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I am looking for an employee monitoring solution, that would allow us to remotely connect to our computers to see what is happening live, and preferably having some recording capabilities such as snapshots, URLs visited, etc ...

I've looked around the web and most softwares I found were from unknown companies, had crappy websites, and made me feel like their either wanted me to install a virus on my computer, or to scam me.

Most also seemed to have planted "reviews" online most likely written by themselves.

Basically, anyone has experience with a trustworthy company to accomplish that?

Thanks

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What's the matter, doesn't management trust the staff? If there's a need to monitor that's the least of your problems. –  John Gardeniers May 25 '10 at 3:23
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With apologies for the soapbox - If you're going to do this, you may as well also set up a camera directly above each employees desk. –  Chris Thorpe May 25 '10 at 3:27
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Apart from the moral issues, you may want to double check to see whether this is even legal in your part of the world. It's certainly not legal where I am. –  John Gardeniers May 25 '10 at 4:46
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I don't think SF will ever like questions like this no matter how well worded or how "justified" it is. I think I got my eyebrows singed in the backdraft. –  Wesley May 25 '10 at 5:27
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@John Gardeniers: in the US, and every other country with which I am familiar, if you are using $WORK's equipment, then $WORK can monitor anything they want... it's their equipment, and you agreed to something along those lines when being hired –  warren May 25 '10 at 13:44
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migrated from superuser.com May 25 '10 at 1:48

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11 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Spector 360 www.spectorsoft.com. Like everyone says its always better to have employees that are trusted than those that need to be monitored. That being said your greatest security risks are those on the inside.

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We use VNC with all prompts off to view and snapshot desktops. Just make sure you set the default to not capture the keyboard and mouse if you are concerned about them noticing so you don't accidentally move the mouse on them.

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How will see work across the internet and on multiple computers? Need to do some fancy port routing? –  nute May 25 '10 at 19:14
    
You're best bet is to have him vpn into your network and give the vpn address space the ability to connect to you're agent network. Also as far as multiple people, right now all i can suggest is opening multiple instances of VNC. One of my projects is to setup a rotating vnc snapshot webpage for security, i may be able to post my results. Also, just so you know I work for a large call center management company (think top 5 in the world) and we have done very well with the vnc solution. –  Zypher May 25 '10 at 19:36
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What are you actually concerned about?

If it's mainly about websites visited then you'd be better off installing a proxy server which all web requests go through. You can then enable logging in that.

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This seems to be about more than web sites. –  Anonymous May 24 '10 at 22:47
    
@Chris: I believe your first question should be answered before generating other answers as remote view / control software is plentiful. –  Josh K May 24 '10 at 23:45
    
Logging web requests would just be a small feature. The main one would be to remotely visually SEE the screen. But not like Logmein, which the user can notice and can disable. –  nute May 24 '10 at 23:49
    
@user21073 - I was pointing out that there are different ways to monitor activity than capturing the screen. If it was just web sites that the OP was concerned with then a proxy and logging would do, however, without knowing the motivation behind the request it's difficult to know what it is about. –  ChrisF May 25 '10 at 10:08
    
@nute - why do you need to see the screen? What activity are you trying to monitor and/or prevent? –  ChrisF May 25 '10 at 10:09
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My actual recommendation is not to monitor the employees, but rather just block them from being able to do the things you don't want them to do. If you don't want them browsing the web, etc, block the web. Or, you can block facebook, gmail, etc company wide. Then just set up a few workstations in a break room that are not monitored where they can check their own email during their break time.

However, I still think the nanites are the best.

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nanites? As in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanorobotics - that sounds like a "cool" option... –  Chris Kimpton Jul 16 '10 at 7:19
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I answered a similar question with the Squid based Open Source stack I prefer for monitoring Web sites accessed. See: http://serverfault.com/questions/139167/block-users-from-social-networking-websites-while-firewall-is-down/139209#139209

As many have said and many others will say, not all management issues are best addressed by technology. Perhaps the main source of the issue should be addressed directly.

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http://www.atelierweb.com/rcomm/index.htm

This is a good product with no client installation required.

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i had the same kind of issue. In a callcenter environment, where the turnover is huge and people normally works under stress, is really easy to see callcenters workers just trying to cheat to do a long pause or even doing any kind of fraud. I worked in an environment like that and we used VNC and PCAnywhere. It works great but the problem was that, with time the workers learned how to identify that somebody was monitoring their session, because of the VNC icon in the system tray and that the screen blinks when you capture a session. Another problem was that some workers learned how to use VNC and then one started to do a VNC to another machine. Because of that we switched to MS remote desktop + GPO and access control. It worked fine.

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legal & ethical issues aside...

There used to be a freeware tool called GenControl that would push out a silent (no prompts/icons) version of winvnc to the remote PC.. I think various AV programs picked it up as malware for obvious reasons. In addition the company that made it is non-existent, but you can still get it from other non-offical sources on the internet. If you're keen you can achieve the same result by pre-configuring vnc with various registry options to hide its visibility.

What may be a better approach is to try & modify Remote Assistance that's built into windows XP. This can be modified so that the user isn't prompted to accept the remote assist.

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We tried Track4Win to accomplish this, and found it to pull all of the information we wanted. However, it doesn't feel like very good software, and it scales horribly. Once we got past 50-75 users, it couldn't keep up with the information coming in to it. I also found a few instances when the server was disconnected for whatever reason that the clients would all freeze up for a minute.

The cons aside, if you have a smaller group of users, this might work out very well for you because it's easy to use (can be a GPO to execute the application off of a network share; ie, no local installs) and does pull a lot of information (web history, time spent on each application, and screenshots). Worth a trial at least.

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Nice Universe sounds like it may do what you're looking for. I've not used Nice Universe, but have used Nice software for call recording since we were running on NT4 and can't fault it.

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I suggest Imonitor EAM or Netvizor, they are professinal employee monitoring software that you can trust. Or turn to remote spy software : http://www.remote-computer-spy.com

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