The CEO of a publishing company recently went ballistic in a meeting over rumors which were being spread about the company through an internal source and ended up firing 25 employees as a way of punishing the unidentified culprit. Press coverage was received by the meeting due to an employee secretly taping the meeting. Ryan Tate stated that he had been trying to figure out who was behind this act by monitoring the computers of the employees. He was fine with his employees wasting time on social media sites however he couldn’t tolerate anyone saying anything bad about his company.
I tried getting in touch to see how employees were monitored but never heard from them. Perhaps the company had a policy of monitoring the social network activity of their employees by capturing whatever they posted on their Facebook profiles through their work computers. Anyhow, Tate isn’t the only employer who monitors his employee’s online activity. The FDA too is fighting a lawsuit by scientists who claim that they were fired due to whistleblowing, something the agency realized it was doing due to SpectorSoft, a program which captured the employee’s emails and any computer activity. Due to a problem, the files ended up being leaked online which suggested how extensive the monitoring actually was. While it isn’t unusual that employers monitor computers and smart phones of their employees, employees don’t tend to think about it while using these devices throughout the day. Thus before doing anything outrageous on any of these devices, it would be good to rethink whether the device is being monitored or not. Computer forensics expert and security researcher, Michael Robinson and Askhan Soltani suggest ways in which to check whether you are being monitored. The first is to check whether the employee handbook mentions something of the sort. If it does, the employer has a right to peek.
If monitoring software is on the computer, it will capture the keystrokes and screenshots. While such programs don’t show up as applications, they do show up as a running process which can be checked in the task manager.
While it is likely that the process would have an innocuous name, a way to check whether it is spyware is to compare it with those running on the computers of colleagues. If one of you is being monitored while the other isn’t, the processes will look different. A number of these programs are also flagged by anti-malware and anti-virus programs as malicious which can make them easy to detect. Some companies offering the software make a white list to ensure that the anti-virus being run doesn’t detect it as a threat. A number of times, these lists are also public which makes it easier to check what the files names are.
Even if you Google a process which you find strange, it is likely that it would direct you to the vendors website if it is spyware. However there are some programs which are savvier than others which hide from view in a better way.
It is very rare to find bosses who capture everything an employee does because this would require more time to be spent on monitoring rather than on managing. However it is likely to occur if the boss is worried with respect to a specific employee or if they feel secretive information is being leaked out.
With the ways in which an employer can spy on his employees, it would be best to make sure that work devices are used primarily for that purpose and any sensitive activities are left to be conducted on personal devices. Ryan Tate also mentioned to his employees in the meeting to be careful in such a digital age and that it is reasonable to understand that people go home and complain to loved ones but who would do it online through an email? Chances are a lot of people do so however one needs to be smart about it. It is best to do such things from a home computer only and be hopeful that no one is spying on you from there.
Author: Brooke fill in as Tech expert and writer has earned her an exhibited accumulating of readers who are needing for the most recent news and audit about Employee Rights. Her work turns around the most recent inEmployee monitoring software on Theonespy