Text Message Spy: Employee Monitoring Examples and Best Practices

How does spy on text messages software work for purely business? A commonplace practice that is usually allowed in workplaces. Although employers may not monitor their employees’ activities on their personal devices for obvious ethical reasons, company-owned computers, laptops, and all other electronic devices that they provide to employees are fair game.

Usually, an employer will provide notification to their employees regarding the company’s policies about electronic monitoring. Even if the company is under no obligation to do so, it is generally considered as an ethical and decent act for an employer to inform employees that any activities on company-issued electronic devices and computers are being (or will be) monitored.

Employee Monitoring Examples

There are a variety of methods that are commonly used to monitor employees in the workplace. These methods typically fall under computer and workstations monitoring, cell phone monitoring, and monitoring of landline phones.

  • Computer and workstations – Monitoring employee activity on a company computer or workstation is generally expected and considered as acceptable. After all, the company owns the equipment, pays for the internet connection, and controls the network. Monitoring methods usually involve software to observe and record what’s happening on a computer screen, to keep track of any and all websites an employee visits, and sometimes to keep track of the time spent away from the computer.
  • Cell phone monitoring – If the company provides cell phones and other mobile devices to employees, it’s generally accepted that they can monitor your activities on that device. This will include your activities on messenger apps, personal and company emails, phone calls, SMS messages, contacts list, social media, websites, and photos/videos. If the job involves fieldwork, an employer may also install software to monitor your location.
  • Landline phones – It doesn’t happen all the time, but there are instances where a company will have policies installed that allow them to monitor any and all phone calls taken and received on work phones during working hours. This usually happens in workplaces where call quality is important and is a critical part of their business model, or in situations where high security is involved.

Employee Privacy and Protection

Of course, employers cannot just go and monitor their employees as they please without any restrictions or regulations at all. Even if it happens inside the workplace, employees still have rights to their privacy, which means employers should always carefully consider in which situations will it be reasonable and acceptable for them to establish monitoring practices.

Employees should understand that there are specific circumstances where they can be protected against all forms of electronic monitoring.

  • It depends on the workplace – In companies where unionization exists, for example, contracts may have certain clauses written in that will limit the employer’s right to monitor employees. Different states in the U.S. will have different laws and regulations regarding the employee’s right to privacy inside the workplace, and if you’re working in the public sector, the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution also provides certain safeguards that fall under “unreasonable search and seizure”.
  • Bring your own device – Regarding the monitoring of cell phones and other mobile devices, employees should assume that their company’s policies will tend to lean towards protecting its assets as opposed to being concerned over employee privacy. Some companies do allow their employees to use their personal devices while at the workplace, but before doing that, it is highly recommended that all employees should first ask questions to ensure that they are allowed to do so.
  • Social media, messaging, email – Employers will expectedly have policies that are specifically designed to protect them against negative content being posted by their employees. However, some companies do go overboard in their attempts to restrict what their employees are posting online. To counter that, laws have been enacted that now provide certain protection for employees, depending on the content and the context under which the content was posted.

For employees wanting to know more or perhaps get acquainted with their company’s policies regarding this issue, a lot of information regarding employee monitoring and what rights or protection the employees have can typically be found in documents like employee contracts, employee handbooks, and materials used during orientation.

Using Software for Employee Monitoring

There are a number of software applications currently available that can be legitimately bought and installed by employers looking to monitor their employees’ electronic activities. These applications can be used for cell phone monitoring and/or monitoring computer activity as well, depending on the features of the software.

For example, if you’re an employer and you need to monitor cell phone activity on company-issued devices, you would be looking for software that can monitor activities such as:

  • SMS and iMessages – This feature allows an employer to monitor all text messages (iMessages if it’s an Apple device), even those that were deleted.
  • Social media posts – Allows for monitoring of posts done on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • Photos and videos – All photos and videos that are taken and received by the device can be recorded and viewed.
  • Calls taken and received – Phone calls, both incoming and outgoing, can be logged along with each call’s time, date, and duration.
  • Website browsing – Can provide a closer look at what employees are doing online and which websites they are going to.
  • Location via GPS – Very helpful for companies that need updated locations of their field personnel. The GPS location of the device will be uploaded at regular intervals and viewable via Google Maps.

If you need cell phone monitoring for your business, one of the best mobile software available today is Safeguarde. It is widely considered as the most trusted and most reliable application for this purpose. However, the company behind Safeguarde specifically states that its software should only be used for legitimate and legal purposes by authorized users, and does not encourage nor condone its installation and usage for any other purpose.

Safeguarde is a very powerful app that can provide employers with all the features they need to monitor their employees’ cell phone activity. If your business calls for employee monitoring, make sure you use the best app available.