You go to work, do your daily tasks, collaborate and talk with your co-workers, go home, and repeat. You stick to your normal work routine with no problems, and work to the best of your ability. The thought of your employer monitoring your work device doesn’t concern you as you are the ideal employee. However, it should be something you address. Is your boss monitoring your work activities with/without your knowledge? Below, we discuss this further and how to tell if someone is monitoring your computer and phone at work.
Why Would Your Boss Monitor Your Business Computer or Phone?
- Ensure You Aren’t Wasting Company Hours
First and foremost, employers want to make sure their employees aren’t slacking off. This includes playing video games, watching YouTube videos, texting friends, and browsing on social media (outside of your break time). They are paying you to accomplish tasks and meet certain requirements. And if you aren’t meeting these requirements because you are distracted on non job-related tasks, they need to know about it.
- Help Improve Your Work Productivity
Part of a manager’s job description is to do what they can to foster productivity in the workplace. Every employee is different, and a lot of the time, an employer doesn’t have the time to individually speak with every employee. So, they rely on monitoring software to view employees’ work device activities. Gaining insight into every employee’s work habits can help employers when creating a productivity action plan.
- Prevent Business Secrets From Being Leaked
Rule #1 when running a business: Make sure your business data, private information, and trade secrets aren’t leaked to competitors. Once anyone gets a hold of this information, they can use it as leverage or to get ahead of the game in your industry. Viewing, cataloging, and reviewing all employee computer and cell phone use on work devices is essential to prevent that from happening.
- Monitor Your Browsing History
The internet is a great place, except when it comes to visiting malicious or inappropriate websites. If you are visiting these sites on company-owned devices, you’re putting the business at risk of being hacked by a virus or spyware. So, in the event a business is exposed, business owners need employee monitoring software to track down the origin of the breach.
- View Sent and Received Emails
There are various reasons why your boss needs to monitor your emails. To make sure you’re only sending out work emails, not opening spam emails and links, and not emailing competitors.
- Make Sure You’re Responding Appropriately To Customers
This reason specifically applies to those in customer service or social media management. Employers must know whether or not you are interacting with customers in an appropriate manner, and sticking to the script.
How Can An Employer Legally Monitor Your Work Phone and Computer Use?
For your boss to legally monitor and connect to your computer and other company devices, they must disclose to you that they are doing so. Your employers do have the right to monitor any company-owned computers, email systems, vehicles, cell phones, etc. However, your employers are not allowed to monitor your personal devices and information, according to The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. And if you happen to do work activities on your personal devices, they must get written consent to monitor them.
How To Tell If Your Boss Is Monitoring Your Work Computer and Other Devices
- Review Your Employee Contract
Often, employers will put in tiny print that they will be monitoring your activities on company devices. By signing your contract, even if you overlooked that point, you agree to being monitored at work.
- Check Your Computer Ports
Sometimes, employee computer monitoring is done by directly connecting your computer to hardware. See what your computer is connected to by checking the ports and following where they lead.
- View The Software and Apps Installed On Your Computer
The easiest way to uncover monitoring software on your computer is to see what software and/or apps are installed. If there are software programs you are unfamiliar with, Google them on your own cell phone to see if they are a monitoring program.
- Check Your System Preferences
If you use Apple devices in the workplace, there is a way to check what programs and apps have access to your device. Simply check this by going to System Preferences → Security & Privacy → Accessibility → Privacy.
- Your Boss Mentions Something About Your Work (That You Didn’t Tell Them)
Not often, but sometimes, a boss who’s monitoring you may slip up in general conversation by mentioning something you did when you never told them about it. That’s an “uh oh” on your boss’s part. Just act professional about it and talk to them about it in a more private setting later on.
Now you know how to tell if someone is monitoring your computer or other devices in the workplace. If your boss is monitoring you, hopefully they have good intentions for doing so. Want to learn more about employee mobile monitoring software? Click here.