We don’t term it a universal truth, but in the modern world, most employers track the activities of their employees. The extent to which your employer is willing to go might be unclear but what is generally practiced around the globe is shocking enough.
Some just resort to monitoring the employee’s internet activity, some go further to virtually read the emails on their system, some track the locations, and some even put microphones on employee ID badges. Only a handful of employers value privacy.
This brings us to the most critical question, how to detect and prevent workplace spying in the modern world?
If you’re an employee afraid of being spied on, you can secure your privacy using VPNs. These tools are designed to route your traffic through an encrypted tunnel, making your traffic and other information unreadable. This means that even if you’re watching Netflix during your work hours, your employer won’t have the slightest idea about it.
Let’s dig deep to know the all-important reasons behind workplace spying and how to prevent it:
The worsening situation: what went wrong?
Spying on employees is not new. It has existed for centuries, and to most old-school individuals, it makes perfect sense.
“Why would you not spy on someone you are paying to get the work done?”
Thanks to the progress that the world has made, these sorts of opinions are hardly celebrated in public. But do employers refrain from spying on their employees? The answer is harsh and simple – No.
Modern-day workplace spying is not very old. Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company Ltd. used to roam in his factory with a stopwatch in his hand. He used it to track employee efficiency and whether employees were working diligently.
This does not stop here.
Henry even hired private investigators and detectives to make sure everything in the personal life of his entire workforce was worry-less. He believed that anything that caused performance issues would be dealt with accordingly.
This was before the internet was viral.
Over the last decade, things have gotten worse. The companies have repeatedly exhibited behaviors and openly expressed their willingness to track employee activity to ensure utmost performance. This includes startups and small, medium, and enterprise-scale companies.
With the invention of AI and the widespread use of its sub-technologies such as AI & ML – this all has been automated. So, if you feel that you are a small cog in a large machine that is being watched all the time – you are not wrong.
But how can we make it better? Let’s find out.
Tips to prevent workplace spying
It is not easy to detect and prevent workplace spying.
Yet, there are options. The modern world has something for everyone. First and foremost, review your employment contract to see if your employer is legally permitted to track your activities. If they don’t, you have a very strong case. In case the answer is yes, you will have to ensure there are no violations.
Once you are done, begin by checking your IP Address. This is an address assigned to your device via the internet. It can reveal a lot of information about you, including your relative location and, sometimes, your internet activity.
The solution? Use a credible VPN.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a program that conceals your identity online by masking your IP Address, making you virtually invisible.
Furthermore, using browsers like Brave or Epic Browser and using Private Browsing, a lot of issues can be easily solved.
Do snooping software tools threaten my privacy online?
If you use a good VPN and privacy-focused browser, you may be able to get through a lot of restrictions, but certain software programs and tools limit the level of privacy you can attain.
The solution to these tools is not very easy. It is time-consuming and laborious. You will have to research the tools in use and see if they have privacy statements published online. Find them and read – understand what they have to say about cookies, data uploads, the information they collect, and more.
If you think the intrusion is not negligible, you will have to isolate the device and software you use on them. Dictating or requesting policy changes is not for everyone, and it becomes tough to avoid.
Workplace spying prevention: takeaway
There is no good news. Workplace spying is not going anywhere, and we must live with it. However, what we can do is minimize the effects it may be causing on our lifestyle. The ideas we discussed are a few thoughts and ways to help you sail through.
Strong network security regulations, good VPNs, and privacy-focused browsers provide you a way out of this confusing and stressful stage of life. Moreover, privacy is everyone’s fundamental right; if it is compromised, you will have to find ways to safeguard yourself sooner or later.