Work POSSIBLY Monitoring My Computer -

Updated on July 21, 2011
M.P. asks from Newcastle, CA
25 answers

How would I know if they are in fact doing this? Is there a program that I can look for? My boss made a weird comment to me yesterday about the owner possibly checking my history or having a program installed to give him a report of what I am doing.....what is a program like that called?? How would I find out if they are bluffing or not?

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So What Happened?

Thanks ~ I am not really all that worried about it because I don't think that I abuse my priveledges. My work is ALWAYS done on time and properly. I work for a very small company, we don't have an "IT" dept. My boss knows that I check my personal e-mail from here to check on my kids with my babysitter, and that I run my playlist of music on the internet and such and he said that it is ok because my work gets done. I told them that if it is a problem then he needs to let me know because I will just stop altogether. He said it should be fine. This was all said yesterday, I just got to thinking about it last night and thought it was kind of weird for him to say that is all.

Thanks for all your insight!

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

When I did have a job (happy SAHM now), I always followed the policy as ONLY using the computer for work. It is only fair! It is their computer and they are paying you to work. So, that is why the computer is there, in front of you.

Too many people don't respect that. Do the social, personal and fun activities on time when someone ISN'T paying you.

Not implying you are doing things you shouldn't (although it sounds that way, or else why'd you care about them monitoring?), but I'd say it is ABOUT TIME for everyone to re-evaluate their time at work- for their company's sake, employees sake and for their own sake.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I can look at any computer on my home network and there is no way they know I am doing it. So yes, they are not bluffing.

Oh it is not a program, it is admin access.

Never do anything on any network you don't want others to see.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Don't know the program, but I can tell you, they are monitoring you if you have anysort of IT department at all. It's fairly easy for them to do.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Norfolk on

Your work computer belongs to the company (as well as the licenses for all the software) and they are privy to everything that is on that machine.
As far as emails and communications go - they don't have to monitor your specific machine because they have access to everything that passes through their server - in coming and out going.
People have been fired for conducting private business on company machines and the company is right to do so - they are not paying people to use company equipment to run private businesses.
They fire people because there are legal ramifications for the company if they allow this activity to continue.
They can track what software is installed, the internet sites you visit (and how often) and a whole host of other things.
What you do on your own computer at home is your business.
At work - you should NEVER assume any communication is private because it isn't.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My work did the same thing not sure what they used but they attached something to the server which gave them a report. Then once they got the report of all the IP addresses that were accessing sites non work related they put a sonic wall on the server and blocked all sites. Sure makes work boring now LOL

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I've working in IT for 12 years.

Every company that carea at all about their corporate security has several different active monitoring programs. (In other words, yes, they do.)

Websense, TrendMicro, Symantec, Ironport...the list goes on. There are TONS of products out there to give reporting on what sites you access vs. not. They are probably not singling you out, but looking at what everyone is accessing internally to see what they need to block going forward. It's usually a measure to ensure productivity, not to infringe on your privacy.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sounds like your boss is letting you know in a subtle way that he knows you're accessing the computer to do non work-related stuff and that's his way of letting you know that he wants you to stop.

They can absolutely do that!

When I worked a desk job I did all of my emailing and Facebooking from my phone during lunch. One of my friends used to Facebook from her work computer at lunch and she got in trouble for it. She had to prove it was during her lunch time. NOT worth the trouble! Most offices don't care if you take a personal call now and then, but they want you to get your work done. They can totally monitor you (usually they don't unless they have reason because like someone said, the IT people have better things to do than watch you all day!) but it sounds like your boss was giving you a warning!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I dont know, but you should be taking it seriously, because even if he is bluffing, he is giving you a clue. Clean your cache and all your history. Log off of everything you wouldn't want to have to explain and keep your nose clean for a while. Something is going on and you don't want to be on the recieving end of a pnik slip!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think pretty much all companies that have an IT department have the ability (and the right) to check the history of their employees' computers. They are NOT bluffing! My question to you would be, why would it worry you?

ETA: If you are using sites like this one at work, you need to stop. If you are using things like Facebook, you need to stop that as well. Social network usage is so common that we don't think twice about it, but it severely impacts workers' productivity, and employers ARE noticing and cracking down. They could start by just blocking sites, or they could just fire anyone who is using them on company time.

ETA2: Like stop NOW...don't wait for replies to your question...just sign off and don't use it at work again.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita on


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with what everyone else said... but I wanted to add that clearing your cache and your history won't always eliminate them knowing where you are.

If your computer is linked to a network all your IT dept has to do is run a ping report and it will give them a list of what IP addresses were accessed from your station (and how many times you have been to each address by date.... so mine will show about a million pings to mamapedia). It's then not hard for them to find out what those sites were. So, even if YOU delete your history on your computer the NETWORK has a report of every IP addresses your computer has EVER been to.

Now, having said that.... IT depts (especially if you work for a large company) have FAR more important things to do than calculate how often you are on mamapedia while you should be doing those TP reports!!!!!!!

however, it sounds like someone in your office has been doing stuff they shouldn't... which means due to precendent they will have to run a report on EVERYONE or it looks like they have targeted that one employee.

Note also - that even if you haven't been to naughty sites or downloaded songs etc onto company property..... if they determine you have spent too much "time" on personal computer stuff.... it's actually timesheet fraud - you are saying that you spend 8 hours on 'work' but actually 1 hour a day you are surfing.... they can get you for the 1 hour that you "owe" them x however many days they can prove your interenet activity was personal (if they have a policy that states that). They have to really want you gone bad to go that route.... but it's been done - just FYI.

So - as suggested I would keep your nose clean for a bit.

Good Luck

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

A company that I used to work for did that. I know for a fact the IT guys had a field day snooping on everyone! NEVER send anything from work that you wouldn't want to share with your boss or go to any websites either. I would change my passwords if I were you too. I can guarantee you they are looking if that was mentioned to you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Yes, they are entitled/have EVERY RIGHT monitor what you do on your (THEIR) WORK computer...if it's your personal lap top - no.

if you look for the program and try to disable it - they can fire you for tampering with their network.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

From what I understand there isn't really a way for you to know. Maybe just limit your time on Mamapedia for a bit and see if it blows over. Otherwise it is your work computer and they access to everything on it as it is there's. :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If it is their computer or sitting in their building at your desk then they have the right to monitor you. If you are at lunch in a break room on your own computer, like a netbook or something portable, then I think they should not have that right.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

They might be, and they have every right to, in my opinion, since they are paying you to work, they should know if people are posting on or surfiing Facebook, mamapedia, eBay etc....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'd also say that if there is an IT dept, then they are at some point going to monitor you. I don't think there's any way to know if they're doing it. Instead of worrying about whether or not they're actually doing so, I'd concentrate on staying off the internet, just in case.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Medford on

My husband has a work computer. He gets a new one every year, and it is installed with everything he needs. He isnt able to install anything else. IT has to do it for him, so only work approved things go on his computer. He emails me at home, and sometimes will mention something personal, such as bank acct or medical stuff, and I have to remind him,, NEVER EMAIL OR TYPE ANYTHING YOU WOULDNT WANT THE WHOLE WORLD TO READ. You never know who is looking or who might come across your computer and find that info. Just dont do it. Its not worth the privacy invasion, or being fired.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Anyone on the clock @ their employers have a right to have their computers monitored at any time for any reason.It is not right to be on a computer dicussing personal matters at work while on the clock off ok but making sure it is kept as vivid as possible.It is their equipment not the employee to say "my computer" isn't adequate.They can trace what programs you choose to open & close to look for this file more than likey it is a hidden file that you will not be able to find.Do you have a reason to fear that they are looking into your work computer?You can come forward to your boss & ask him if there is an issue with your work performance & let him know that you caught onto his comment

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Medford on

I don't think you can find out unless they tell you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

My new employer made it very clear on my 2nd day of work that they can "see" everything I do on my computers. I work at various locations, so about 5 computers all together.

Every computer for the organization is tied to the main server, and everything I do can be "seen" in the form of log reports and server sharing. Also, they can check the site phone logs in real time and see outgoing calls made. Don't know about the cell phones yet. :)

But, they are upfront about it.

Basically, when we are at work we are there to do a job that we get paid for. That means our employer expects us to use our time wisely, and not perform personal business while they are paying us. That is what break and lunch time are for. Yes, everyone, takes a personal phone call or two, and occasionally checks personal email. But, do so knowing that your employer has a right to look at whatever is stored on their computer....because it is their computer.

It is very easy for them to set up programs that monitor your usage. I liken it to the parental control function that I have on my Windows Vista - it gives me a report of every time my son logged on, every web site he visited, and every program used.

I don't mind really, they pay me to do a job, and I don't do anything that they can't see.

Good Luck
God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

key loggers or spyware are hidden so you can't just go look. the program has a name similar to windows components so it is not obvious.

when i put one on my computer, it sent me emails listing everything that was typed and on what site it was typed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Yuba City on

Dear Luv,

Assume that they are monitoring everything in and out. If you are on a work computer, that is their right. There are programs that register keystrokes, that can check which websites you've visited, and can read any and all emails, in or out. The best policy is to just not do anything on a work computer that you wouldn't want the world to see. And especially don't do anything that could get you fired (adult sites, forwarding emails in bad taste, etc.).




answers from Salinas on

I would assume they can see everything. I am a stay at home mom right now, but every place I worked made it clear that they monitor computers and had us sign a document. Like someone else said, most companies' IT dept do not have time to research every employee, so I would think if there is someone they assume is doing something they might spend more time on that person. Some places are very clear the employees can not be on facebook.

I am pretty boring on the computer. I remember one time I mention that i was checking my Bank of America account to the IT person helping me and she reminded me I am not supposed to do person business. I can't remember the next 'look' or comment, but it was clear we both knew 'everyone' is doing it. A different company actually had the nerve to call out my manager (who worked 12 hour days) for going to J.Crew online. She needed to order a work suit and didn't have time to shop and the office was downtown SF (to point out i would have been easy to shop if she took a lunch break). Nothing happened to her, but it is an example about how some companies want to be clear about the usage.

My concern since I am not too savvy would be if they could access my personal passwords.



answers from San Francisco on

My boss did that once - the program was called Snag-It. I went to control panel and deleted it!

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