Computer Monitoring Software and Some of Its Misconceptions


Computer monitoring software, also known as keylogger or computer surveillance software, is a kind of program or application used to manage all the computer units and other devices connected to a company’s network and database from a single control point. It also has the ability to monitor, observe, or track how employees use these computers and devices, up to the point of recording the websites that each workstation has visited or is frequently visiting.

There are two main purposes in implementing this software. The first one is to monitor all the processes performed by a user in each computer unit of a company or business, with the intent of protecting the whole system or network from various threats like hacking, spying, information disclosures, internal sabotaging, virus infection, malware infection, and phishing scams. The second purpose is to monitor and regulate employees’ computer usage and website visits in order to promote productivity and efficiency.

The software is deployed over the entire computer system of an organization, subjecting each computer terminal under its guidance and control. Some say that this kind of monitoring is too intrusive when it comes to employee privacy, while others believe that it can be a sign of micromanagement in the part of the corporate leadership.

Negative Connotation

This negative connotation about employee resistance is not true at all. Perhaps it can be accurate for those office workers that actually have an ulterior motive to use company resources for their own personal gain, but for most employees that possess a clean intention of just working, it is basically not a problem.

A survey conducted in 2014 by a prominent software company called Spytector indicates that 73 percent of office workers are totally okay with having a keylogger running within their network. Moreover, 55 percent had said that it is fine with them to completely stop using company-issued computers and mobile devices to execute their own private transactions if there is an official policy that prohibits them to do so.

These numbers have clearly shown that majority of employees understand the need and importance of implementing a reliable computer monitoring software for the benefit of the whole organization.

Experts have suggested that to prevent any untoward conflicts within the organization between the employees and management, the deployment of this kind of software must be properly declared to everyone concerned before actual implementation. Also, the management has to explain further that the privacy of their employees will not be breached as long as they follow the policies and procedures consistently.

This suggestion was made despite the fact that initially informing employees of the existence of any monitoring software within the workplace is not prescribed by law. Companies and other business enterprises are allowed by law to use software applications to secretly monitor their employees.

A Real Need

With regards to the misconception that using employee monitoring software is a sign of micromanagement, there is actually an ongoing need to have a way of controlling the computer usage and the websites that can be visited by workstations in a formal office setting. This need is caused by the more frequent phishing attacks performed by internet hackers to company databases and networks. These attacks are means of stealing valuable company information, including pertinent customer data such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank details.

If it is micromanagement, then it is a forced one in order to eliminate greater risks for the company than being misinterpreted by their own workers. But, it cannot be considered micromanagement at all because not all company supervisors and managers have access to the monitoring data.

The fact remains that computer monitoring software is implemented for the protection and safekeeping of confidential business information.

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