Work & Career
14 Signs That Your Boss Is Spying on You
Have you ever had that funny feeling that someone is watching you? At work, it’s probably true—here are the signs you need to look out for.
You have a boss
Workplace experts estimate that approximately 94 percent of employers spy on their employees in one way or another, reports Wired. That means that if you have a boss, you should probably proceed with the assumption that your boss is spying on you. So now, the questions you should be asking are what method is your employer using and how can you tell?
You use a keycard
In the pre-digital days, the office receptionist might have been keeping track of your comings and goings and reported them to the boss. These days, the keycard you use to get into your building and/or office tells the whole story of where you’ve been, for how long, and even with whom (assuming your colleagues are using their keycards, too).
You have an I.D. number or code
Your timesheets or punchcards are another source of info. If the copy machine requires a code, you can bet your boss knows who is using it and for what. With the keycards, work-issued smartphones, and computers linked through local area networks used at businesses these days, surveillance is a given. These are the 9 signs your boss is a micromanager.
You see surveillance cameras
These are a dead giveaway that your boss is monitoring your comings and goings. “Video recording is a relatively old yet still very popular way of watching you at the workplace,” according to experts at resumeperk.com, a resume assistance service. The site notes that while audio recordings aren’t legal, video recordings are.
The employee handbook says so
Your company handbook may disclose your employer’s surveillance policies, according to Forbes. For example, many companies state that your computer is to be used by you for business purposes only, and is thus subject to monitoring. If that’s the case, behave as if you’re always being watched. Here are 16 easy ways to build trust with your boss.
You use a company-owned and/or -issued device
Any device that your company gives you access to for the purpose of your job should be considered a potential tool for spying, according to Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate at Comparitech.com. That includes smartphones, pagers, tablets, and laptops.
You use your work-email account
If your boss issued you an email account, then everything you send and receive on that account is subject to your boss’s surveillance, regardless of how and where you access that email—even if you’re accessing the account on your own smartphone, laptop, or home computer, Bischoff told Money. As with your computer, you should consider your office email belongs to your work. Don’t miss these 16 signs your boss hates you and what to do about it.
You use the office WiFi network
Bischoff notes that when you log into your office Wifi network, you’re opening yourself up to surveillance, even if you’re using a personal computer or device. So if you go to the trouble of bringing a personal laptop to the office for use on personal matters, consider using a personal hotspot from your own smartphone to bypass the company WiFi monitoring.
Your work has an IT department
You can ask someone you consider “trustworthy” who works in the IT department whether and to what extent your boss is spying on you, via spyware and otherwise, suggests resumeperk.com. They may tell you; however, they may also tell your boss you asked. Proceed with caution. Make sure you know these 9 clear signs you can’t trust your boss.
You see spyware loaded onto your office computer
Spyware, including key-stroke and screenshot trackers, can provide your boss with a (disturbingly) granular look at what you’re doing on your office computer. Here’s how you might be able to discern if it’s been installed on your computer, according to Forbes:
- PC: Hit “Alt-Ctrl-Del” to pull up “Task Manager,” and click on “Processes.”
- Mac: Go to your “Utilities” folder and open the “Activity Monitor” app.
Look through the history for potential spyware such as VNC, RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, LogMeIn, Shadow, Silent Watch, and GoToMyPC—just know that this isn’t even close to an exhaustive list.
Your computer’s camera light is on
Resumeperk warns that software that allows switching on your camera remotely does exist, and it would allow people like your boss to see what you doing at that very moment. Look out for these 18 signs you have a terrible boss.
Your boss seems to know a lot about you
“Good weekend?” your boss asks you on Monday morning, and you think nothing of it. But what if your boss asks how the beach was? You could have been overheard talking to a coworker, or you now know that you’re being watched. Check out these 15 things you should never say to your boss.
You mentioned your company on social media
If you reference your employer, your boss, or your company on social media, you can assume your superiors will hear about it. Many companies set Google Alerts or do social media searches for their name and the names of personnel. This is especially true if your company or manager actively participates on social media. So it’s best to check your own use of social media, regardless of whether it’s during office hours or not.
A co-worker was disciplined for something “private”
If you learn that your boss has spied on a coworker, you have to assume you’re being spied on as well. According to AOL, if a company is spying on some employees, it likely won’t make any exceptions for you. Read up on these 50 secrets your boss won’t tell you—but you really need to know.