Online privacy has become highly important among all users, including businesses. No matter what you are using the internet for, staying protected is the only thing that matters. Cybercriminals are on the rise and the threat they pose is becoming more serious. There are a lot of people out there whose main focus is stealing other people’s private information and using it for their gain.
With this, many employees are concerned about their online workplace privacy, even from their own employers. Employees are often concerned about whether or not their employer can track their internet usage. Well, the truth is that is entirely possible that they are by using device or internet monitoring software. It is their right to monitor company-owner devices. However, it’s always advised that they tell employees if they are using an employee monitoring software and what they are using it for.
If you are unsure whether your employer is monitoring you, take the information and precautions listed below into consideration.
Be Careful About What You Search For Online
We know that from time to time, work can be overwhelming and that we need some sort of distraction and a way to relax. However, most employers don’t want their employees to get distracted during work hours as it can decrease their productivity. Often, they ask their employees to leave private matters outside of the workplace or to relax and take care of such matters during a break. When you are taking your break, avoid using company devices to do personal activities, use your own device instead. Either way, anytime you use a company device, be careful about what you are searching for online. Do not compromise yourself during casual online browsing.
Worker’s Privacy Concerns
In the age of advanced technology when it’s even possible to spy on text messages through various applications, it is only normal that workers have concerns about their privacy. Not knowing if your employer is monitoring you can gravely influence your workflow and lower employee productivity overall. This outcome does not suit anyone, including employers and employees.
For starters, the employees would constantly feel under pressure. This could result in poor performance, which will cause the business to suffer. And this is something that no employer wants.
On the other hand, employers use employee monitoring solutions to help their business and employees in many ways. Tracking employee activities can be useful in increasing business products, and preventing the business from succumbing to online dangers like data theft and insider threats. As an employee, you must understand that employers aren’t always monitoring their employees to snoop, but to do what’s best to protect their business. If you are in this situation, the best possible advice would be to concentrate on your daily tasks and always act professionally. You never know if you are monitored or not.
Why Would An Employer Track A Worker’s Online Activity?
The reasons for such actions could be classified into five groups, such as:
- Protecting the business against possible lawsuits.
- Maintaining the integrity of software and hardware against cybercriminals.
- Keeping intellectual property safe.
- Making sure that all employees are fulfilling their work tasks.
- Ensuring a good-enough productivity level.
From the given reasons, it is clear that all of these are well-justified. Monitoring may not be pleasant for employees, but it is necessary for the business. In the eyes of the business owners, they are doing what is right.
What Can Employers When Tracking Their Employees’ Internet Use?
Now that you know why employee internet tracking is necessary, it is time to learn more about how this software works. Various companies offer this type of software ranging in prices and features. However, they often collect similar internet information which may include:
- Websites visited and when.
- Emails sent and received from a company account.
- Search engine queries.
- Messaging app history such as on Skype or Slack.
- Screenshots of your device.
- Time spent using the internet during work hours.
- And more!
Can You Prevent Your Employer From Monitoring You?
It’s completely understandable if you don’t feel comfortable with your employer possibly monitoring your internet use. Fortunately, there’s a way to turn the situation in your favor (not that we support being lazy at work and being behind). One of the best ways to protect yourself while searching online is by using a VPN system. Knowing the basics of VPNs will give you a lot of great advantages not just while you are in the office, but also while you are at home or out and about. Truly, once you start exploring all the wonderful options that VPN offers, you will ask yourself why you didn’t start using VPN earlier. What’s more, you’ll stop asking the question if your employer has a way of following your online activities.
If you do happen to find out your employer is tracking you, you can also ask them or human resources if it’s possible to not be monitored or tell them you don’t give your consent.