How to Trick Employee Monitoring Software

As remote work becomes more common, employers increasingly turn to employee monitoring software to track their team’s work activities. However, this software can be outsmarted through a number of methods.

Employees use various tricks to deceive their employers, including identifying screenshot intervals, disabling the program, utilizing multiple dual monitors, implementing mouse automation, and manipulating timesheets.

This article discusses the ways that employees can trick monitoring software.

How to Trick Employee Monitoring Software

Employee monitoring software uses various features to monitor employees, such as keyloggers, mouse activity data, automated screenshots, and more. However, there are many ways that employees can trick the software, some of which have been discussed below:

Identifying Screenshot Intervals

Employee monitoring software takes automated screenshots of employee desktops to determine their activities at a given time. However, employees can easily outsmart this feature.

After familiarizing themselves with the feature for a few days, employees can recognize the intervals between screenshots.

As soon as they figure it out, they can start working just before the program is going to take a screenshot, allowing them to finish other non-work-related tasks between intervals. Once the screenshots have been taken, employees can then return to their non-work related activity.

Disabling the Program

Employees skilled at coding can use their skill set to trick monitoring software, causing it to malfunction. It is not necessary for employees to have access to the backend of the software in order to deceive it. They only need the log files the software put on their screen when it was installed.

Simply removing a file from that folder can render the program inoperable, making it more difficult for employers to monitor employees’ activities. Some more recent monitoring applications use sophisticated encryption techniques to prevent this from happening, but employees can still bypass the safety protocols.

Using Multiple Monitors

One common way that companies keep an eye on employees is by monitoring their desktops. Employees have devised a method to trick this feature. They use a dual-monitor arrangement for their work PC. This means they will attach two displays to the computer, enabling them to move the mouse between displays seamlessly.

They will watch their favorite TV show on one screen and have work-related tasks open on the other. The software may lead the employer to believe that the employee is actually working since it only records activity on one screen.

Mouse Automation

One method employed by monitoring software to record employee activities involves tracking their mouse movements.

The idea behind this is simple: if the mouse continues moving at regular intervals, the employee is working. When the mouse stops moving for a certain amount of time, the employee is either not paying attention or not working.

Many employees have overcome this tactic by automating mouse movements using various tools. These tools ensure that the mouse continues to move automatically, which gives the manager the impression that the employee is working.

Employers may not recognize this at first, but once provided with a comprehensive report that includes screenshots, they may be able to determine that the employee was trying to trick them.

Manipulating Timesheets

The manipulation of timesheets is another way employees might trick time monitoring software. Employees can round up the number of hours worked, add additional hours that were not worked, or take days off without approval.

Getting Remote Access

One of the most simple yet often overlooked methods that employees can use to deceive their employers is accessing workplace computers from a remote location. This means they will theoretically be using their work computers, which will have all of their projects and tasks opened.

This may make it appear that the employee is concentrating on work-related tasks. Still, they can simply minimize the remote access window and utilize their desktop to work on non-work-related tasks during work hours.

Even if employers have a time monitoring application installed on the work computer, the application would only be able to monitor the activity on the remote access desktop.

However, the time tracker installed on the work desktop will not be able to record anything once employees minimize that remote access window.

Use of Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is software that allows users to run several operating systems on a single computer. This means an employee can log in using one operating system and then switch to another to perform non-work-related activities. 

Red Herring

Employees often use irrelevant information to divert their employers’ attention.

The concept of a red herring is quite old and is often used in both novels and films. It is common practice for remote workers to open files or web browsers even when they are not actively working to deceive their managers.

The software cannot capture a secondary window that an employee has opened on their screen since time trackers with employee monitoring only access the main window.

If employers access their employees’ desktops or take screenshots of their activity, it would appear that the person was working on a task, but, in reality, the employee might be watching his favorite season on the secondary window.

Prevent Employee Cheating with Wolfeye

Are you concerned that your employees might be cheating the employee monitoring software? Consider using a fool-proof employee monitoring software like Wolfeye. Wolfeye has a variety of features that make it impossible for employees to cheat their work hours, including:

Live viewing: This feature allows employers to view their employees’ screens in real-time.

Randomized screenshots: This feature captures and logs the employee’s screen at random intervals.

Visited websites list: This feature provides employers with a list of websites their employees visit during work hours.

When combined, these features make it difficult for an employee to cheat the system since they provide data from both regular intervals and in real-time.

Conclusion

While the methods mentioned above make it easy to trick many employee monitoring software, some monitoring software like Wolfeye are resistant to such tactics. These advanced tools include features that are hard to bypass.

Sources

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