Archive for the ‘office productivity’ Category

Can I Monitor My Employees’ Computers?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

You can download a free trial of Gecko Computer Monitoring Software here

You may wonder if you can legally monitor your employees’ computers, and the answer is yes. Employers are allowed to monitor their employees’ computers under certain restrictions. Any computers, PDAs or other computer devices that are given to employees can be monitored by employers legally. It is estimated that over 75% of U.S. companies monitor their employees’ activities on the computer, so it is certainly not uncommon.

What types of activities can I monitor? 

You can monitor your employees’ internet activities, instant messaging, typing speed, the length of time they’re on the computer, e-mails, downloads, documents stored on the computer, and other activities. You can screen your employees’ emails for specific keywords, and you can also monitor their keystrokes.

Why should I monitor my employee’s computers? 

You might consider monitoring your employees’ computers if you are worried about time wasting or productivity issues. Websites and social media sites like Facebook can seriously hamper your employees’ productivity and cost you money. Further you might be concerned about your employees viewing objectionable content on work computers which can subject you to legal risks. You may also be concerned about your employees revealing sensitive information about your company to other people and security threats to your company’s computer system. So, there are many reasons why you might monitor your employees’ computers, but you should do it the right way.

Employee monitoring software 

Employee monitoring software is the way to go if you are considering monitoring your employees’ computers, and there are a number of good solutions available. Employee monitoring software is just one part of a complete business IT system protection plan that should also include anti-virus software, malware protection, and company IT policies. Small businesses have a lot of different employee monitoring software options available each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

How you should go about using employee monitoring software 

Once you have decided on a software solution for employee tracking you shouldn’t use it secretly. Your employees should know that they are being monitored when they are using work computer devices, and you should let them know what you are monitoring and why you are doing it. If your employees know they are being monitored they are much more likely to be productive while at work. They will also appreciate you being upfront about your intentions to monitor them rather than surprising them.

Be fair with your employees and check the monitoring reports regularly 

You should check the monitoring reports on a regular basis and check for potential security issues or time wasting. Depending on the type of company culture you have, a bit of entertainment might be allowable during breaks, but it depends on how the company is run. Be fair with your employees and give them warnings for wasting time or other problems. If you catch your employees wasting too much time on games or social media sites you can have a simple sit down with them or send an email reminder which usually corrects the problem. You can also block certain websites like Facebook, YouTube and others using filtering software. Checking the monitoring reports regularly will allow you to follow up and see if your discussions with your employees have made any impact.

You can download a free trial of Gecko Computer Monitoring Software here

Is it legal for employers to track employees with GPS?

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

GPS tracking at workplaces is a controversial topic among many, but in the United States courts have consistently ruled that workplace related GPS tracking is reasonable and is similar to surveillance video monitoring. GPS tracking can only be used to track employees who are at work, and for work related purposes. For instance, it is legal to ask why an employee’s cell phone showed that they were at a restaurant instead of on a delivery route at a time when they were on the clock. Using GPS tracking to monitoring employees should have a real business purpose, and the phone must be issued by the employer to the employee. Outside of business hours the tracking device should not be used.

GPS has evolved to be used in many ways in modern workplaces outside of just tracking and surveillance. GPS is often used in delivery and transportation workplaces because it can help management track where there employees are driving. It can also be used to guide and direct drivers to appropriate locations and adjust routes on the fly as needed. In other cases it can be used to find drivers or employees that are closest to a new job site and redirect them quickly. In law enforcement, the nearest police cars to the scene of a crime or emergency can be easily found. When it comes to legality of use, GPS must only be used for workplace related monitoring and business uses.

pocket pc gps

The courts usually favor employers in GPS tracking cases. In one case, an employee in New York was shown to be leaving work early on his employer issued cell phone. The cell phone had GPS tracking, and the employee was terminated. The case went to court and the judge upheld that the tracking was justifiable as well as the termination. The employee was also informed that the phone would have GPS tracking installed on it, and the judge ruled that the employee should not have expected privacy while working as a result of this. The judge ruled that the way the information about the employee’s whereabouts was collected (by the use of GPS) was justifiable and legal.

If there is a real question about the legality of using GPS, a business lawyer can always be consulted, but many work related tracking purposes are allowable, only if the phone is provided to the employee. GPS tracking cannot be installed on an employee owned phone for work related tracking purposes. Employers are also allowed to listen in to employee calls when they are at work and obtain record of calls made on the employer’s phone. In addition, it should be known that all phones can be tracked by law enforcement if they are on, even those without GPS, if law enforcement has a probable cause to pursue a suspect.

Computer monitoring by employers is also considered to be legal. Like cell phones, monitoring must only be installed on employer owned computers. Monitoring software can monitor any of an employee’s activities while they are on an employer owned computer including emails, web browser and software usage. Entertainment websites and other websites can legally be filtered from a web browser. Computer monitoring can be used by employers to improve productivity and keep compliant with regulations. It can also be used to collect evidence in the case that it is needed during a legal investigation or lawsuit. Employees may also legally be fired for computer misuse while at work, and this type of monitoring is so common that over two thirds of employers utilize it.

If you’re an employer looking to monitor employees, you may be interested in our computer monitoring software – Gecko Monitor. You can find out more about Gecko Monitor here.

Using a Keylogger as a Backup Tool

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Because keylogger programs virtually detect and store every stroke, site, instant message and email that was sent on a personal computer, it also makes for an astounding (and in some cases a saving grace) backup tool for your system.

There are many different keylogging programs and most of them allow you to monitor all the activity that goes on within your PC. Some of the software and hardware will take screenshots, track emails and instant messages, record any passwords that were used and some of the more sophisticated programs even have the ability to record the microphone activity that happened on that computer. They will also work in the event that a virus makes it way into your system and destroys the memory and encrypted information.

In cases where your system may crash, having a keylogging system that has a detailed record of all your data is a good thing. Most of the hardware and software programs now come equipped with text editors. These are nifty components built right within the hardware that will automatically create backup copies of documents that you create on your computer. Therefore in instances where you are maybe working on a research paper or business proposal and accidentally click out of your document that you forgot to save, the program has automatically been recording every key stroke and has a hard copy saved for you.

Additionally, many USB keylogger programs will save your web browsing activities and also remember and recall any sites that you have visited or searches you have entered into the web. This is handy when you need to recall some research and forgot to write down the website. Or if you are one that likes to join or subscribe to pages and blogs, but have a short memory for all those passwords, keylogging programs will also keep a steady record of all the passwords to those accounts.

Backing up

The purpose of these programs is less about spying and more about logging your applications. The software will communicate to the hardware on the PC not only password information, but it also has the ability to recall and record the titles of their windows, along with every keystroke you made to get there.

With these programs the concern that you will lose any text at all is virtually non-existent. There are functions included referred to as email clients which will keep track of any emails you send or will also keep track of your drafts. It is necessary at times to be able to have the ability to copy and paste fragments of partial texts from a website you are on and these programs can also help you do that.

The clipboard functions are also a great addition because they allow the user to copy one piece text from your board at one time instead of the entire text as a whole. You can then copy only the information you want or need to your Windows clipboard and the program will store it and make a backup copy that you can refer to at a later date or if and when you lose or crash a system.

Backing Up Your Logs

With many of the keylogger programs backing up your logs is simple. Generally the program will give you detailed instructions on how to do so and it almost always consists of burning your log into a log folder or burning the information onto a CD or USB. In some cases you can burn or save it directly to the hard drive.  Take a look at our free trial of Gecko Monitor to see how we could help you with your backing up needs.

Monitoring An Office Computer

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

We’re all well aware of the distractions office workers now face on a daily basis. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and an endless array of entertainment and games are available to us 24/7 at the click of a mouse. To many, this may be a sign of productivity levels dropping at work, and in a lot of cases this is certainly true. This is one reason you may want to start monitoring an office computer.

An other reason might be a bit more sinister. Stealing, pornography or a complete lack of regard for work might mean you need proof before action is taken on the out of line individual. Whatever the reason for wanting to monitor an office computer, these days it’s easily achievable, with some companies monitoring all their computers whatever the situation.

Office Computer Monitoring

Gecko Monitor, is an all in one monitoring solution for monitoring any computer. It’s main function is stealthy computer monitoring, meaning it’s perfect for monitoring one computer without it’s user knowing. If you’re wondering about whether this is legal or not, the general law is ‘you can monitor a computer that you own’. This varies from state to state and country to country so check your local laws. There’s an interesting thread that goes into more detail on the issue here:

Some people also have an ethical issue with this type of software. To those people I always say it’s not the software but what you do with it. When it comes to office productivity and suspicions of malpractice, it’s your company at risk and you have every right to protect it.

Gecko Monitor is a low cost application that provides all round monitoring. The software monitors keystrokes, applications, websites visited, documents opened and deleted, printed documents and takes screenshots at set intervals or when a new window becomes active. All of this is fully customizable and the software runs in complete stealth mode (or, if you choose, with an icon in the tray) meaning there’s no sign that the software is running.

Logs can be checked at the end of the day with a secret key combination and password, or can be emailed to you at set intervals. We think Gecko Monitor is perfect for monitoring an office computer but don’t take our word for it – download the free trial now by heading to our home page.