You can drill down into the data using factors such as the most productive or unproductive employees, or compare team or departmental efficiency or productivity on specific projects. Often, employee monitoring tools will give you at-a-glance data visualizations such as a productivity bar that breaks down productive and unproductive app percentages, or lists and leaderboards that show active or inactive users or the most often used apps. The other side of activity tracking is monitoring keystrokes. Logging keystrokes is essentially a baseline for employee activity.
Once you have granular data on how often employees are typing or interacting with their machine, it can be mapped against corresponding screenshots, activity logs, audit trails, and all of the deeper monitoring vectors we get into later to fill out a complete profile of employees' online activity.
Some of the most powerful monitoring software we've tested can intake raw keystroke data—meaning, a timestamped mapping of what system keys users pressed at any given time—and cross-reference that against any of the other metrics or captured activity data collected. As a result, you can see the full context of what employees were doing, when they were doing it, and a good indication as to why they were doing it.
Once an incognito agent is installed on a machine sometimes hidden in the Running Processes list under disguised names , the most powerful employee monitoring tools can act as an all-seeing eye. It can see into everything from what apps an employee has open to with whom they're chatting to, what they're saying. It can even use automated logic such as keyword triggers and policy rules to let an admin know when employees do something they're not supposed to do. This all starts with screenshots and customizable employee screen recording options.
Depending on the employee monitoring tool, company admins can configure rules and settings to take screenshots at particular intervals, either once per hour, every 15 minutes, or even every 10 seconds or less. Some tools also support live screenshots or continuous video recording where an admin can check in live on an employee's machine or pull up the timestamped recording of a particular period of time.
Some tools let you play, pause, or download screenshots. Most importantly, stored screenshots also carry metadata and can be incorporated throughout the monitoring dashboard to be pulled up as supporting evidence or supplementary data for whatever user activity or data point an admin is reviewing or investigating. Some products also offer an alias feature that lets you change the name of the user in the reports you create. You can also use the same alias for multiple machines. Beyond the images themselves, these monitoring platforms can have a startling degree of detailed visibility into every app, file, message, and even word or piece of data that appears across an employee's screen or within their system.
Some of the most advanced enterprise monitoring solutions offer optical character recognition OCR on a user's screen to perform session mining on particular keywords. Whether by OCR or by enabling support for monitoring specific desktop or web apps regularly used by employees, the most piercing employee monitoring tool will parse email messages, chats, instant messages IMs , and other personal or team communication apps. They'll monitor whatever parameters or even specific keywords an admin has set. This applies to tracking documents and scanning file names as well. The software will often capture the attached document or file so an admin can view it.
So, if an enterprise's C-suite executives want to know whether employees are chatting internally about the company's CEO or CTO, they could simply set up automated keyword triggers to receive an email alert or have all mentions aggregated into a report. This rules-based automation can be extended to a variety of parameters or user behaviors if a company so wishes.
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For instance, rules can be set to prevent employees from sending company data through personal channels or from downloading an app or file that isn't IT-approved. Not all platforms can go this deep into automation. However, the ones that can will either trigger user notifications to stop the action, or simply send an alert or update an audit log to quantify how particular user actions or behavior factor into overall risk reports or issues. This potentially can result in managerial intervention being required. This all speaks to a more fundamental question: Is your business investing in an employee monitoring tool primarily to improve productivity and efficiency?
Or do you truly want or need full oversight into everything employees are doing and saying on company time and machines, to a meticulous degree of detail? Depending on your organizational needs and what value you're looking to gain from implementing this kind of solution, your choice of employee monitoring tool could be vastly different. The range of software we tested varied from basic time trackers that offer some added employee monitoring to full-blown, data-driven digital surveillance systems. For example, Hubstaff, Time Doctor, and VeriClock are pure-play time tracking tools that offer some deeper employee monitoring features.
These products give you great core time-tracking features plus features such as mobile GPS tracking for workers in the field. They also give you attached notes and photos, screenshots, or basic monitoring of apps used and URLs visited. These kinds of tools place an emphasis on measuring employee effectiveness, activity levels, and productivity.
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In these tools, you'll find app and website monitoring features plus screenshots, alerts, keystroke and file tracking, and broad admin customization. However, these capabilities are all positioned within the context of productivity. All of the data is funneled into reports and dashboards that focus monitoring on aggregating productivity metrics and insights-driven business reporting.
This is the "GA for your office" tier. Finally, there are the platforms that feel almost omniscient in the depth of monitoring, automation, and comprehensive data they provide. These tools are the closest to Big Brother-like internal surveillance systems, depending on how deeply an admin wants to customize what data and monitoring vectors are being tracked for each employee, or how much automation and alerting to layer on top. On top of their far-reaching and scarily precise monitoring capabilities, this tier of tools also provide what is essentially full-blown business intelligence BI reporting and data analytics on the back end to process and analyze all of the employee data being collected.
Pricing varies for all of these tools. But most employee monitoring tools set their price by the number of users or endpoints, meaning the number of employees for which agents are installed on their machines. Costs tend to scale based on user capacity and volume discounts kick in for larger organizations. However, tools such as InterGuard and Veriato also offer additional add-on modules for premium functionality. If you're looking for software you can buy outright rather than via a monthly or annual subscription, then both StaffCop Enterprise and Work Examiner offer perpetual licenses per user, though this involves on-premises versus cloud-based installation.
Ultimately, the Editors' Choice awards for the products tested in this roundup went to Teramind for enterprise-level monitoring and to ActivTrak for productivity-focused monitoring that's better suited to small to midsize businesses SMBs. While InterGuard and Veriato have comparably vast feature sets and monitoring capabilities, Teramind stands alone in the level of automation admins can configure when it comes to user-specific rules and alerts, and additional advanced functionality such as live OCR, historic playback mode, remote desktop control, and audio support for microphone and headphone monitoring in call centers.
StaffCop Enterprise packs a selection of monitoring tools and automation features to match Teramind, but their value is lessened by a painstaking on-premises setup and virtual machine VM provisioning process as opposed to Teramind's seamless installation. Teramind also provides a more intuitive, cloud-based management user interface UI and user experience UX than either InterGuard or Veriato Teramind was also one of the easiest tools we tested to install agents, configure the admin dashboard, and get up and running fast without much hassle.
ActivTrak, on the other hand, is an ideal option for SMBs or even enterprises that don't need the full-blown Big Brother oversight of Teramind and want an easy-to-use platform for tracking employee productivity and efficiency metrics. It's a "Google Analytics for your office" and the best of the productivity-focused tier of monitoring products we reviewed. It is also worth noting that for the time tracking products reviewed in this roundup, we did not change the existing ratings or awards.
So, while VeriClock is rated as a 4. In the future, we'll update our reviews as new features become available for each individual product. So, as a living and breathing document, some of the tools listed today in this roundup may not be listed in a year, as scores may change and new products may be added to the roundup.
As you try solutions, be sure to check in with us to see if any new software has been added to this roundup. Regardless of why your business needs this kind of software, employee monitoring tools should be handled with the utmost respect for privacy.
For admins, the power that accompanies this kind of software should necessarily surface concerns when it comes to handling confidential or personal data, overseeing managerial access rights over whom they can monitor, and maintaining a level of transparency as to what constitutes "work hours" and whether employees are aware they're being monitored. The vast majority of the tools in this roundup include strict access controls that allow managers and supervisors viewing admin dashboards to see only the employee profiles and monitoring data of workers they are directly managing and authorized to see.
When choosing an employee monitoring tool, another factor to consider is whether the software lets your business decide if the monitoring agents installed on company machines will be visible to employees, disguised under different app or process names or completely incognito. Some platforms let you turn agent visibility on and off and customize program names. However, in other platforms, a completely stealth agent is the default option.
This is also a key factor depending on compliance laws.
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In Europe, for instance, employers are required to notify employees if they are being monitored this isn't required in the US. So, while employee monitoring agents are intended in many cases to run as stealthy, blended-into-the-background processes, don't discount the ability to configure visibility and privacy settings when you're researching which product to buy. Consider the case of remote or telecommuting workers. While an employer may say there is no expectation of privacy on company machines, how do you handle the monitoring of a remote worker who's off the clock but still using their company laptop?
Teramind, for example, allows remote employees who have a revealed but not incognito agent to press Start and Stop so that monitoring only happens while the employee is on the clock.
However, privacy features in these platforms should and do go beyond that. For example, DeskTime Pro and Time Doctor let admins choose whether to take regular or blurred screenshots to maintain more privacy. StaffCop Enterprise and Teramind let you build monitoring policies, either for specific users or company-wide, that designate websites or apps you don't want to monitor. So, if an employee logs into their Chase account to check their bank balances, then the agent can suspend monitoring and keystroke logging so as not to record sensitive financial data.
The technology at work in employee monitoring tools can provide tremendous benefits to businesses through comprehensive oversight, data gathering, data reporting, and automation. When choosing the tool that's right for your organization, it's worth keeping Google's old slogan in mind while evaluating the monitoring features, customization, and powerful data gathering capabilities at your company's disposal: don't be evil.
Intuitive user experience. Complete automation layer, including anomaly detection. Logs keystrokes. Offers OCR on-screen recordings. Privacy features for departments like HR. Flexibility to switch from stealth to revealed mode. Offers cloud and hosted deployment. Cons: Comprehensive monitoring features can be overwhelming.
Overall a solid pick for Editors' Choice. Pros: Two-factor authentication. Active Directory integration.
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Application monitoring. Automated alerts. Easy-to-use admin interface. Google sign-in. Productivity tracking.
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Sensitive data redaction. User privacy features. Cons: Lacks OCR capability for keyword search within screenshots. No keystroke logging. Bottom Line: ActivTrak brings a nice price and an easy interface to the table, but it also offers great monitoring wrapped in a layer of analytics that make it less a watchful eye and more of a Google Analytics dashboard for your office. A solid Editors' Choice pick that'll pleasantly surprise many business operators and employees. Pros: Easy to understand and use.
ourownmodernmatric.heptotechnologies.org/assets/como/visita-a-las-cubiertas-de-la-catedral-de-sevilla.php Affordable compared with the competition. Robust monitoring functionality. Tons of settings for administrators. Cons: Cannot schedule future time. Bare-bones user interface. Supports just 1 GB of storage space. Stopwatch doesn't show seconds. It's highly configurable and affordable and, although it had a few minor feature misses, it should still be a top contender for your short list. Pros: Wide selection of add-on modules and features. Custom dashboards. Keyword alerts. File tracking.
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Chat app and social media monitoring. Keystroke logging. Powerful notification and report wizards. Extensive data sources. Audit logs. Mobile app. Cons: Compatibility issues and manual settings can make agent installation a hassle. Dated user interface. Data takes some time to sync.
Still, this is a muscled monitoring tool that's well worth a look.
Pros: Robust employee monitoring functionality. Ability to create invoices from within the app. It does this by following five main stages that involve monitoring, analysis, alerts, direct observation, and acting — or, as the company prefers to describe it: Watching, Analyzing, Alerting, Seeing, and Reacting. The monitoring Watching stage involves tracking employee activity across the web, emails, chat apps, and monitoring which websites are visited, applications are used, and what documents are moved around or uploaded. This produces a record of session times along with activities, and can track a single employee via their login credentials across multiple platforms and devices.
Big data and AI is used to analyze patterns that might show a deviation from baseline behaviors, set by group or individually, and can additionally watch for outsiders trying to access the network or other digital assets using stolen credentials. If any suspicious activity is detected, Cerebral Security will send an alert to the business security team. Once an alert is received, the security team can use a time capsule feature to check out a recording of the user's screen as it was used, to determine if the alert was triggered by an error, whether the user made an error, or whether malicious activity was discovered.
After that, the company can react accordingly, either dismissing the alert after being reviewed, or else in the more extreme cases, export any screen recordings if and as required to management, HR, security, in the event of disciplinary proceedings, or even to law enforcement if legal proceedings need to be taken. The software is aimed at helping organisations improve employee productivity and protect corporate confidential information.
The platform can monitor a host of activities, including keystrokes, clipboard activities, screenshots taken, document activities such as copying, moving, pasting, deleting, renaming and creating , printing, emails, online storage usage, websites visited, online searches, downloads, application usage and time, removable storage usage, network traffic and system events.
Amongst iMontor's additional features are the ability to run up to ten different remote desktops at the same time to monitor employees' work in real-time, and the ability to set up real-time alerts for specific activities. For example, notifications can be sent to a user when an employee types specific keywords or if, for example, they connect a removable storage device to their computer. Removable storage can be blocked from working and access to websites can be filtered. It is also possible to take control of a computer remotely and open a computer's webcam to view its surroundings.
The firm says the software is now used by over companies. Amongst the benefits it promises are accurate tracking of when employees arrive at and leave their desk, the ability to schedule reports on users or departments received via email , and the option to set flexible policies for controlling employee work time and 'free' time. Work Examiner is broken down into three main purposes: web usage control, surveillance and work time tracking. The platform provides data on how an organisation's web traffic is distributed between users, computers, user groups, departments, sites and website categories.
It can be viewed by days, dates and hours. Detailed web access reports are provided and, as with other platforms, it's possible to filter what websites employees can access. Users can receive notifications when specified websites are accessed and employees can be issued a customisable message when they access specified sites. The surveillance functionalities in Work Examiner allow users to see screenshots of what a user is viewing in real-time, and there's the option to capture screenshots at regular intervals and then play them back like a movie.
All emails can be captured and saved and it's possible to filter emails by keyword. Activity on instant messaging applications can also be recorded. Work time tracking allows users to view what employees are spending their time doing, such as which applications they are using the most, what websites they are visiting and how much time they spend on non-work activities.
Employee attendance can be tracked, including when they arrive at their computer and leave, specific applications can be blocked for specified employees, and it's possible to view which employees are working at the current time. InterGuard provides software that aims to record, alert, block, and act on user activity, in order to protect business data, maintain productivity, and ensure legal compliance for data and security protection.
It does this by bringing together different aspects of user activity monitoring, data loss prevention, and incident response, into a single software management platform. InterGuard automatically monitors all user activity and makes that data available for searches, alerts, and reports.