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How does a company track its employees' internet use?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by CrispyDelicious, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. So you can delete your browsing history on your computer. What else? To what degree can they see what you've been up to?
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Where I work, we monitor internet traffic on our firewall. You can delete your history all day long, even re-format your computer, and I will still know where you went.

  3. EEP! ANd how often is that information available to them/you?
  4. Depends on what program they use to track your information. From what I know, which isn't a great deal, there are "key stroke" programs that track everything you do and where you've been on the internet. I watched something on TV about it and they claim they can not only tell if you've been playing Solitaire, but which cards you picked. :eek:
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Depending on the system, as often as 'they' want... If there aren't canned reports available, it's an extrememly easy data-set to report on... In our office, it's by request, and in this economy, the requests are a bit more frequent...

  6. Looking at porn, eh?
  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    However most companies don't go that far unless they have reason to believe you're doing something you shouldn't be.

    Firewalls can have what's called a 'black list' programmed into them, which are sites that are not suitable for work. These sites are blocked automatically. (Some companies even block this site!) Obviously they can't cover all of the bases, so they sometimes track which sites you are visiting and then check them out. If they determine those sites are NSFW, then they get added to the black list. Bottom line is: they know where you've been. :eek:

    Tracking your solitaire games is a bit over-the-top IMO, and while it can be done, it's not easy to do without the user knowing about it.
  8. HA no, but I do spend way too much time on TB!
  9. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    Completely invisible to the user.
    Records EVERYTHING. Every keystroke, every website, every email, every IM convo, every password. Even takes screenshots at adjustable intervals, down to one second apart, iirc.
    Any info can be monitored from a host computer. Changes to the computer in question can also be done from the host (blocking/restricting programs, websites, email addresses, IM names, etc.).
    You can even set alerts to notify you by cell phone when something not-approved is happening so you can check it out in real time.

    They'll never know you were watching.
  10. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    it's usually tracked on the firewall with no way for you to delete, hide, or otherwise cover your tracks. The good news is that it's pretty much a given that employees will surf and check personal emails from time to time so most companies wont even bother checking where you've been unless they had some sort of good reason to.
  11. I think they were just trying to emphasize how aggressive the program can be. I've also heard those programs are very expensive and most small companies can't afford to buy and monitor it.

    There was a rumor that the company I work for had it, and I think just the rumor was enough to make us all very careful. Turned out they actually didn't buy it. Or,......at least we think so. :bag:
  12. That's kind of creepy and unnecessary, really. Monitor problem employees if you have to, but using the fear of being watched all the time as a productivity coercion seems pointless.
  13. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The IT dept at a company I worked for as an intern used to put out a monthly chart of the most common sites visited, but no one ever really got in trouble. All the guys were on facebook and chatrooms so they didn't block any thing. My boss was actually proud one month because she was the number one surfer of victoria's secret.
  14. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    Keyloggers aren't the first program companies turn to when they want to monitor their employees' activity. The most used method is simply to monitor what's going in and out of your computer. It's easy, because this monitoring is simply done while distributing the Internet connexion to everyone in the company.

    If this was your question (?)

    Good point. Monitoring is not usually done without a reason.
  15. I help administer a corporate network where I work, and I can tell you that we know a lot more than what you think.

    If your IT Dept uses a proxy server to give users access to the Internet, the proxy server logs record where you go, what you see, what you searched for, and how long you were there. On top of that, we also have a software program that goes through all of the proxy server logs and organizes internet usage by user name or IP address, by the type of site visited, etc.

    The biggest reason we do this is for liability purposes. On more than one occasion, we've had an employee looking at NSFW sites, and then a female employee walks by and then threatens to sue the company over a "hostile" work environment. The logs and other monitoring software help us prove that what the employee saw was an anomaly, and not a regular occurrence.

    In today's world of litigiousness these types of monitoring programs are an unfortunate necessity. I know that I stay away from these things unless we have to go in and look for something specific. The amount of information is so voluminous it would be impossible to monitor it on a real-time basis.
  16. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    if they only monitors you through a firewall you can use a proxy.
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I've seen this approach as well, along with a gentle reminder to keep up business productivity. Those with the problem of surfing too much knew who they were and would be motivated to ease up a bit.

  18. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    unless they use any number of rootkit revealers or such tools as spycop. there's a workaround for everything.

    but yeah, spectorsoft is pretty good at what it does.
  19. daystcity


    Mar 23, 2008
    Where am I?!?!?
    They can also just remote access your computer and see what your doing and intervene, they do that to fix tech problems without getting up. Ah laziness, thou hast spawned many a fine invention!
  20. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    firewall logs
    content filters
    proxy servers
    roaming profiles
    DNS logs
    saved files
    key loggers
    files recovery programs (oh yeah even if you delete it, it's still there and we can find it.)
    we can even remote in and see what you're doing at anytime.

    I work at a school so we have all of the above in place.

    really unless you're about to get fired anyway or it's porn we really don't care.

    On behalf of all IT workers everywhere clear out your damn inbox and for gods sake please stop forwarding all the stupid virus infested joke and chain emails.

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