Keep the PC in the main living space so you can see whats going on without it appearing that you are spying as kids hate that. Don't know about the software options but kids are very smart when it comes to programs and if there is a way to disable it and they wish to disable it they will find a way.
Though i agree with Legolas and Totally-braindead i think you need to establish some strict ground rules,especially with msn.
This can turn a child into a zombie,i know i have this problem !
I find the best thing is to limit them to 2 hours a night including there homework,and occasionly looking over there shoulder. I know you cannot watch them all the time,but it is and always will be....down to trust.
Totally-braindead hit the nail on the head,regarding kids are smart with software programs (easily disabled) unless password protected.But again,there are apps to hack passwords.
Within msn messenger you can keep track of there chat logs,but sadly again...they can still untick this box so no record exists of the chats.
Like ive said earlier,it is down to trust with the kids.
Im afraid it can allow her to talk to strangers jackcoms.
If she decides to join msn groups or scan through msn profiles and start talking to someone,who knows who is really on the other end ? them or he or she only have to be allowed to the contact list and away they go.
This is a common problem,and is really down to common sense from paulwilko's stepdaughter.
Just a 5 second Google and you could end up with something like this, click here where Email addresses are posted etc.This is just an idea of how easy it is to be fooled into thinking someone is genuine.