|Understanding How APC Works
After installation and setting up your password you will be brought to the Main Interface. This interface is where you select a user to work with. You can access this password-protected interface from your Start menu. First, select a user from the User Selection list by clicking it. Then you can adjust the restrictions for this selected user by choosing any of the restrictions buttons at the top of the screen.
To monitor users just select a user, then click on of the four monitoring settings buttons to activate the monitoring type(s) you desire. You view activities using the same method. Select a user then click the Report Statistics button for each activity type. Please Note: When you adjust settings for a user they become effective the next time the user logs in.
Working with and Editing Users
When you need to perform tasks for a user, simply go to the APC main interface. In the User Selection Area, scroll through the list of users and click the user you want to perform changes or view results for. Then click the appropriate button. You can also double-click the user selection area to change how the list of users is displayed.
To change Windows Settings for a user, click their entry, then click Edit User. You can then change different options including the user type, password for the user or the username itself. You can also click Advance Rights to adjust the user's Windows User Group(s).
To allow a user to view statistics about the time they have used and how much time they have left, click a user's entry. Then, check the "Allow User to View Time Info" box on the APC Main Interface. The next time the user logs in they will be able to launch a small program called "UserPC" which will display their remaining time.
The Options button near the user buttons is to control APC program settings. You can change the Data Path where logs are stored and Password options. These settings are not for the selected user but for the entire APC program itself. If you decide to change the data path then make sure that all users can access that path inside their account. Having trouble restricting or monitoring users? Check out or Knowledge Base for quick answers.
Another feature inside APC Options is the Stealth Exe Name. This allows you to change the name of the exe file which runs APC to anything you wish. For example it could be "wmvi.exe" or "sysregistry.exe" or anything else you think your child will not want to end. And if your child tries to end the process you can simply disable their access to Task Manager from within APC.
Creating a Computer Time Schedule
When you want to set time allowances or set schedules for when a user can or cannot login to Windows, just click the user and click the Computer icon at the top of the main interface. Then you will be brought to the Computer Restriction Window. The first step is to choose between Daily or Weekly limits and click the appropriate button at the top of the window.
You can set a basic time allowance by selecting the amount of time per day or week that you want this user to be able to login to Windows. Just select that amount of time in the two drop down windows for Hours and Minutes.
You can also optionally set a customized schedule for this user. At the bottom of the Computer Restriction Window you will see a green area with boxes. These boxes correspond to times as listed at the top of the box. Click each box to make it RED for not allowed or GREEN for allowed. You can also drag large areas to make them green or red all at once.
Creating an Internet Time Schedule
The Internet Restriction function works exactly like the Computer Restriction function. Simply select a user and then click the Internet icon from the main interface. You will then be brought to the Internet Restriction Window. Then choose Daily or Weekly and choose the time limit and schedule for the user. If the user tries to access the Internet during an unallowed time, it will not allow them to connect.
Blocking applications is sometimes very necessary to stop your kids from performing unallowed activities. To block applications for a selected user, click the Programs icon from the main interface. You will then be brought to the Application Restriction Window. The software will then scan your system for all installed applications. Please be patient and let it perform the task.
Once the scan is finished you can add applications or groups of applications to the blocking list at right. To add an entry, simply check the box next to the entry's name. It will then be added to the list. The selected user will not be able to launch the listed applications.
Some applications (such as Windows Live Messenger) launch a different exe file than the one located in its shortcut. For programs like this you can use the Edit Exe Name feature to change the name of the exe file which will be blocked. For example, Windows Live Messenger's actual exe is msnmsgr.exe. Just click "Edit Exe File", then type msnmsgr.exe then click "Edit Exe File" again to save the change.
You can also setup a custom time schedule to block any program. Let's say you wanted to allow a certain program for one hour per day. Just block the program as usual. Then click Set Time Restriction. Then create the schedule or time allowance for that program.
Blocking Web Sites by URL
There are two ways to block web sites in APC. The first method is to block web sites by URL (web address). This is effective if you know specific URL's that you don't want your kids to visit. For example let's say you want to block http://www.rotten.com.
You would first select the user and click the WebSite icon at the top of the interface. Then, you would type http://www.rotten.com into the box and click Block this Site. You might also want to add an entry for http://rotten.com in case the user does not enter the www.
You will also see a list of "Allowed" URL's in the Web Site Restriction window. This list represents URL's that will override the "Block web sites by keyword" method as described in the next section. These URL's will be allowed even if a blocked keyword is encountered.
Blocking Web Sites by Keywords
The second method of blocking web sites is the more effective method for censoring web content. The keyword blocking method allows you to specify keywords that will cause a web page to be blocked. For example lets say you wanted a user to be unable to visit any web page containing the word "myspace". You would click the user and click the Keyword icon to go to the Keyword Restriction window.
Then, type the word myspace into the white box and click Add Keyword. You will see the keyword in the list of blocked keywords. You can choose an "Exact Match" or "Any Word" match to block pages containing any word of a multiple word entry such as "singles dating"
When a user visits a web page that is blocked using either of the methods described, the page will be forcibly closed and they will be shown a warning that the page was blocked by the Admin.
Performing System Tweaks
Performing a System Tweak on a user's account works like any other function in APC. Simply select the user and click System. Then browse through the four different tweak types. To turn a tweak on, simply check the box next to its entry. After you have checked the items you wish, then click Save. The tweaks will be performed on the user for the next time they log in.
To remove a tweak simply go back to the System screen and uncheck the box and click Save. For more information regarding System Tweaks please see the System window description.
By default, monitoring is turned off for all users. To monitor a user simply select the user and click the recording type you would like to turn on in the User Monitoring area. When you click the button it will either turn the option on or bring up a screen to adjust settings for that type of recording. Each recording type is summarized below. Please Note: When you adjust settings for a user they become effective the next time the user logs in.
Records actual screens of the user as jpg files. To turn it on click the "On" button and choose your settings. It is recommended to capture screenshots at 30 second intervals for the best performance. You can also select to capture screenshots only during times that a specific application is running. When you finish choosing your settings, click Save.
This basic type of recording can be toggled on or off directly on the Main Interface. Turn it on to keep a complete list of windows which were accessed by the user. Like the other recording types you can view these activities by clicking the appropriate report at the bottom of the APC interface with a user selected.
Records keystrokes typed on the computer's keyboard for specific user(s). To turn it on click the "On" button and choose whether or not to only record while specific applications are running. For example if you want to only record keystrokes typed inside a certain program, click "Specific Application" and add that application to the list at the bottom. Click Save to finish.
This is another simple recording type which is either toggled ON or OFF on the main interface itself. There are no additional settings. When this type of recording is turned ON, it will keep a list of every single URL visited in Internet Explorer and Firefox for the selected user. This type of recording is useful for seeing what types of sites need to be blocked.
Viewing User Activity
After you have set a user to record, and they have used the computer, you can then view the recorded results easily. Just select the user from the main interface and then choose which recording type you wish to view in the View Reports Summary section. Below you will find more information about each of the four viewer windows.
This shows you the recorded snapshots unlike any other software can. Click a recorded entry to see the screenshot captured. You can easily delete entries using the variety of deletion buttons on the screen such as Delete all from a certain date.
This report shows you every window which was accessed by the user. This is vital for determining which applications need to be blocked for the user if necessary. The complete time/date stamp and window information are included within the viewer.
The keystrokes report gives you undeterred access to every keystroke typed inside any or all applications. Simply click a window entry to see the keys typed within that window. Logs can be easily cleared or filtered using the on-screen options.
Here you can view every URL (web address) visited. Select an entry and you can then launch the URL to see it in real time by clicking the Open Application button. Logs are easily cleared using the variety of on-screen delete buttons.