7 Programs Used To Spy on Employees
Working remotely has been found to increase productivity by 13%, yet approximately 80% of major employers use technology to monitor their employees. Employers need to ensure that the company’s resources are used to achieve its goals. To that end, employee spying/monitoring software tools have leveled the playing field for managers.
Some of the most successful programs used to spy on employees include Wolfeye, Veriato, StaffCop Enterprise, SentryPC, iMonitorSoft, and ActivTrak. These programs are used to track employee productivity, protect the company’s computers and trade secrets, and gather evidence of workplace violations.
Currently, there are tons of employee monitoring and surveillance programs on the market, and in this post, we’ve gathered our top 7 picks.
When looking for employee spying software to replace on-premises managers, it helps to have an all-inclusive monitoring software with all the features a remote manager would need. StaffCop is packed with powerful data collection and employee surveillance features for successful remote employee remote monitoring.
The application requires a minimum of 5 computers, which is suitable for most small businesses and supports up to 25,000 computers for larger organizations.
With the application’s user activity and employee spying features, you can oversee the following:
- The employee’s most frequently used applications.
- What websites the user visits. A history of the search queries and URLs with a timestamp is available.
- All the files sent and received by the user.
- Activity and behavior monitoring tracks employee actions and trends while they’re still logged on to the system.
- ISO, GDPR, PCI, HIPAA, DSS, etc. compliance enforcement. StaffCop monitors employee behavior to ensure their actions adhere to the strict data protection regulations.
All the information collected by the application is displayed in pie charts, graphs, and user cards. StaffCop also generates detailed reports on your employee’s workflows, idle times, projects, and much more.
User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) is another special feature of StaffCop. This feature spots unusual employee behavior and tracks malicious patterns at the endpoint. Next, it reports these findings to the employer through real-time alerts and notifications.
For instance, employees downloading sensitive company data to external hard drives without supervision could pose a high-security breach risk to the company’s data. StaffCop automatically detects such behavior and helps prevent employee-generated security threats.
Unfortunately, StaffCop still needs to be installed first on the premises. But once installed, you can take advantage of its advanced security features, including network traffic monitoring and website and social media activity monitoring.
Insider threats are no joke for 39% of companies that have reported an attack in the last 12 months. As more employees switch to remote work, companies continue to experience a drop in online security standards. This owes to the fact that employees can access your company’s network and databases from their homes – without the protection offered by your company’s stringent internet security standards.
Veriato is an AI-powered employee monitoring software that tracks and reports suspicious insider threats. This is done by scrutinizing the user’s file transfers, web and network usage, email activity, messages, and keystrokes.
Additional features include:
- Monitoring user behavior patterns and alerting you on any detected suspicious activity.
- A detailed dashboard with granular insights into individual user productivity status, as well as their risk scores.
- Powerful insider risk reporting enables you to respond quickly to high-risk anomalies. StaffCop also ensures that only authorized employees access confidential information.
- Screenshots are taken at 30-second intervals by default. Screenshots are taken every time a user types in a keyword or when a specific event is recorded. It stops when the user pauses their activity on the device. Screenshots are particularly important when you need to gather evidence for workplace violations.
One of Veriato’s most impressive features yet is its ability to monitor your employees’ online and offline activity regardless of their location or device (except for iOS devices). As such, you can rest assured that your company’s data is secure and that your employees are working more productively.
Some challenges with Veriato include remote deployment, which could be more difficult for smaller companies (Veriato can be deployed on-premises, hosted, or deployed on the cloud). The cost of the software is also relatively high for businesses on a budget. On the bright side, small business owners can enjoy the application’s powerful surveillance features, which oversee all the employee’s activities on company resources.
Most employee spying software only captures screenshots, but Wolfeye offers screen recording and sharing on top. Live screens and screenshots reveal the user’s screen in real-time, allowing you to monitor the employee’s activities as they happen. What’s more, these screen recordings can be stored and archived for later review.
Other features include:
- Employee monitoring. Wolfeye enables employers to oversee their user’s activities, especially during working hours. This way, you can understand the cause of low productivity and time wastage and create an informed strategy to boost productivity.
- Usage history. You can check an employee’s surfing behavior, search history, and emails to ascertain that employees are not clicking on harmful content and links that could put the company’s data at risk.
- Parental control. This allows you to monitor what your kids are engaging with on the Internet. This helps to protect them from harmful content and cyberbullying.
- Unauthorized PC access monitoring. Wolfeye enables you to pinpoint when your company’s computer has been accessed by an authorized person and respond fast to prevent insider threats.
- Live PC screen. You can watch PC screens in real time via a URL.
Wolfeye is a powerful stealth surveillance application, as it hides its existence on the endpoint so that users do not know they’re being watched. It must be installed in the target device first while your computer acts as the remote control panel. The application activates at your computer’s startup without alerting the user of its existence.
Due to its powerful, undetectable spying features, users are strongly advised to be legally checked by a lawyer before using the application. Using the software on third-party computers without consent is illegal. However, employers can safely monitor their employees as long as they act in accordance with applicable regulations.
Constantly monitoring your employees is not only tough but almost impractical for medium-sized and larger companies with hundreds of workers. An easier way to keep everyone in line would be to monitor their activity from time to time.
Small businesses facing lags in their employee productivity can turn to CleverControl for live monitoring, social network activity tracking, and more. As an employee spying software, CleverControl:
- Takes screenshots of the user’s screen.
- Shows a live screen of the user’s computer. CleverControl’s Live Panel shows what the user has on their screen in real-time.
- Supports video and voice recording alongside live screens. Mic recordings must be turned on manually from your online dashboard settings.
- Monitors the user’s social activity on their most frequently used social platforms.
- Supports domain user monitoring.
- Snapshots can be taken by the computer’s camera to reveal who accessed a computer in the event of a malicious incident.
Unlike most monitoring employee software on our list, CleverControl offers another unique feature: Live Webcam. This feature taps into the live feed from all webcams connected to your computer.
The application also records the user’s keystrokes as they type on their keyboard, including whatever they delete. Keystrokes are recorded no matter what application the user is on. Together, these features help you spy on your employees’ activities from one application.
All the information gathered by CleverControl can be viewed on the go through your secure web account on any device, anywhere, at any time. You can monitor up to 16 devices at a time, which is more than enough for a small business with fewer employees. Here, you can see how your employees surf the Internet, their search queries, program activities, and newly installed external storage devices.
SentryPC has a lot to offer, both as spy software and parental monitoring application. For starters, parents can take advantage of the application’s unbeatable web filter, which allows them to sort out what websites and content their kids will not engage with (14 categories exist on the web filter).
Below are some of the most notable features that make SentryPC a worthwhile employee monitoring option:
- Powerful activity monitoring. SentryPC records pretty much anything the user does on their phone or computer and when they do it.
- Activity logging. SentryPC takes accurate logs of a wide variety of activities, from visited websites, applications used, conversations, events, and online searches, as well as tracking unrecognized portable hardware installed on the system.
- Screenshots of the user’s desktop are taken at set intervals. Keystrokes and screenshots can be viewed in real-time. This way, you can intervene and stop insider threats before an incident occurs.
- Parental monitoring. This feature is enabled by an advanced web filter and time management control. The application’s web monitoring features also keep track of the user’s search and browsing history.
- A cloud-based dashboard. It has detailed logs of the user’s applications, chats, portable drives, windows, print jobs, and more.
On top of these features, SentryPC offers security options that allow you to disable or enable unrecognized external drives, the control panel, the task manager, file copy, and other sensitive activities.
Unfortunately, workplace theft remains a challenge—95% of businesses have experienced employee theft. SentryPC offers geo-fencing and geo-location that alert you whenever the device leaves the virtual fences you’ve set up and show its current location. This enables you to keep track of your devices at all times.
If you’re on a budget but still want to watch your employees’ devices, SentryPC is the perfect software for your business. On the downside, the application only supports the desktop version, which is less convenient for business owners who want to access the information on their mobile devices.
As a small business owner, you’re probably looking for one employee spying software to rule them all. iMonitorSoft promises a sea of features, from insider threat detection to intelligent employee monitoring and top-class data security encryption.
What we like about iMonitorSoft is its all-round functionality as an employee spy/monitoring software. Here are the most notable features:
- Extensive insider threat checks. This is done by monitoring the employee’s behavior and detecting potential instances. For instance, an employee copying, sending, or deleting sensitive company files. iMonitorSoft sends out real-time alerts whenever suspicious activity is detected.
- Productivity and performance enhancement. iMonitorSoft helps boost employee productivity by monitoring what websites employees spend their time on and restricting access to applications that do not add to their productivity.
- Employee activity management. The application monitors employee activities, including active and idle working time. This data is then presented in scheduled daily, weekly, and monthly reports.
- Scalable local server-based installation. This is ideal for small and mid-sized companies and remote mass installation for larger companies.
On the downside, iMonitorSoft may be detected as malware upon installation. When this happens, you may have to disable your antivirus or risk the program interfering with the application’s processes or blocking its activity altogether. What’s more, the lack of cloud-based installation could be a turn-off for small businesses that need faster, cloud-based deployment and multi-device access to the data on the go.
Sometimes, focusing on employee keystrokes, activity on personal devices, and email activity may not accurately paint a clear picture of what goes on behind the scenes, at least not in the eyes of this workforce analytics application.
Instead, ActivTrak focuses more on employee productivity, with insights providing more information about how your employees work, potential distractions along the way, and room for improvement.
Popular ActivTrak features include:
- Workforce optimization. ActivTrak allows business owners to understand how much time is actually spent working, spot productivity trends, and the need for employee support to boost their productivity.
- Employee habit monitoring. This can help you pinpoint the cause of early disengagement and quiet quitting. By pinpointing these causes early, employers can create customized training and coaching programs.
- Daily employee activity reporting. This allows you to assess remote and on-premises employees. The data collected on your employees is displayed on intuitive dashboards.
- Security & compliance enforcement. This feature lets you keep company secrets safe and detect workplace violations.
ActivTrak goes a step further to help business owners implement burnout prevention mechanisms, thanks to its detailed workload balance insights. This way, you can spot and ease heavy employee workloads that would result in fatigue, low productivity, and, eventually, burnout.
- Wolfeye Homepage
- PC Mag: StaffCop Enterprise Review
- Tech Republic: Best employee monitoring software 2022
- National Law Review: Bringing Work Home: Emerging Limits on Monitoring Remote Employees
- uk: Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021
- PC Mag: Veriato Cerebral Review
- Business: Veriato Review
- Software Advice: Wolfeye Remote Screen
- Capterra: Wolfeye Remote Screen
- CleverControl: Video and Audio Control
- CleverControl: Clever employee monitoring for greater results
- SentryPC: Packed full of features
- Wiz Case: Sentry PC Review 2023: Tracks Everything, But It’s Not For Everyone
- Business News Daily: SentryPC Review
- Employee Monitoring Software Reviews: iMonitorSoft PC employee monitoring software review
- iMonitorSoft: Employee Monitoring Software
- ActivTrak: Workforce Analytics for the Modern Workplace