When doing an employee monitoring software review, be sure to look for the following features:
Reports: There is no way an IT person or manager has time to look at everything in every employee’s activity log. Spot checking will only act as a deterrent if employees know they might get caught. Reports are a way of letting the software sift through all the log activities based on a set of rules to determine who the major offenders are. It’s not the employee that spends 10 minutes checking stock prices or bank balances that you worry about. It’s the one spending four hours a day, or more, downloading porn, playing games, social networking and entertaining themselves on company time you want to deal with. Reports can also be used to find out if expensive software licenses are being used. If not, then they can be transferred to a different computer or the licensing contract can be cancelled saving significant costs. Reports can be used to see if computers in one lab would be better utilized in a different lab based on computer usage reports saving money on unnecessary new computer purchases. Make sure that the reports can be filtered by date and computer. For example, here is a list of customizable reports offered by EffectivePro:
1- Most Frequently Visited Web Sites
2- Users with Most Web Pages Loaded
3- Users with Most Time on Internet
4- Users That Access Specific Website Domains (customizable)
5- Users That Access Websites with Specific Keywords in Title (customizable)
6- Users That Access Other Than Authorized Domains (customizable)
7- Users That Start After a Certain Time (customizable)
8- Users That Finish After a Certain Time (customizable)
9- Users with the Most Absences
10- Users That Work the Longest
11- Users That Work the Least
12- Users That Use Specific Applications (customizable)
13- Users That Type Certain Keywords (customizable)
14- Users with the Most Rule Violations
15- Computers Used the Least (average daily usage, days used, total days logged)
16- Computers Used the Most (average daily usage, days used, total days logged)
17- Setting Changes
18- Login Summary
19- Rules Most Frequency Violated
20- Computers with the Most Web Pages Loaded
21- Computers with the Most Time on the Internet
22- Computers Used to Visit Specific Website Domains (customizable)
23- Computers Used to Access Websites with Specific Keywords in Title (customizable)
24- Computers Used to Run Specific Applications (customizable)
25- Computers Used to Type Certain Keywords (customizable)
26- Computers Used to Access Other Than Authorized Domains (customizable)
Web-Based: Employee monitoring software needs to be web-based. No manager or IT person has time to go around to each computer and check the usage logs. Activity information should be centrally stored on a server where the information is protected from tampering and where it can be readily accessed. Settings changes made on the web-based control panel should be pushed out automatically to all the computers so settings do not have to be made manually at each computer every time there is a setting change. If your company has employees that travel with laptops, then the server should be configurable to work inside or outside the company firewall like the web-based solution provided by EffectivePro.
Computer Management Tools: If the company has more than 25 computers, then the employee monitoring software should have computer management tools. For example, EffectivePro lets computer administrators assign computers to groups, and sub-groups under those groups, so that hundreds or thousands of computers can be organized and managed effectively. EffectivePro has sub-user accounts that can be assigned computers to manage so that the monitoring workload can be shared among managers or IT staff.
Software Inventory Tools: The employee monitoring software should have tools to remotely list all software applications that are installed on any computer. This helps identify programs that are unauthorized such as video games, shareware and unlicensed software that could threaten company security, cause employee distractions or subject the company to legal liabilities. EffectivePro not only provides lists of installed software, but also quickly identifies those programs installed within the last 30-days.
Client-Based: The employee monitoring software should be client-based. Inline, centralized network monitoring only tells part of the story. It can’t track keystrokes typed, applications used or encrypted Internet activity. Since client-based employee monitoring software is more vulnerable to employee tampering, make sure the software has securities in place to prevent employees disabling or bypassing the software. EffectivePro has patent-pending tamperproof technology to make sure the software is always running.
Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Control: Employees can claim that someone else used their computer or login for unauthorized activities. However, if the employee monitoring software has real-time monitoring and remote control like EffectivePro, then it is possible to catch them in the act by viewing screenshots and computer activities remotely and locking up their computer before walking into their office. Remote control also helps with computer management if certain windows need to be closed, or computers logged off or shutdown remotely.
Customizable Rules and Alerts: Employee monitoring software should have customizable rules that match the needs of your company. This should include not only Internet filter rules, but also application blocking rules. If a rule is broken, the software should be able to send an email notification the instant the violation happens so that issues can be dealt with immediately. The software should be able to identify employees that may be posting confidential information online or typing harassing messages to co-workers. EffectivePro provides all these features.
International Text: If your company has international employees, then the software should be fully Unicode compliant like EffectivePro. Keystroke logging, activity logs and reports should all support international text.
Support Contract: Make sure the employee monitoring software you purchase has the customer support you need without hidden costs. Some vendors will charge extra for bandwidth, customer support issues, or software upgrades. With EffectivePro everything is included in the low annual fee.