The COVID-19 pandemic instated the rise of the remote work culture. Although the world is now resuming the normality in its operations, a new normal has emerged. In fact, according to Owl Lab’s State of Remote Work 2021 research, 16% of companies on a global level are now remote, whereas 62% of employees perform their jobs remotely, occasionally.
The introduction of the work from the home policy has provided employees with numerous benefits, but it also offers some drawbacks. One of the biggest concerns for workers is the use of tracking software programs, employed by workplaces, to spy on their teams.
However, there are initiatives you can take to stop your employers from spying on you. You can leverage the following tips to avoid digital surveillance from your workplace.
How Employers Can Spy On You?
There are several sophisticated software programs that allow employers to monitor their employee’s behaviours and activities on work-provided computer systems. However, some workplaces also compel their employees to download such software on their personal systems to keep an eye out for their online activities. Such programs can:
- Maintain records of your keystrokes, mouse movements, and the web pages you visit while using the device.
- Capture screenshots of the employees’ screens to make sure they are active during their work hours and to ensure they are using accurate tools to get the job done.
- Observe you and your home environment by installing a webcam monitoring software that can track your eye movement, facial expression, and body language.
If you find this type of monitoring to be invasive, you can take the following steps to remove the spyware software programs.
Delete Spyware Programs
If you want to get rid of spyware programs from your personal or work computer, take the following steps:
- Disconnect your computer from the ethernet cable or disconnect your wireless connection
- Visit the Windows Control Panel and select the ‘Add/ Remove Programs” list.
- In the list, you will find the spyware programs. You can select the particular program and click on the remove button.
- Once the program removal process is completed, you can reboot the computer to ensure the process is carried out effectively.
- You can also download an antivirus program to execute a full system scan. This initiative will highlight all the suspicious activity on your computer. You can then take the necessary steps to get rid of the privacy threats.
A strong and reliable VPN can help you mask your location, making your online behaviour untrackable. Suppose if you live in USA and after connecting to a VPN server of Chile, your ISP and Employer will see your Chile IP and the data will be encrypted, so they cannot bypass it via any spy software. Additionally, there are many VPN’s that offer 256-bit encryption to help you in hiding your footprints!
Use 4G Networks
Your employer can also spy on you while you are working from the office. In such cases, the work computer and the network are two main sources to record your online activity. The network logs in your information, including the apps you open (provided that your smartphone is connected to that network) and the websites you visit.
In this case, the solution is simple. Instead of using the office network, you can connect your devices using 3G or 4G network services. However, if you don’t want to waste your mobile data on your work computer, you can leverage the following solutions:
- Overdrive and MiFi
- Mobile broadband
- Wireless tethering devices
Download Antispyware Applications (For Mobiles)
If you’re worried about your mobile phone being tracked by your workplace, you can simply overcome the issue by downloading an anti-spyware application. If you’re an Android user, Certo mobile security is one application that enables users to easily discover and remove spyware and monitoring software programs from smartphones and Android-powered tablets. The software can also be used to identify unprotected system settings.
iOS users can also use anti-spyware software programs. However, Apple does not permit developers to create applications to directly scan their devices. Therefore, the anti-spyware software programs can only be used to identify the monitoring applications. Certo AntiSpy is one application that you can use to scan your iOS device through your computer.
Use A Personal Computer For Non-Work Related Activity
If your workplace has obligated you to employ the use of applications that can track online activity, such as Slack, Google Workspace, or Microsoft 365, you have no choice but to use those applications. In such cases, the best option is to use your work computer to exclusively perform work-related tasks.
Whether you are working from home or working from an office, your employers may use software programs to spy on your activity. While it is best to avoid using your work computer or network to use prohibited websites, you can also take the preceding steps to delete spyware software programs from your computers and smartphones and maintain your right to privacy.
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