Do Companies Put Tracking Software on Their Laptops?
Are you worried that your employer might be tracking your laptop activity? It’s a valid concern today, as more and more companies are turning to remote work.
Companies put tracking software on their laptops to monitor employee productivity, protect against potential data breaches, and minimize security threats. Tracking software can also help companies gather necessary data to facilitate decision-making processes.
If you suspect your company is monitoring your laptop, the rest of this article will suggest ways to detect whether or not your device is being monitored. I’ll also discuss what to do if your laptop activity is being tracked. So, let’s dive in and discover what’s happening behind the scenes.
How To Tell if Your Company Is Monitoring Your Laptop Activity
It is becoming increasingly common for companies to monitor their employees’ laptop activity. Remote tracking is performed to ensure company resources are used responsibly and productively. However, this can often be a cause of concern for employees who feel their privacy may be violated.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to tell if your company monitors your laptop activity.
Check for Programs Installed on Your Device
Tracking software may be detectable in the list of applications on your computer. So, look through the list of installed programs in your device’s settings.
These programs can range from monitoring software to keyloggers. Keep an eye out for unfamiliar icons in your system tray or taskbar.
If you find any unfamiliar programs, it’s best to determine if they are trusted applications.
Take Note of Unusual Browser Activities
Do you occasionally notice unusual activities on your browser? You may want to look out for the following:
- Unexpected alerts
- Browser redirects
- New toolbars that you didn’t install
- Unauthorized changes in the browser homepage
Browser activities that you didn’t initiate can be a sign that you have tracking software on your device.
Webcam May Record Without Your Approval
If your laptop is equipped with a webcam, your company may use it to monitor your activity during work hours. They may use the webcam to record videos and audio of your conversations and other activities.
If you are concerned about being recorded unexpectedly, you can check your webcam settings to see if it’s set to record without your permission.
Getting Logged Out of Certain Websites
Certain policies may require employees to:
- Keep off certain websites
- Log out of their accounts after a certain amount of activity
It’s normal for some programs to log out users after a certain period. However, you may notice that you’re constantly logged out of certain websites or applications. This could be another sign that your company is monitoring your laptop activities.
Frequent Notification Pop-Ups on Your Desktop
Desktop notifications allow you to stay informed on your laptop’s latest updates or changes. However, if desktop notifications appear more often than usual, this may indicate that your company is monitoring your laptop activity.
Examples of desktop notifications may include the following:
- Alerts about software updates
- Security patches
- Changes to company policies
Methods Companies Use To Monitor Employees' Laptops
Electronic Communication Tools
Electronic communication tools allow you to quickly and easily collaborate with your teammates. However, employers can also use them to track devices and activities.
Some of these tools include:
Network firewalls provide a crucial layer of security for computers connected to the internet. They block potentially malicious traffic from entering your network. Firewalls are essential for securing sensitive data and preventing unauthorized access to systems or networks.
Companies can configure firewalls to block certain websites, programs, and protocols. This is one way they monitor their employees‘ online activity, promoting productivity.
Video surveillance involves installing programs that record an employee’s computer screen to detect any suspicious or malicious behavior. With video surveillance, employers can keep a watchful eye on their staff and protect against potential risks such as data theft or security breaches. It also allows them to observe how their employees work and ensure they stay productive during work hours.
Screen Monitoring Tools and Software
Screen monitoring tools and software allow employers to monitor laptop activity in real-time. With the right screen monitoring solution, employers can take advantage of various features that track user activity and prevent potential security risks.
Wolfeye Remote Screen allows employers to keep a close eye on laptop activities. Running invisibly in the background, it provides powerful tracking capabilities that employers can use to ensure policies are being followed. The software allows employers to track the following:
- Live PC screens
- Regular screenshots
- Visited websites
What Do You Do if You’re Being Monitored?
If your work laptop is being monitored, here’s what you need to do:
- Avoid using your work laptop for personal tasks. You should primarily use company laptops for work-related tasks. Many companies monitor the use of a work laptop and can track any activity on it. It is best to avoid using your work laptop for personal tasks to protect yourself from potential privacy issues.
- Don’t store personal data on your work laptop. Your employer has the right to monitor your laptop usage. Therefore, you shouldn’t store personal information such as bank accounts, social security numbers, passwords, or other confidential details on a laptop that’s potentially being monitored.
- Keep your laptop in your office. Bringing your work computer to personal meetings is the last thing you want to do. This includes meetings with family, friends, or colleagues outside of work. If you must use a laptop for a personal meeting, make sure to use one that isn’t connected to your work.
Tracking software such as Wolfeye Remote Screen allows employers to monitor how company laptops and other devices are being used. This can include everything from live PC screen monitoring to tracking visited websites. While there are various ways to tell if a computer has tracking software, Wolfeye Remote Screen operates invisibly in the background.
If you suspect your laptop has tracking software, it’s best to use it only for work-related activities and refrain from storing personal information on your device.
- Google Workspace: Video conferencing with Google Meet
- Microsoft: What is Microsoft Teams?
- Brosix: The 15 Best Instant Messaging Apps for Businesses (Free and Paid Tools)
- Workable Technology Limited: 15 Collaboration Tools for Productive Teams
- Fortinet: Firewall Configuration
- Wolfeye: Monitor Everything That Happens on the PC