Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Sonar – An Employee Monitoring Software


Efficiency, control, optimization, directing the activity – these are the targets of any company and when the work takes place in a digital environment – the PC, network, servers – the Sonar software for monitoring the employee does its job. This application can control the work performed by the employees throughout a company’s computer network, whether small or a corporation highly developed and, even more, it can also supervise the activity of the remote employees, not only in the location / business network, this being a very effective solution for the companies that use agents/personnel that moves on the ground. The product is developed by Awareness Technologies (among other software companies like Laptop Cop, WebWatcher, InterGuard) and, in order to operate, it can be stored on the company server or on the server from Awareness Technologies, the data collection and reporting activities being similar. The Sonar software for monitoring the employees is effective because a company of small dimensions must not necessarily buy a server to host their software, is easy to use and it begins to fulfill its purpose after installation – that of secretly monitoring the activity of the employees that are put under observation.

  • Acts quietly
    • Does not charge the computer’s memory and its efficiency does not decrease in time
    • There are no icons or other graphics to signal its presence
    • The console for management is centralized, with the interface that allows detecting the activity, alert services when the employee’s behavior is “out of standards” and reporting capability.
    • It has filters to block the online activity, monitors the employee’s activity on the Internet and it can block the access to certain sites, like pornography and the social networks to sites with offers of employment (during office hours) or on computers belonging to the company (outside working hours), where employees are provided with laptops that can be taken home.
    • The type after which the blocking/filtering is made uses the software for employee monitoring (Sonar): default addresses, keywords, mailing lists or, depending on the nature of the work performed by the employee, the manager can establish a short list of sites to which the employee has access, all others, regardless of site, being restricted. However, any site visit is recorded, the report being made to the specifications: date of access, time of access, frequency of visits and if an employee uses search engines, the searched words and the results of those searches are recorded. Regarding the monitoring of e-mails, the “source employee”, the email content, including attachments and the recipient is recorded.
    Sonar employees monitoring software is compatible with most popular applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Outlook, Eudora etc. and, even more, it can also supervise and record any messages via Yahoo!Mail, GoogleMail, Hotmail or Facebook and MySpace messaging.
    • The software is able to detect keywords in question, and, when they occur, it sends an e-mail to notify the administrator. This capacity is also valid for monitoring the offline and online text editors. Downloads and uploads are monitored: FTP, HTTP, P2P (BitTorrent)
    •The entire activity on your PC is recorded, it can be blocked or enabled, in certain hour intervals, certain applications (during breaks, let’s say, the internet browsers can be used, but blocked during the working hours) or until a certain hour, the launching of a specific music player can be blocked.
    • The only thing escaping the blocking is: the transfer to USB devices, like the memory sticks.

The Sonar software of employees monitoring centralizes the monitoring in a “reporting console”, either on a server of the company or, depending on the choice of the owner, even on the Awareness Technologies servers, depending on how confidential the data is considered and if the “external storage” in this case is considered appropriate. Reporting is done both for overall activity and for each employee, on categories: e-mail, web, social networking, chat, software used, screenshots and typed words – all with date, time, duration and frequency. The data is centralized as reporting graphics and the manufacturing company offers support of “normal” and “VIP” type. The Sonar software of employee monitoring occupies 20 MB and it is compatible with operating systems from Windows XP to Windows 7. In conclusion: it is easy to purchase and install, it reduces operational costs, it reduces the risk of unauthorized transmission of confidential information, reports or documents that constitute intellectual property – based on the keywords, controls and reports of the online behavior and the offline behavior ( PC, laptop, network) of employees, values the time and manner of work, by restricting the web access or the access to different applications; it can remove the content of the laptop in case of theft, or it can recover data from it.
What a good manager should know:

  • The Employee Monitoring Software (Sonar) – secures the protection of data.
    • Increased employee efficiency if prone to “other activities”.
    • Exaggerated monitoring – as, for example, reading the content of personal e-mails – represents correspondence violation and enters in conflict with some provisions of the Constitution and the laws.
    • Employees should be cautioned that they are being monitored.
    • Laws are in contradiction with each other, in terms of monitoring, most often, in case of a conflict with the employee, the judge is the one who tips the balance in favor of the employee or in the favor of the employer.
    • Good employees can be de-motivated by excessive monitoring and by the restriction of access to software and web applications and imposing a certain pattern of Internet and PC use is effective only for the stereotyped activity, which does not involve creativity and dynamism.
    • Digital Surveillance vs. human supervision may influence the decrease of working speed in the employees, because they are focused on correcting the possible errors.
    • The goals and monitoring limits must be explained to the employees.
    How can you protect yourself from the Sonar monitoring software as an employee?
    • Ask information regarding the monitoring of your activity.
    • Use your phone to access the Internet for personal purposes.
    • Check the open ports of your computer -> Start -> Control Panel -> Security panel -> Windows Firewall -> Exceptions -> find a list of programs – the checked ones are open and you should uncheck the ones that seem “suspicious”.
    • If the antivirus from your computer has firewall, find the list with exceptions and check suspicious software.
    • Download a software for “spyware detecting software” such as Spybot Search and Destroy, AdAware or SuperAntiSpyware. Follow the instructions.
    • Enter the Task Manager; the “Processes” tab and look in the background to see if programs such as Sonar are running.
    • Use “Add/Remove Programs” to see if there are monitoring programs, or look for suspicious icons in the system tray.

The Sonar employee monitoring software is one of the best in this field, efficient and easy to use, capable of detailed and useful reports on securing the data of the company, but how it is used depends on the company’s policy, this instrument can be an ally of productivity, but also a way of declining the employees’ motivation, depending on the experience and the quality of the manager who decides the intensity of the Sonar’s use.


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