What can your boss see (and what you can do about it)


When Covid-19 and national lockdowns forced millions of office workers out of their offices into their own homes full-time, it presented lots of new challenges for businesses. One of these was how to make sure their staff were actually working and not sitting with their feet up watching daytime TV. Luckily for bosses (if not their staff) technology already had solutions available.

Employee monitoring software (or ‘bossware’) has long been in place at many companies to track not only productivity but also monitor for fraudulent activities, bullying and other behaviors that are hard enough to spot in an office but hugely difficult when it comes to staff who are all working remotely. But with access to their work-owned devices, there are ways for businesses to stay informed about their employees’ activity.

Surfshark has looked into what bossware is available for bosses to use to monitor their employees and what they can see. From live video feeds to keystroke logging and from mobile device tracking to instant message monitoring, there’s a lot they can potentially see, but what can you do about it if you think you are being watched?

Firstly you can check the laws to see whether their bossware activity is actually legal where you are, but in many cases it seems that the best practice if you think you are being spied upon by your boss is to make sure you aren’t doing anything you shouldn’t be doing. Otherwise, why not have a look at the tips for how to secure some privacy in the top remote working applications, from Zoom to Slack to Teams.

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