If you have ever wondered what your teenagers are chatting on AIM about, wonder no more. I have had many requests from parents to find software that would do this. After a little searching, I found a product called "Parent Tools for AIM" from Ignite Software.
You can download a 10 day free trial of Parent Tools for AIM. If you like it, you can buy it for $29.95. You can configure this software to monitor just a few AIM logins on your PC or all of them. If you tell it to save the AIM conversations, it will save each conversation for you to easily review later. The AIM user will not know that a log of their conversation is being saved.
This software has many other features. You can run it in stealth mode so no user will know it is running. You can limit any user's total AIM time. You can limit any user's AIM access times so they can't use it late at night or other undesirable times. You can block particular screen names from chatting with anyone on your computer and you can disable chat rooms that contain objectionable words or phrases.
There is one area that this software does not address. There are online versions of AIM that can be used from a web site through Internet Explorer. It cannot log those conversations, but you can block access to those sites by using a router that has content filtering and setting it up to block those particular web sites. A Netgear model WGR614 wireless router has this capability.
You can download a free trial of "Parent Tools for AIM" at http://www.parent-tools.com. There is also a version available to log Yahoo! Messenger.