In the United States, the larger the employer, the likelier they are to engage in employee monitoring. One study by the American Management Association found that almost 80% of major companies monitor employee use of phones, email, and the internet. Over 90% of companies in the financial industry participate in some type of employee monitoring.
One specific type of employee monitoring – the keylogging software – is increasingly being deployed by U.S. businesses in an attempt to prevent wrongdoing and provide assistance when employee malfeasance results in damage to data or to the company.
What is Keylogging Software?
Keylogging software captures each keystroke that a computer user makes. Using keylogging, information can be used for a wide range of purposes. It can help find sources of errors in computer systems, detect data ex-filtration attempts, and assist in collecting evidence in employee investigations.
Keylogging software can be used for nefarious purposes too. Hackers, for example, use them to gain access to people’s passwords, credit card numbers, and banking information. But in the context of employee monitoring, keystroke loggers are considered data security tools first and foremost. And the employers that choose to use them with their workforce have an obligation to inform employees that keylogging is in use.
Business Benefits of Implementing Keylogging Software in the Workplace
The main business benefits of installing keylogging on employee computers are:
Why HR Should Be Involved Before Implenting Keylogging Software
The human resources (HR) department may have little involvement with the technicalities of deploying keylogging software. Nonetheless, they should be involved in all decisions concerning employee monitoring.
Employees don’t lose all their privacy rights when they’re on company time and using company equipment. HR is usually well equipped to advise on what is acceptable in terms of employee monitoring and what is not. They may also have access to legal resources if there are questions about what types of monitoring can be implemented.
Additionally, HR can assist with establishing an employee monitoring policy and ensuring that all employees are informed about the ways in which they are being monitored. HR serves an important function with employee monitoring, serving as a watchdog over the interests of both the company and the employees.
The decision to use employee monitoring software, including keylogging software should be coordinated with HR right from the start.
Steps Businesses Should Take to Implement Keylogging Software
The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) protects communications and regulates third-party interception and disclosure of communications. Employers are allowed to monitor employees if the monitoring serves a legitimate business purpose and employees consent to the monitoring (which is usually done with standard paperwork during the new employee onboarding process).
Before choosing employee monitoring software (including keylogging), businesses should identify the problems they want to solve by using the software. They should also determine if any specific regulations apply to the business, such as:
Then employers must determine which specific functions they need, like keystroke logging capability.
Before deploying a solution, companies should work with HR, introduce the proposed solution to company leadership, and gain their buy-in on the value of the solution. They should also create a computer use policy and have all employees sign it. Training managers on new processes is essential. Managers must also introduce the monitoring solution to their teams to address any concerns.
Special Concerns with Multinational Teams
Many of today’s businesses operate across international borders, and that opens up some complications when it comes to keystroke loggers and other employee monitoring software. For example, the French Labor Code states that, “No person may make any restrictions to the rights of individuals and to individual and collective freedoms that are not justified by the nature of the task to be performed, nor proportionate to the aim pursued.” Keystroke loggers in particular have been ruled as illicit in France, so employers must tread carefully.
Similarly, in Germany, a Federal Labor Court ruled that keylogging data could not be used as evidence of employee loafing. Keystroke logging use is prohibited if there is no suspicion of a criminal offense or severe breach of duty.
For companies that conclude that workplace keylogging and keystroke monitoring as a part of employee monitoring is appropriate, InterGuard is an outstanding choice in employee monitoring software. It is designed to assist with the investigation of employee wrongdoing, compliance with audits, and insider threat detection.
With InterGuard, employers can create keyword alerts to notify supervisors when specific keywords are entered by employees. They can also trigger immediate screenshots whenever designated keywords are typed. The keystroke logger data is stored so it is easily searchable, which is invaluable in after-the-fact investigations.
InterGuard is installed at the endpoint, so keystrokes can be logged regardless of where a computer is. This is valuable for monitoring employees who sometimes work from home or who travel on business. And all keylogging functionalities can be defined for specific users or groups. The easiest way to learn more about InterGuard capabilities is to request a demo , and we invite you to do so today.