Cell phone monitoring in the workplace

Contact your carrier's customer service department for more information or sign up online for a free trial, depending on your service. Install a monitoring app on all business cell phones. Different applications offer useful features that include viewing logs of phone calls, generating alerts when calls come in from certain numbers, and monitoring text messages, emails and Internet history.

16 Worst and Most Extreme Ways Employers are Spying on Their People

Most apps allow you to check this information from the Internet. Check the usage levels on your monthly phone bill. Most plans provide a detailed phone log that gives a written record of each call, including date, time, phone number and length of call. Watch employees and record when they are on the phone at work. This can be accomplished through physical observation or by using cameras. Enforce disciplinary action if cell phone usage becomes inappropriate or excessive.

Workplace Monitoring

Disciplinary measures should be fair and logical, and should include exceptions for emergencies. Suzanne Rose has worked as a copywriter for more than 10 years. She has served in various positions for advertising agencies and marketing departments, with work appearing in print and online publications. Rose specializes in topics related to parenting, crafts, health and business.

She holds an M. Skip to main content. Tip Many of the apps that effectively monitor employees' cell phone usage are branded as parental control apps. Despite the different target market, they provide the same services to businesses.

Talk to an Employment Rights attorney.

Warning In general, Federal laws allow employers to track cell phone usage, especially when the employees sign a release. In this piece we want to show just how employee monitoring can go overboard and instead of being a tool that should increase productivity and efficiency, while at the same time providing companies means to locate their employees but only during work hours , it can evolve into something completely extreme, a way to strip employees of their privacy, even during off hours. There are many features that endanger privacy and before looking at spying apps let us see which extreme tracking features are offered by classic employee monitoring software.

Even worse, most employee monitoring software offers video recordings, and some even offer constant live video feeds of every workstation. Let us look at Teramind , one of the most popular employee monitoring software. There are other solutions offering similar, privacy endangering, features such as ActivTrak , or InterGuard, but Teramind is the most extreme example. The software will record videos in case some rule like visiting a forbidden site, or just typing a wrong keyword is breached.

On top of videos, the app will also record audio both from sound inputs and outputs. Creepy and unnecessary, the live video feed feature is something that clearly goes over the edge.

But this is just the start, and you will see Teramind again in this article. If you plan to monitor your workforce, at least make it all transparent.

Inform workers their workstations will have the software installed on them, and inform them which actions will be monitored. Instead of offering fully transparent installations, a good deal of employee monitoring solutions offer incognito installs. In other words, they can be installed on a computer without the knowledge of the person using that computer and from then on the program will track and monitor all activity.

How to Track Your Employees Cell Phones: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

While some companies mention this in their list of features, ActivTrak brags about it and mentions the possibility of invisible install on the second place on its features page, just under the fact that the solution is free. And, even worse, many solutions offer invisible installs, with Teramind being among them. On top of being able to be installed even remotely via company servers invisibly, many employee monitoring solutions offer stealth monitoring feature, like ActivTrak and Teramind, which can be misused in certain scenarios.

Just imagine you are sick and have to work from home. In order to get the work done, you need to connect to your company server in order to access your files and workstation data. And if your company uses an employee tracking and monitoring app that offers incognito installation, your PC might end up infected with tracking software, which behaves like a virus and works in the background.

And then imagine it records what you do while you use your PC for personal interests.


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This can be a catastrophic assault on your privacy, especially because many solutions offer keyloggers, keyword tracking, with a couple even coming with remote desktop control. Yup, in that imaginary situation you would end up being percent transparent to your employer. Okay, keyword tracking can be very important for some companies, especially those dealing with new technologies and solutions, and having a keyword tracker can save important company data that should stay in the company. But keyloggers, programs that record every single letter typed on a keyboard, are something else.

While many solutions such as Hubstaff , Interguard, and Work Examiner offer the same feature, Teramind offers the most powerful keystroke logger capable of recording every single keystroke, capable of searching through a base of potentially malicious keystrokes, capable of creating keystroke database, and much more. This also is a clear invasion of employee privacy and is just one step over the line. Keyloggers, on the other hand, record everything and it can truly be dangerous.

In combination with live video monitoring, IM monitoring yup, most solutions offer full monitoring of instant messaging apps , audio monitoring, and performance monitoring, keystroke loggers can create a highly toxic work environment filled with paranoia. While Skype or some other app may be used as the main messaging app between employees, spying on their conversations cannot be justified by the fact that the said app is used for company-related conversations. As is the case with most other extreme ways of monitoring employees, most popular employee tracking solutions offer IM tracking.

And almost every employee monitoring app does support one of the said features. But let us be concise and show some examples. Teramind offers even more powerful IM tracking feature that includes the ability to track any conversation meaning that the program can track any IM app , along with keyword loggers, the creation of metadata bases, the ability to capture all chat content, and customized alerts. This feature can see numerous misuses, making employees fear their bosses all an administrator has to do in order for them to know if some executive is mentioned in chats, is to enter their names as keywords instead of respecting them, which can be very bad for the general work atmosphere.

And this is only one potential misuse; just imagine what an administrator, or executive with bad intentions can do with a feature this powerful. Alerts are fine, they are here to inform idle workers, or those who like to visit social networks a bit too much, to get back to work and chill out or visit their news feed during breaks, but having the ability to head-on overtake control over a workstation is something pretty extreme.

Not many employee tracking solutions offer this. In fact, the only one that offers a full remote desktop control, at least out of the ones we researched, is Teramind. As you can see below, the platform offers a live remote desktop control that can overtake control over a workstation immediately. This is one of the most extreme ways of employee monitoring, at least when talking about classic employee tracking and monitoring solutions.

The mobile app is available for iOS and Android and basically offers full access to a mobile device. The app can also track user activity on Tinder and Instagram!

How Can Business Firms Monitor Cell Phones at the Workplace?

It is, plain and simple, a spying app. Unfortunately, on top of regular employee monitoring software, there are numerous spying apps that are available for mobile devices. And you should see the worst features these spy apps have to offer. When talking about spying apps most us first think about mobile ones. And yes, today we will talk about them. All of our readers should know that there are numerous spying solutions for PCs, but since companies can get most spying features like live video desktop feeds, remote desktop control, IM apps monitoring, etc.

This is not a secret, that they were created to able to spy on a cell phone remotely. With a spying app employees can every single thing available with classic employee monitoring solutions, and more. Most of these spying apps are advertised as perfect solutions for worried parents who want to know what their children do while on a smartphone or tablet.

But, some of them also present themselves as perfect solutions for employers who want to know everything about their workers, which is worrying, highly worrying. By this we mean all types of communication you can do on a smartphone. While some of them offer a classic list of features, like Mobile Spy , which provides the usual suite of spying features when it comes to communication on a smartphone such as viewing call history, getting access contacts, reading messages and email, other apps do even worse things.

Spyera , for instance, offers automatic phone call recording.