As technology continues to play a significant role in today’s work environment, businesses are incorporating computer monitoring software to improve their productivity and ensure the integrity of their operations. However, what is computer monitoring and how can it help your organization? This blog explores the concept of computer monitoring, defining it, the areas where it is used, and some of the leading tools in the market.
What is Computer Monitoring?
Computer monitoring is a process of controlling and documenting the occurrences on a computer system. This procedure is usually deployed by employers to monitor, control, and assess employees’ computer usage, productivity, and adherence to the company’s policies. Computer monitoring aims at achieving the highest possible levels of operational efficiency and data security in an organization. Desktop monitoring is a wide array of tools and practices, which enable companies to have insight and control over the digital conduct of their labor force.
This may involve but is not limited to, monitoring websites and applications used by employees, tracking emails and messaging services, monitoring document access and modification, and even keystrokes recording or screenshots for security purposes.
The procedure usually includes the use of particular software installed on computers belonging to the organization. This software can work covertly, with different levels of disclosure on its presence and the information that is being collected, based on the requirements of the company’s policies and laws.
Common Things Employers Track on Employees’ Computers
Employers often monitor several aspects of computer usage, including:
1. Internet Usage:
- What is Monitored: This involves tracking the websites that employees visit during their work hours.
- Details Captured: The monitoring system logs the URLs of the websites, how much time an employee spends on each site, and sometimes even the frequency of visits.
- Purpose: The primary purpose is to ensure employees are not spending work time on non-work-related websites, which can be a major distraction and productivity drain.
2. Email Correspondence:
- What is Monitored: Incoming and outgoing emails are monitored by employers.
- Details Captured: This may include the addresses of the emails involved in the discussion, the body of the emails, any attachments that were sent or received, and the time and date of the emails.
- Purpose: Monitoring emails prevents confidential company information from being shared and ensures that employees use their email in line with the company’s policies.
3. Application Usage:
- What is Monitored: This element monitors the software or applications employees are using on their computers.
- Details Captured: It may comprise the names of the applications, the periods for which they are used, and sometimes the hours at which they are accessed.
- Purpose: This enables employers to determine the applications that are used for work and find out if there is any application usage that is not authorized or is not associated with work.
4. File Access:
- What is Monitored: This also entails monitoring the files that employees open, edit, or delete on their desktop computers.
- Details Captured: Information such as the file’s name, type, date of access, and any changes made to it.
- Purpose: File access monitoring is an important feature of data security as it prevents employees from illegally accessing, modifying, or deleting confidential data.
5. Keystrokes and Screenshots:
- What is Monitored: Some employers decide to take screenshots and record keystrokes (the keys pressed on the keyboard).
- Details Captured: Keystroke logging records every keystroke, whereas screenshots are visual still shots of what appears on the display at certain points in time.
- Purpose: This level of monitoring is typically for high-security spaces. It is used for detailed tracking of employee activities, and it can be used to analyze work patterns or investigate security incidents.
These monitoring aspects are focused on ensuring that employee computer monitoring software is using their work time wisely and responsibly, keeping productivity, and safeguarding company assets and information. On the one hand, employers must find a balance between monitoring and respecting employees’ privacy and the legal requirements concerning workplace monitoring.
How Does Computer Monitoring Work?
Computer monitoring incorporates several features such as:
- Function: Activity logging is the core function of computer monitoring. It covers the monitoring of all user actions performed on a computer.
- Details Captured: This also includes the applications used, the websites visited, the files accessed, and the emails sent or received.
- Purpose: The primary goal is to maintain a comprehensive computer usage log for the employee. Such data can serve to interpret employees’ work habits, assure adherence to corporate policies, and maintain security policies.
User Behavior Analytics (UBA):
- Function: UBA involves the analysis of the data collected from activity logging to find patterns and identify deviant or potentially problematic behavior.
- Details Analyzed: This can include pinpointing abnormalities in the manner of work, such as logging into files at odd times, frequent trips to hazardous locations, or unusual email activity.
- Purpose: UBA helps in enhancing security by identifying possible insider threats, data breaches, or other security risks. It can also be used to understand the work ethic of the employees better and to identify areas where efficiency can be improved.
- Function: Real-time alerts are messages that are automatically sent to administrators or IT security professionals based on defined conditions.
- Details Analyzed: This is triggered by activities such as accessing restricted files, visiting blocked websites, or data transferring activities that go beyond normal limits.
- Purpose: Real-time alerts enable a quick response to potential security threats or policy violations, which minimizes the risk and ensures timely corrective measures
- Function: This feature focuses on measuring and quantifying employee productivity with the aid of their computer usage.
- Details Monitored: It includes time tracking of different activities, applications, and websites and sometimes setting standards of the expected outcome.
- Purpose: Productivity tracking is used to establish the pattern of productivity, to make decisions on managing the workforce, and to provide information for employee evaluations. It helps in the analysis of work time and in identifying areas to improve efficiency.
That is, computer monitoring consists of continuous data collection, analysis, and real-time feedback and alerts on risks and optimized productivity. These systems are important tools used by companies to safeguard their digital assets, ensure policy compliance, and promote a productive workplace.
- Time Tracking: The service provided by Time Champ allows businesses to track the time spent by employees on various tasks and projects. Time Tracking provides a way of measuring productivity and ensures that work is done efficiently.
- Activity Monitoring: Real-time activity monitoring is implemented in the software and allows employers to find out which applications and websites their employees use while working. This helps in identifying non-productive activities and time wasters.
- Screenshots and Screen Recording: Time Champ periodically takes screenshots and screen recordings as visual evidence of employee work. This functionality provides transparency and accountability.
- Task Management: The software enables businesses to outsource tasks and projects to remote teams. Task management enables organizing the work, setting up priorities, and monitoring the results.
- Reporting and Analytics: Time Champ offers detailed reports and analytics on employees’ performance, project schedules, and dynamics of productivity.
- Idle Time Detection: The software detects idle time when employees are sitting for a long time without work, and it prompts them to resume work.
- Integrations: Integrations are the Synchronization of tasks and data enabled through the connection of Time Champ with various project management and collaboration software.
- Employee Productivity Scores: The software determines productivity ratings for employees based on work ethic and work performance. This allows a business to reward its best achievers and indicate what needs to be worked on.
- Remote Team Collaboration: The Time Champ’s Remote Team provides a unified chat and messaging function that enables remote and outsourced teams to communicate and work effectively.
- ActivTrak has a 14-day free trial (no credit card is required).
- Paid plans start at $9/user per month.
- G2: 4.4/5 on (200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5(547 reviews)
Enhance the performance of your company and keep high standards of productivity and security with Time Champ’s simple monitoring solution. Sign up today and be part of the growing number of businesses streamlining their workflows effortlessly. Begin using Time Champ now.
Find the strength of ethical and efficient computer monitoring with Time Champ. Feel how it can change the productivity of your team and protect the data of your organization. Schedule a free demo today and start your journey towards a more productive and safe work environment.
Computer monitoring is the process of using software to track and record activities on a computer, often used by employers to oversee employee productivity and computer usage.
A monitoring system is a software tool or suite of tools designed to track and analyze activities on a computer or network, often for the purpose of improving security, productivity, or compliance.
Employers can monitor their employees’ computers by using specialized monitoring software like Time Champ, which tracks time, website and application usage, and can even take screenshots for review.
Monitoring a computer involves installing monitoring software that records various activities such as application usage, internet browsing, email correspondence, and more.
Benefits include improved employee productivity, prevention of unethical practices, and ensuring compliance with organizational policies and legal requirements
Yes, computer monitoring is legal in most jurisdictions, provided that employers notify employees about the monitoring practices and use the data collected appropriately.
Key features include activity logging, user behavior analytics, real-time alerts, productivity tracking, and robust data security measures.
By providing insights into how employees spend their time, highlighting areas of inefficiency, and helping to streamline workflow processes.
Yes, by monitoring for unusual activity or unauthorized access to sensitive information, computer monitoring software can play a crucial role in preventing data breaches.
Consider factors such as the specific needs of your organization, the software’s features, user interface, customer reviews, and pricing plans.