If you use a computer at work, there’s no way that you haven’t browsed through Facebook or did a little bit of shopping in an online store during the office hours at least once – almost everyone did. However, when doing so, did you ever think about whether your employer can see that you did it? Well, maybe you should, because the answer to this question is yes. Your employer will be able to see what you do online.
Furthermore, as you can read on securitygladiators.com – “In the modern world where nearly everything work-related is computerized, it’s no secret that some employers and their IT departments go to extreme lengths to monitor their employees’ activities on company-owned equipment.”
You might ask yourself – why do employers even care about that? Well, there could be several reasons. Some of them include…
Prohibition of access to harmful websites
Some people think that if they turn their monitor in a way that will enable other people from seeing what’s on it, they are safe from anyone finding out what they’re actually doing. However, that’s not how it works, and in many companies, there were cases of employees going on gambling or pornographic sites. Little did they know that it can seriously hurt the entire business. Not only does it increase the chance of downloading malware from the gambling websites, but it also can be used in sexual harassment or hostile work environment lawsuit if there is one filed against the company.
For example, if someone files a lawsuit against a company for sexual harassment, and the attorney will found out that one of the workers has watched inappropriate videos on the company’s computer, they could use it against the company saying that they condone or not discourage this type of behavior.
An employer that is monitoring what his workers are doing can block websites that traffic in gambling, pornography, violent content, or illegal activities.
Prevention of workplace violence
It’s no secret that the internet is the perfect place to vent negative emotions one might feel. In most of the companies, employees send emails on a daily basis, as well as use something like a workplace Facebook. Even though both of these things make communication more comfortable, they can also be used in a negative way.
For example, if there are two employees that don’t really like each other, they could use one of these tools (or both of them) to send threats or make the other person feel intimidated.
Employers who monitor the exchanges taking place between their employees can intervene before the words turn into physical violence. This will also create a much safer environment for those who are not directly involved in the conflict.
Improvement of productivity
If the employee is not focusing on his job and spending time doing his private affairs on the internet, he’s not only wasting his time that could be devoted to something productive, but also the company’s time. As a consequence, a lack of productivity can lead to, for example, a project failing. If the productivity remains on a low level, it could potentially harm or even ruin the company’s reputation, which also means losing clients.
By monitoring what their employees are doing online, the employers can detect when someone is not doing what they were supposed to, and implement consequences for it, before it affects the company.
Protection of company’s data
Data theft is starting to become a common thing in the business world. All it takes is a bitter employee who has access to trade secrets or proprietary information. This gives them a chance to sell the information to the company’s competitors, which can (and probably will) use it against them.
By using an employee monitoring software and a correct configuration, the companies can prevent or at least minimize the chance of one of the employees stealing the delicate information.
If you were ever using your work computer for things not related to it and wondered if your boss can see it, the answer is yes. In today’s world, more and more companies are deciding to use an employee monitoring system to control if people are actually doing their job. So, if you spend a lot of time doing something you shouldn’t, be careful the next time or just don’t do it at all. Because if your boss finds out… Good Luck!