5 Ways Companies Use Tech to Spy on Employees

Ever since people have traded their time for money, employers have wanted to ensure that they are getting the most out of their employees while they are on the clock. With new technologies emerging all the time, it has become easier for companies to spy on their employees during, and even after, work hours.

Ever since people have traded their time for money, employers have wanted to ensure that they are getting the most out of their employees while they are on the clock. With new technologies emerging all the time, it has become easier for companies to spy on their employees during, and even after, work hours. Is your employer spying on you? Here are five of the most common ways companies are spying on their employee’s activities.

GPS Tracking

If you drive during your workday, especially in a company vehicle, you may be tracked by your employer using GPS. Now that smartphones have GPS built in it has become incredibly easy and cost effective for employers to track the movement of their drivers. Make an unexpected pit stop? Take a longer route? Run a personal errand? Your employer could be watching all of this as it unfolds. If you are driving on company time then your best bet is to simply go from point A to point B. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Watch What You Type

Keylogging software has long been a favorite of hackers looking to gain access to your personal info. However, hackers aren’t the only ones who like to keep an eye on what you’re typing. Employers often use keylogging software to keep an eye on what employees are typing and how hard they are working. In some cases, employers may simply want to track your number of keystrokes. Dip below your average and you may be questioned about your work ethic. In other cases, employers may actually be watching what you type and keeping an eye out for anything that they deem to be unnecessary. Some software even allows employers to flag certain keywords so they can instantly be made aware when someone has crossed the line.

Social Media Monitoring

If you’re the type of person to vent about your boss on Facebook or Twitter then you may want to think twice before posting your next rant. Your boss may be spying on you simply by reading the information you provide on social media. Think you’re safe because of your privacy settings? That may stop your boss from reading your latest update but anyone who you have added to your friends list could pass along a screenshot of your social media updates to your employer. There have been cases of people being fired for something they have said on their personal social media page. Want to avoid this unwelcome outcome? Think twice before posting to social media and be sure to double check your privacy settings. If you wouldn’t say it to Grandma then don’t post it online.

Corporate Internet Networks

Trying to save wireless data by using the company WiFi? Smart move for your wallet but not so smart if you are wasting time at work. Any traffic moving across a corporate WiFi network can be spied on, even if you are using a personal device. Using your own smartphone for online shopping during work hours may not protect you from spying if you are using a network where the traffic is monitored by your employer. Using your cellular data might be the best way to stop your boss from watching what you’re doing.

Issuing Personal Devices

Getting a shiny new phone or laptop from your company may seem like a nice perk at first but the reality is that those devices give your employer an easy method of spying. Before issuing devices employers can install monitoring software to track your location, monitor your data, and get a look at almost everything you do. While it may be tempting to ditch your personal device in favor of a work device, you may want to consider keeping work and personal information separate. Also, be sure to review your company device policy to get a better understanding of what is and is not allowed when using a company-issued device. The rules can vary between organizations and, ultimately, it is up to you to protect your own privacy.

Marisa Blair is a front-end web developer and graphic designer based in Toronto. When she's not writing for her blog xopixel.com, she's making design & tech videos for her YouTube channel.

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