For security measures, employers are now on the alert and are taking steps to monitor their employees so they could how best they are committed to their jobs and how they are using their various PCs and mobile devices while they are at work. Whether it is fair or not, employers these days must take on the task of monitoring employees’ use of computers and networks if they are to survive in their businesses. It’s now an easy task unlike those days when a manager will have to stand behind the director as he works on the PC. but now technology has given a new face to it as activities of employees are now monitored in a more productive and useful form. In the process of solving this problems and advancing further in your business, different types of software have come up to the rescue, and employee monitoring tools are one of them. These monitoring tools allow managers to monitor workplace activity while employees are left alone to do their business their own ways. Even though the company cannot completely restrict employees from personal use of computers they still need to monitor the sites they visit, the type of files they are sending and receiving, and even the kind of email they are sending and receiving. The reason why employers go this far in monitoring their staffs is because their (employees) activities at times can subject the company to monetary loss, civil lawsuits and criminal charges if they take some dirty steps disclosing the company’s confidential information to the public or a third party.
You may be confused and may not know how to go about this problem, here are eight ways employers can monitor their staffs.
Set written policies: as an employer, you need to create a corporate system on the internet and device usage that makes rights and responsibilities clear to all your staffs and that will help in case there is need to take any legal step against them. Set rules for your employees that will guide them on the use of email, instant messaging, web surfing as well as regulations that govern downloading of software and apps.
Examine cache web files: if you have a few computers and would like to know the websites visited by your employees, you don’t need the use of software to monitor this. You can know that by examining the web browser’s cache, the history of past activities will still be available on the computers. But with this kind of steps, some employees can be smart and decided to clear their cache since they know you will still come to check for whatever they have done.
Time tracking applications: time tracking apps are useful in monitoring the activities of staffs both during working and off work hours. These apps are to be downloaded and installed by employees on their PC or mobile devices, and the employee must always ensure the app is launched so that the management could track their working hours. These kinds of apps are easy to use allowing employees to check the logs at the weekend to see what the employees have been working on. With this process, only work-related activities deserve payment. So if a worker has spent so much time on social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter e.t.c, this will undoubtedly be visible.
Network data: employers can choose to network firewalls and router logs to monitor internet traffic connected to the staff’s computer. With the work of network analyzer apps, the company will be able to scan networks for illegal contents and determine the originating work station. All this information gathered will help employers know how much time an employee has spent browsing the web while they are supposed to be working on the company’s jobs.
Use keyloggers to capture typed data: keyloggers performs different functions divided into different categories which are hardware and software based. An example of the hardware device is KeyGhost, keyghost are small devices that can be installed between the keyboards connector and the Ps2 or USB port on the computer while KeyGhost software helps to capture the rate of keystrokes happening on the employee’s computer.
Video surveillance: video surveillance is the most commonly installed device used to monitor the activities of employees. Strategically placed video cameras do great jobs recording daily computer usage of staffs in a workstation. Installations of workplace cameras are legal in the workplace without prior notice of any team except for sensitive areas like the locker rooms or restrooms.
Control what software employees can install or run: as an employer, you need to regulate and restrict employees from installing software. Unnecessary software can cause an unexpected shut down of the computer and can cause a problem for the day’s business. In other to avoid issues like this you can use an inbuilt tool in Windows XP and Server 2003 to control installation and running of software. You can take steps to prevent users from installing programs via Group Policy’s User Right and use the software installation feature to manage the kind of software distributed throughout the organization. Employers can as well make use of Group policy software restriction policies to monitor the type of software running on their network computers and to know whether those programs shared could run.
Monitor instant messages: instant messages are often sources of security bridges, you can block instant messages all together if you can configure your firewall to block the ports used mostly by IM programs or you can choose to use software like a Symantec IM manager. However, since instant messaging can be of great help when your staffs decide to communicate in a more faster means with customers, you may choose to control it rather than blocking it so that it will not affect your business.
Monitoring your staffs is vital for you as an employer, observing them does not mean you don’t trust them, but in most cases, you have to do that for record purposes most especially if it requires you to take a legal step against your staff or your clients.