Be warned: while you’re happily browsing your favorite blogs during working hours, your boss may be watching you more closely than you think. Yes, there are many ways in which a computer can be used for surveiling, controlling or monitoring its usage, and you wouldn’t even notice it.
First, we should make a clear distinction between programs that you can use to track your own work, and programs used to control your PC usage in the background. Work tracking tools such as Time Tracker, WorkTime or Time Worked Calculator are useful when you need to know exactly how much time you’ve spent on a given project. They’re also a good way to control your level of procrastination, as you can do with Hronos.
However, monitoring tools are often used to control computer usage and check which applications have been run or which files have been opened. You can find general monitoring programs like PC James Bond 007 and also more specialized tools such as MSN Messenger Monitor Sniffer, which is devoted to record MSN chats. But these aren’t by far the only ones. Just take a look at our Prevention and Keyloggers sections and you’ll see for yourself. You can even use your webcam as a surveillance system, with motion-detect technology, automatic recording, SMS warnings and all the bells and whistles.
Now, before you freak out and start looking for any hidden tasks in your system, let me calm things down: there are also tools to avoid being caught by your boss when you’re chatting, browsing, downloading P2P stuff and other things you’re not supposed to do at work. One of them is Efreesoft Boss Key, which enables to hide any active program window with a simple keystroke. Another good example is the Word Web Browser, with which you can safely browse the web and hide it under a fake Word window when needed.