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Parent Tools Online Help

Table of Contents

Getting Started
Introducing Parent Tools
Why Use Parent Tools?
Logging In and Out

How Much Does It Cost?
How to Register Parent Tools Online

The Welcome Window
Who You're Monitoring
Recording Conversations
Disabling IM and Chat Features
Creating an Online Schedule
Setting Online Time Limits
Changing your Password

Viewing Saved Conversations
Deleting Saved Conversations

Using Stealth Mode
Hiding Shortcut Icons
Show Popups of Disabled Features

Other Programs: Try Extreme Messenger for AIM!
 


Getting Started 

This is a quick summary of how to begin using Parent Tools immediately with little fuss.

Starting Parent Tools
Starting Parent Tools is easy.  When Parent Tools is not running, you can click the Parent Tools desktop icon to load the program.  To log in, double-click the gray remote control-looking icon next to the clock.  If Parent Tools is running in Stealth Mode, press CTRL+ALT+F11 on your keyboard to log in. 

Choosing What to Monitor
Once you have logged in, you have quick access to all of the features of Parent Tools.  Select "All Screen Names" to monitor any screen name on your computer (even new ones created later!).  To create specific settings for screen names, select "Monitor Specific Screen Names Only" and press the Add/Modify button to choose which screen names you wish to monitor. 

Setting Monitoring Controls
Once you have selected what you wish to control and monitor, its time to modify the control settings.  The "?" at the top of the control panel window will help in describing much of what the options will do. 

Viewing Saved Conversations
To view saved conversations, click the "View" menu and select "Saved Conversations" option.  The conversation viewer will load -- from the viewer you can read any conversation from any screen name.  To delete old conversations you can delete them manually by using the delete buttons below, or to delete old conversations you can use the powerful Delete Tool ( File - Delete... ).  You may also print or save the conversations to a text file for later viewing.

Hiding Parent Tools
You can choose how well you want to hide Parent Tools.  Click File - Edit Preferences to load the optional stealth features.  NOTE:  Stealth mode will only function for 15 minutes until you register your copy of Parent Tools.

Just Leave it Running!
Once you log out Parent Tools will remain running in the background, and will stay running even if you reset your computer.  Don't worry about Parent Tools accidentally turning off - it is designed to prevent ANYONE from turning it off without the correct password.


Registration Information

In order to register, log in to Parent Tools and when the Registration Screen appears, click on the Order Securely Online button. You will then be sent to a secure server where you can register Parent Tools online.

Register Securely Online

All questions regarding our software policy, as well as many other questions, can be answered by visiting our Software Policy page at IgniteSoft.com.

 


Introducing Parent Tools

Congratulations! You have just installed the best possible monitoring and protection tool for AOL Instant Messenger. Using this program, you can easily save conversations, limit online time, create online schedules, and silently watch over anyone using AIM on your computer.

Using Parent Tools, parents can easily monitor their children's conversations, and disable selected features of AIM. Parents can also set up time limits and create time slots that will limit the amount of time kids can spend online. Parent Tools will run silently in the background and will resist any attempt to shut it off without the correct password.

Feel free to browse this help file to get the most out of Parent Tools for AIM. I would recommend reading the Getting Started topic then checking out the table of contents for more detailed explanations.

I hope that you find Parent Tools to be an indispensable tool and decide to register with us.

Warm Regards,

Joe Jordan
Lead Developer

 


Why Use Parent Tools

Parent Tools is a powerful monitoring and controlling tool for AOL Instant Messenger. This tool can be used in a wide variety of different ways, depending on your own personal situation. For example, parents may want to tell their kids about the monitoring program so they will regulate their own behavior online. Parent Tools may also be used as a spy program to secretly watch over conversations and secretly monitor for unwanted behavior online.

Parents may also use the software package as a tool to limit chatting online. Parents can set up certain times of the day that their children can go online, and can limit the total online time per day.

Basically, you can use this software as a tool for your unique situation. Feel free to explore the program and test things out so you can become acquainted with them.


Logging In and Out

Parent Tools is designed as a secure application, designed to prevent itself from being shut down or turned off without a correct password.

Logging In
If you are not running in Stealth Mode, you can double-click on the gray remote-control looking icon next to your computer's clock to log in.

If you are running in stealth mode, press
CTRL+ALT+F11 on your keyboard to log in. If for any reason you have trouble logging in, reboot the computer and try the key combination again.

Logging Out
Logging out of Parent Tools is easy - by simply closing the Parent Tools window using the X button, you will automatically be logged out. You can also log out using the "
File - Hide and Log out" menu option.

Shutting Down
In order to shut down the program, you must have a valid password. If not running in stealth mode, you can right-click on the system tray icon and select the "
Shut Down..." menu option. You will be prompted for your password and if entered correctly Parent Tools will be shut down. If you are running in stealth mode, press CTRL+ALT+F11 and enter your password to log in. Then in the Control Panel, click the "File - Shut Down Parent Tools" menu option.


Tech Support

For all tech support inquiries, please view our contact page at: www.IgniteSoft.com/contact.htm
 


How Much Does It Cost?

Parent Tools is a shareware program. You are given 10 days to evaluate the program to determine if Parent Tools will suit your needs. After your 10 day trial has ended, you may still view saved conversations, but monitoring and recording will be disabled until you purchase a registration code.

Registration is a one-time fee of
$29.95!

What benefits do you get from registering Parent Tools? Unlimited usage! By purchasing, you will be able to use Parent Tools free of nag screens and feature limitations.

Registration will also promote further development and enhancement of the program, but most of all, will give you the personal satisfaction of doing the right thing! :)

In order to register, Log in to Parent Tools and click on the
Order Securely Online button, or visit this link: https://www.regsoft.net/regsoft/vieworderpage.php3?productid=60016


How To Register Online

After 10 days of evaluation usage, Parent Tools will expired and registration is required to keep using it beyond the trial period. We hope that you find our software is of high quality and decide to register with us.

In order to register, log in to Parent Tools and when the Registration Screen appears, click on the Order Securely Online button. You will then be sent to a secure server where you can register Parent Tools online.

Click Here to
Register Parent Tools Securely Online

Registration is done on a secure server, so you know your data is safe.


The Welcome Window

The welcome window appears when you first install the program to get you started easily and quickly. You may also access it from the File - Setup Wizard... menu in the Control Panel.

Screen 1 is an introduction to Parent Tools.

Screen 2 will ask you to set your Parent Tools password.

Screen 3 will ask you whether you want to monitor all screen names, or just select screen names. If you decide to monitor select screen names only, the next screen will allow you to choose the screen names you wish to monitor. Select names from the list box and use the add and remove buttons to select and deselect screen names.

Screen 4 will ask you whether you want to run Parent Tools in stealth mode. Stealth mode will only function for 15 minutes if the software is unregistered, so you may want to purchase the software immediately if this is a feature you require.

Screen 5 will give you more stealth options. You can hide the program icons while Parent Tools is running, and you can decide whether or not you want the user to know what is being disabled using small popup windows (click the preview button to see what they will look like).

Screen 6 will complete the setup. Your changes will only be applied when you click the "Finished!" button -- you can cancel all changes using the cancel button up to this point.


Who You're Monitoring

There are two types of monitoring built in to Parent Tools. The first is monitoring All Screen Names -- when you select this option in the Parent Tools Control Panel, the settings you have created will be applied to all screen names on that computer. This type of monitoring is recommended if new screen names are often created.

The second type of monitoring will monitor the screen names that you select, and for each screen name you can create unique settings for each. To add screen names, first select the "
Monitor Specific Screen Names Only" option and click the "Add/Modify Screen Names" button. From the window that appears, you will see the screen names that are currently unmonitored and screen names that are already being monitored. Double-click or use the << >> buttons to add or remove screen names from the list.

Once you are done adding screen names to the monitored list, click the "
Done!" button and you can now edit the controls for each screen name in your monitored list. Simply select the screen name you wish to edit in the drop down list and make your changes or create an online schedule. The changes take place immediately and are saved when you log out.


Recording Conversations

Parent Tools will silently and effortlessly save all instant message and chat room conversations when you check the "Save Instant Message Conversations" and "Save Chat Conversations" options for each monitored screen name (these are already selected by default).

Saved Conversations are Hidden
All of the recorded conversations that are saved by Parent Tools are saved in a hidden and encrypted place on your computer. These files are also compressed so you save on hard drive space. The conversation files cannot be accessed without properly logging in to Parent Tools.


Disabling IM and Chat Features

Parent Tools has several useful features to disable features built in to AOL Instant Messenger.

Instant Message Controls
Disable All Incoming and Outgoing IMs - Enabling this option will disable any and all IMs.

Disable IM Direct Connect - Enabling this option will disable the Direct Connect feature of Instant Messages. Direct Connect is often used to send files via a "direct" connection to the other instant message user. A malicious user could use this feature to gather information on your general location.

Disable IM Talk Features - Enabling this option will disable the Talk feature of AOL Instant Messenger. The talk feature could be used to expose children to objectionable material, and could potentially be used to gather information on your general location.

Disable IMs from Screen Names: - Enabling this option will disable the screen name from receiving Instant Messages from the specific screen names that you specify.


Chat Controls

Disable All Chat Rooms - Enabling this option will disable all chat room access for the screen name.

Disable Incoming Chat Invitations - Enabling this option will disable all incoming invitations to join chat rooms. These invites can contain objectionable material.

Disable Outgoing Chat Invitations - Enabling this option will disable the screen name from being able to send invitations to new or existing chat rooms.

Disable Chat Room title words: - Enabling this option will disable all chat rooms that contain any of the words or phrases you specify.


Creating an Online Schedule

Setting up an online schedule for any screen name in your monitored list is a quick and easy process.  Parent Tools will log off the screen name once the schedule time slot has expired. If you have Popups enabled, the user will be notified 5 minutes and 1 minute before they are logged off, so they can end their conversations properly.

Step 1: Select the screen name you wish to create an online schedule for.

Step 2: Click the Online Schedule tab

Step 3: Click "New Time Slot" and enter the sign on time and sign off time for the time slot.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 as many times as necessary to create an appropriate schedule.

Step 5: Check the "Use Schedule to limit time online" option to put the schedule into use.

You can also use the modify and delete buttons to edit or remove entries to the schedule. Simply select the time slot you wish to modify/delete, and choose the appropriate button.

Once the current time is not an allowable time in your schedule, the screen name will be automatically signed off and will not be allowed back on until the next day or until you alter their schedule.


Setting Online Time Limits

It's easy to set a limited amount of chat time per day for any screen name in your monitored list.

Step 1: Select the screen name you wish to limit daily online time for.

Step 2: Click the Online Time Limits tab

Step 3: Enter the hours and minutes this screen name can spend online per day.

Step 4: Log out to begin monitoring - you're done!


Parent Tools will watch how long the screen name is online for a particular day, and when the time limit is reached, the screen name will be automatically signed off and cannot sign back on until you either change their daily limit or the new day arrives.


Changing your Password

To change your Parent Tools password, you must log in to the control panel. From the control panel, access the File - Change Password menu option. You will be prompted for your current password, and asked to confirm your new password.


Viewing Conversations

Viewing saved conversations in Parent Tools is simple. First, make sure your settings are set to record IMs and chats (these are on by default). View the Recording Conversations to make sure these features are on.

The conversation viewer can be loaded by clicking the "
View Conversations.." button on the control panel, or by selecting View - Saved Conversations menu in control panel.

The Saved Conversation Viewer Window
The conversation viewer consists of 4 main parts. The top bar is where you can select whether you want to view IMs or chat conversations, and what screen name those IMs were saved under.

The top-left box is where the
conversation folders will appear when you select a screen name. When viewing IMs, the box will be filled with folders containing the screen names that they talked with. Initially the folder list will be sorted with the most recent screen name folder holding the most recent conversation first. The folder box can be sorted alphabetically by clicking the gray bar at the top of the box.

The top-right box is where the
actual saved conversation files will be listed when you select a folder. To view a conversation, select it in this box and the conversation will appear in the text box below.

The bottom buttons are tools to help you manage saved conversations. From here you can save the selected conversation to a new text file, or print out the conversation. The delete options are self explanatory (delete folder deletes selected folder, delete log deletes the selected conversation). For detailed information on deleting using the Delete Tool, read the next topic: Deleting Conversations


Deleting Conversations

Once you have viewed a conversation, you may want to delete it if it is no longer necessary to keep around.

To delete a folder, select it in the top-left box, and right-click to delete. You may also delete the selected folder by clicking the "
Delete Folder" button.

To delete individual conversations, select it and right-click to delete. You may also delete the selected conversation by clicking the "
Delete Log" button.

Delete Tool
To load the delete tool, click the "Delete Tool" button or select the File - Delete... menu in the conversation viewer. The delete tool has two modes of operation:

Delete By Date
This mode will delete all conversations from the screen name that you specify that took place before a certain date. Select the type of log (IM or chat room conversations) and select the screen name that you wish to delete from. You may also select "
<All Screen Names>" to delete all IM or chat conversations that took place before the date you specified. Once you have selected a date, click the "Delete Now" button to perform the action.

Delete Screen Names
This mode will delete all conversations from the screen name that you specify. Simply select the type (either IM or chat conversation) and select the screen name you wish to delete. Click the "
Delete Now" button to remove ALL IMs or chats from the selected name.


Using Stealth Mode

Why Use Stealth Mode?
Often, parents may want to hide the fact that they are monitoring their kids. Using stealth mode in conjunction with Hide Shortcuts and not using Popup Notifications, Parent Tools will remain virtually undetectable.

You can access the log in screen by pressing
CTRL+ALT+F11 on your keyboard.

Parent Tools will resist any attempt to shut it down without a valid password. Rebooting the computer will cause Parent Tools to start up with windows. Attempting to end task on the hidden executable will cause a helper application to load it back up for uninterrupted monitoring service.

Stealth Mode is for Registered Users Only
Unregistered users can try out stealth mode for 15 minutes before the software reverts to unstealth mode. Purchase your copy to remove this limitation.

Enabling/Disabling Stealth Mode
Enabling stealth mode is done from the control panel. Simply click the "
Stealth - Run in Stealth Mode" menu option, or load the preferences window by clicking the "Preferences..." button.


Hiding Shortcut Icons

Why Hide Shortcuts?
In order to maintain an optimum level of stealth, the shortcut icons must remain hidden from the user of the computer. To access this feature, click the "
Preferences..." button in the Control Panel. Check or uncheck the "Hide Desktop and Start Menu shortcuts while Parent Tools is running" option, depending on your preference.

If you decide to hide shortcuts and use stealth mode, remember that you must log in using
CTRL+ALT+F11 on your keyboard.


Show Popup Windows of Disabled Features

Why Show Popups of Disabled Features?
Parents who are not using Parent Tools in a secretive manner may want to display popup notifications when a child attempts to access a disabled feature. This is good for when an online schedule runs out, and the screen name is automatically signed off. Without the popup notification, they might not know what happened or why they cannot sign back online.

Enabling the popup feature will also notify the user 5 minutes and 1 minute before their online schedule is about to expire, so they will know to end conversations before being signed off due to the expired online schedule.

To access this feature, click the "
Preferences..." button in the Control Panel. Check or uncheck the "Show a popup message when a controlled screen name tries to access a blocked feature" option, depending on your preference. This option setting will be effective for all screen names, not just the one you are currently editing.

Check out a preview of how the popup window will look by clicking the "
Preview Popup" button.


Other Programs: Try Extreme Messenger for AIM!

Check out what Extreme Messenger can do for you...

Available Now at www.ExtremeMessenger.com

(and 100% compatible with Parent Tools for AIM)

Enhanced IMs & Chat Rooms - With Extreme Messenger, all your IMs and chat conversations are organized into one easy window with a multitude of features at your fingertips!

Use 1550+ New Smileys! - Registered users of Extreme Messenger will have access to over 1550 built-in AIM smileys!

Color Fade your IMs, Profile, and Away Messages - Extreme Messenger has a color fader so you can blend your text colors in your IMs, chat conversations, profile, and even away messages!

Completely Customize your Buddy List - Extreme Messenger hides the annoying ads on the buddy list, and allows you to hide nearly every useless button on the AIM Buddy List for a clean uncluttered look!

IM and Chat Logging - Automatically record your conversations with our logging features!

Transparent Windows - Make your Buddy List, IMs, or chat a see-thru window!

Away Message Scheduler - Schedule your Away messages to appear at any time, even when your away from your computer!

AIM Profile Fading - Now you can add faded colors and colorized text to your personal AIM Profile!

AIM Today Toolbar - Now AIM Today is more useful than ever! Navigate to anywhere on the web using the AIM Today toolbar!

News in your IM Window - With the click of a button you can have the latest late-breaking news right inside your IM window!

Send Files Easier - Want to send a file to a friend? Simply drag and drop the file onto the IM tab and Extreme Messenger fills out the path for you!

Save Buddy Email Addresses - Using the Buddy Notes feature, you can now save the email addresses of the people you talk to.

Extensive Customization Options - Extreme Messenger comes packed with tons of customization options, so you can adjust it to your preferences.

Buddy Nicknames - Assign Nicknames to your friends - A fun tool and an easy way to remember people online!

... And so Much More! Download and Experience Extreme Messenger!

 

Copyright 2003 Ignite Software. All Rights Reserved.
 


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