights to personal privacy and will. It looks like we will be breeding a generation of over-protected losers who feel that is OK to hack into people's computers if you are trying to save them from your own fears.