Leadership

Video: Track a user's Internet Explorer History with IEHistoryView

Spying on end users may an unwelcome activity for most IT pros, but it is often a necessary duty for network administrators. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler shows you a free tool called IEHistoryView that can help you investigate complaints of inappropriate Internet usage and suspicious browsing behavior.

Spying on end users may an unwelcome activity for most IT pros, but it is often a necessary duty for network administrators. In this IT Dojo video, I'll show you a free tool called IEHistoryView that can help you investigate complaints of inappropriate Internet usage and suspicious browsing behavior.

After watching the video, you can learn more about IEHistoryView by reading Wally Bahny's article, "Track a user's Internet Explorer History with IEHistoryView"--the basis for this video.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

30 comments
ramar_cool
ramar_cool

it is useful for me.Please send the more technical tips as practically.

arunkar
arunkar

I dont understand why the streaming of this video is very bad these days at itdojo. im at Singapore. Is there a way that it can be improved. something like youtube video where I can let the video stream then view it once it has loaded. btw Im using 8MB internet shared connecton

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Run through a forced logging and filtering proxy than just look at users history files. It is like shutting the gate after the horse had bolted looking at history files.

JCitizen
JCitizen

That way it didn't matter so much if they deleted the history or not. I assume any data base can open those?

toughguy000
toughguy000

IE Is outdated, Old, And Adware prone. Boring to fix due to the fact that it usually entails a format of the system. Useless tool, sorry. Most users know how to "clear the files" if they are attempting to do something bad.

herlizness
herlizness

Why not monitor employee productivity instead? Isn't that what managers get paid to do? If the only way to figure out that someone spent more than 50% of their working hours surfing the net is through a software utility then I have to think the manager is not doing their job and/or the position is superfluous. Bill, you seem a little bit too interested in playing police officer to me; maybe a position with the State Troopers would be more satisfying for you ... I think they may need a few good men in that department up in Alaska. Just don't marry the governor's sister or fool around with her daughters.

ghosko7772
ghosko7772

Using tools to monitor someone's Internet usage is wrong period. No matter what the boss says. I can understand about not wanting people to watch porno while they're working, playing games, or browsing other sites when they should be working. Why not just limit where they ALL can go on the Internet. Set policies and sites. If it makes your job harder think of this. At least you have one, and it makes your job even more relative and secure. Some Admin's love playing God or Super cop because it's a power trip. It's sick when you think about it. I've done this job and it doesn't have to be this complicated or perverse. The job is easy. YOU make it hard. This type of info can also be used against someone because they might be visiting sites that promote another political idea or a different religion from your own. I've seen people get on the S-List because of different ideas or religious beliefs and then fired. Manage networks not beliefs or ideas. Set policies and sites. Make your job relative to technology not to controlling thoughts or behavior. If you limit what people can do with the Internet and their PC's. They MIGHT want to work more.

wsmith
wsmith

"After watching the video, you can learn more about IEHistoryView by reading Wally Bahny???s article" Or you can skip the video and go directly to the excellent source article and skip watching Mr Detwiler continually acting like he is stangling someone with his hands.

tech
tech

Excellent as usual!

Web Guru
Web Guru

Running a syslog from the firewall (layer 3 devices) is so much more efficient and robust (ie... going to a Oracle server). BUT, this is still good to know for those without large budgets.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Spying on end users may an unwelcome activity for most IT pros, but it is often a necessary duty for network administrators. In an IT Dojo video, I explore a free tool called IEHistoryView that can help you investigate complaints of inappropriate Internet usage and suspicious browsing behavior. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=173 If you're Internet police for your organization, how do you handle the sensitive issues that sometimes come up?

ILUVIT
ILUVIT

IEHistoryView works well for local history views on local machine or terminal server but is it possible to view histories of networked users on domain?

jtakiwi
jtakiwi

Usually scenarios where you are asked to do this sort of thing (like me, today, 5pm on Friday a customer had staff resign, and they all went to competitor). So, now they want to see usage and message, file access, history, etc... for all these folks. Lovely. Discounting the fact this risk was presented often along w/ mitigation steps (too expensive) now we'll try and find what we can and present to management. None of us (well, most of us) don't like to do it, but, we do what we are asked because the business sees value in it, regardless of how we feel about it.

hrstil
hrstil

I agree with ghosko7772, don't police users, educate users! Use filters and blocking and make clear that this is what you want. Are we going to put webcams in the workroom next? I for one would not like to work for a firm like that....

bigx69
bigx69

Question: Have some smart end users as they delete their cache/cookies/etc after exiting IE. Can this be disabled? I know the "even smarter" users will use CCleaner or the like. Thanks, John

d_k914
d_k914

oh come on, gay bill actually puts out a few good videos from time to time :)

john.orazio
john.orazio

our organisation outsources internet usage to ensure an equal playing field, so to speak. your own private isp knows more about you than you care to admit, and can quite easily pass this information on to anyone interested, including a prospective employer, especially if you are going for a job requiring a security clearance. privacy is dead.

speculatrix
speculatrix

if you care about your network, you'll put in a proxy that a/ logs activity b/ filters undesirable activity c/ blocks viruses etc one of the best ways of curtailing employee network activity is to simply publish the logs of URLs they visit. you don't need to make a big fuss about it, the same rule applies to (nearly) everyone.

sparker
sparker

After reimaging a user's PC for the 5th, or maybe 6th, time because of virus/network redirection issues, I decided to use the IDSuite program to see where the user was spending his internet time. When I printed out pages of porn sites, the user was confronted by management. Haven't had to reimage them since. Sometimes you just gotta do it!

willistanner
willistanner

As always, I like the info I see here even though I don't always agree, lol. I have this spy job as part of my services at 3 comapanies I do IT for. I use a program called spector pro which tracks "everything", takes snapshots, keeps a graph of usuage, etc. It also gives you times visited and time there. It stays hidden and can't be altered or deleted by your average user. I'm sure they have others but this one does the job for me and does it well. I pull reports at random and my worse case to date was 97 hours of pure wasted company time over a 20 work day(160 hours)period. Most visited was the one I detest most. "MySpace"!!!!! After getting a feel of thier viewing abuse habits I then begin the blocking/filtering.

leberg
leberg

We use websense and block most unwanted sites and all downloads.

JCitizen
JCitizen

in our organization; I believe both of them can remove index.dat files also. (edited) We couldn't afford the licensing fees.

wsmith
wsmith

completely restrict access to the settings in IE.

brodriguez@applevalley.
brodriguez@applevalley.

Becuase of the size of our org and the small I.S. staff, we have saved a lot of time by using the Barracuda Web Filter. It blocks pages reasonably well, and logs all activity. It's reporting features are basic (I would like a much more customizable report than what they offer) but it is effective and easy to show a manager / supervisor. Overall, it saves us time and removes the need for "friendly" spyware :) We have lost many a good worker to MySpace and I never understood why that, of all websites out there, would be appealing enough to lose a job over.

interpoI
interpoI

We use websense here as well, here being a Sheriff's Office, but there's always a few who can still find sites such as myspace, facebook and such. It is an ongoing battle! There are far too many anonymous proxy sites to find and block.

Fire eating monkey
Fire eating monkey

I believe ie8 has "private" surfing ability that does not store any history or browser data. Doesn't this nullify the control?

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