How does Computer Monitoring Software Work? How to Choose Safe Software?
How does computer monitoring software work?
Computer monitoring software uses special system functions to capture and record various information about computer usage:
- It records user system login name
- It captures applications used
- It records visited URLs
- It stores captured information
Recorded information is used to identify who, when and how is using the computer.
Read more about it and about how to stay safe when choosing your computer monitoring software.
Here is a simple explanation of how computer monitoring software works and recommendations on how to choose safe monitoring software:
1. It records user system login name
When a user logs in to the system (Windows, Terminal Session etc.) and enters his/her login name/password, computer monitoring software captures the login name.
This information is used to identify who is using the computer. To catch the user’s system login name the software uses special system functions.
Also computer monitoring siftware records sytem login and logout times to identify when the computer was used (How to monitor employees’ login and logout).
To choose a safe computer monitoring software make sure it does not record and store any passwords. To get statistics on your computers usage this is enough to have login names recorded.
Why you don’t want your system password to be captured when monitoring computers: this might cause security and privacy issues. Passwords can be captured for official investigation purposes or for stealing information (Unlike employee monitoring software spyware might also catch passwords). Computer monitoring is intended neither for investigation nor for spying purposes.
2. It captures applications used
When a user runs various applications, computer monitoring software captures and records which applications are being run (How to monitor software use). This is done with the help of special system functions.
Basically, computer monitoring collects lots of data. To save disk space and minimize system resources use, computer monitoring software records used applications with a certain precision (for example, every 3 minutes).
To choose a safe computer monitoring software make sure it does NOT capture screenshots, documents content, emails, and chats content as this might uncover some private information. To get an idea on how your computers are being used this is enough to know applications and documents names.
If you need to know how often your employees press keyboard buttons, make sure your computer monitoring software only counts how often buttons are being pressed but not which buttons as this is exactly the function to capture content and passwords (also known as keylogging).
Why you don’t want any content and passwords to be captured when monitoring computers: this might cause security and privacy issues. Passwords and other sensitive content is captured for official investigation purposes or for stealing information. Computer monitoring software is neither for investigation nor for spying.
3. It records visited websites
With the help of special system functions computer monitoring software monitors Internet use by recording website URLs (How to monitor Internet use). This information is used to monitor how employees spend their working time.
Employees might enter their passwords when visiting some websites (e.g. web banking, medical or insurance websites and so on).To choose a safe computer monitoring software make sure it does NOT record and store passwords.To get statistics on your computers usage this is enough to have login names recorded. Passwords are usually captured for official investigation purposes or to steal information. Computer monitoring is neither an investigation nor a spying tool.
4. It stores captured information
All captured information is stored in a database. This is to generate reports and analyze computer use.
When choosing computer monitoring software make sure it offers database backup. Also, make sure it keeps all data password protected and encrypted.
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