First of all, I would like to emphasize at the beginning of this post that my basic idea is to direct the general public into ways employers can follow them because I find that many people are unaware of what this level is and the consequences may be different. Also, I do not want to go into detail here as to what kind of monitoring is being done as it would then be a very long post to read. In the novel, 1984, Orwell introduces us to Big Brother, an extraordinary character who oversees all our movements, activities and controls every aspect of life. The writer could not even dream of how much the Big Brother spirit would take in the business world. What is important to emphasize at the outset is the fact that employees must be notified, that is, there should be a visible sign that warned the employee that his actions are being followed in a certain way. The question also arises as to what happens to data that is not directly related to the business, that is, to the company that supervises the employee.
What can be monitored?
There are various methods and techniques that can be applied, and here is a list of what is most commonly used here:
- Monitoring CCTV workplace cameras
- Open sent and received e-mails
- Use of automated e-mail checking software
- Check logs (SMS, MMS, dialed numbers, missed calls, received calls) from your phone or record the contents of phone calls (this is only possible if you have an official phone)
- Check logs of visited web pages during business hours (techniques that can be disabled by masking IP and URLs can be used)
- GPS tracking of the official vehicle (here you can determine where the vehicle was during working hours)
- Room Entry and exit controls (biometric checking systems such as fingerprint reader, pupils of the eye and the like can also be used here)
- Off-the-job monitoring, which is a serious form of privacy breach (ATM terminals, supermarket terminals, mobile operators that can determine relatively accurately the movement of users, credit agencies, CCTV cameras and eavesdroppers in corporate corridors, toilets, based on a base station, restaurants …)
How to protect yourself?
There are different methods and techniques that can be used, but here are just some of them:
- Include multiple authentications (MFA or 2FA) for mail so no one can open mail (this will not disable software that can do this at the mail server level)
- Use VPN virtual private networks and IPSec protocol to access resources (this way if someone catches Internet traffic, they will be encrypted and unable to decrypt it)
- Use 3G or LTE on your phone depending on what your mobile carrier supports, not the company’s WiFi network for accessing personal information
- Check the employment contract, rules, and procedures that are in force within the company itself, as it may happen here that it is not defined or is what is monitored and how.
Does this kind of monitoring have positive effects?
The answer is definitely YES. In this way, the discipline of employees in the workplace is maintained, which includes reducing fraud, theft, forgery, trade secrets, false sick leave, unjustified payment of business expenses, alcohol at work or work under the influence of narcotic drugs and the like. In addition, an event that has occurred may also often be reconstructed, which may be valid material for initiating action. Software companies were also involved in finding the best way to monitor employees, the most famous being the product of Spectorsoft, which was one of the first in the market for such applications, and is now known as Veriato. As for mobile phone apps, there are a number of Android and iPhone apps that spy on your every move, including using official vehicles.
The note is that the employer must pay attention to avoid being accused of mobbing and other forms of abuse at work using the above methods of observation.