Should You Spy on Your Kids Online?

It’s a given that we generally know where our children's are each day, whom they’re with, and what they’re doing. However in the virtual online world, where even our youngest children are spending a growing amount of time, we’re often reduced to the role of someone who just helplessly watches. It also does not help that our kids seem to know more about technology then we do.
Today kids live in a cyber-filled world where technology is woven through every aspect of their lives. Most kids are finding friendships, an education and a social understanding of the world online. How the heck do you know what they are learning is good for them?
So how far should you go when it comes to spying on your kid's behavior?
Experts say the worst thing you can do is surprise them. If they know you are spying and you catch them then they may start hiding things from you.
If you are going to watch then be honest about it. They will self-monitor and not do anything sneaky if the computer in your house is located centrally. That way you can casually wander by and say something out loud like 'Hey, what website is that?' without a qualm.
Yes you want to trust your kids but you want to keep them safe. That is why you can take a look at the browser issue to see what websites they visited today.
Unfortunately if you find something they are looking at is a bit iffy it is not the best idea to start quizzing them about what website they are looking at. Relying on their word may not be enough to keep them safe. Don't accuse the kid of being on the computer too much or say 'Don't look at that website!' That will only compel them to want to look at it even more!
If you are really worried there are a couple of kinds of software you can use to check up on your kids. You can get blocking software that lets you create a list of sites and then block unapproved sites.
Recording software records all data that’s sent, received, down — loaded, and viewed. It also takes periodic snapshots of the screen. PCs and Macs have parental controls built into their operating systems, and each of their newest systems (Windows Vista and Mac’s Leopard) offers parents more control than ever.