Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock BeeBole
OVERVIEW
Price(per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user+$16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan:$30 for 5 users+$5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user+$8From $2.20 per user$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

The short answer is—no. In the United States, using employee monitoring software is legally permitted under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA). Employers have a lot of freedom when it comes to tracking activities and internet traffic on company-owned devices, especially when there is a legitimate business reason. This applies to everything from tracking file distribution to monitoring keystrokes.

But, there is more to this issue. Specific state laws might impose additional guidelines, so both employers and employees need to be aware of the regulations that apply in their respective states.

Employers should also choose wisely and pick a computer monitoring app that allows extensive customization of monitoring settings. One of the most flexible monitoring tools is Insightful. This tool allows detailed activity and productivity monitoring while respecting the employees’ privacy and data security.

The question: “Is it illegal for employers to use employee monitoring software?” comes with a host of other doubts. Check out some more FAQs related to this topic:

Is it mandatory to inform employees about monitoring?

There are two answers to this question. At the federal level, there are no legal requirements for employers to notify their employees about the use of monitoring tools. Employers can legally monitor their employees without prior consent.

Still, in several states such as Connecticut, Delaware, Texas, and New York the situation is different. These states have enacted laws demanding that employers inform their employees about monitoring.

If you are hoping to improve your team’s productivity through monitoring, experience has shown that it’s better to notify your employees about monitoring. This can help you foster a trusting environment, protect the business in legal scenarios, and enhance team dynamics.

Are employers allowed to monitor screen contents on company computers?

Yes, in the United States, employers are allowed to monitor screen contents on company computers. This type of monitoring is completely legal at the federal level. It's generally assumed that all activities performed on work computers should be accessible to employers, particularly when supported by clear workplace policies.

If an employer still wants to protect their employees’ privacy, they can choose flexible monitoring software, such as Insightful. This way they can exclude certain apps or websites from monitoring or just blur screenshots. Good examples of the activities some employers leave out of monitoring are internal messaging apps.

Is monitoring keystrokes on company computers legal?

Yes, in the United States, keystroke logging, which records everything typed on company devices, is legal. Such software may even be configured to alert employers to specific words or phrases that could be deemed inappropriate or harmful to the company.

Are employers required to obtain consent for employee monitoring?

Just like when it comes to informing workers about monitoring, this question has two answers. The federal law does not mandate employers to secure consent before implementing monitoring in the workplace. 

Only in some states consent to monitoring is required. Again, these are Connecticut, New York, Texas, and Delaware. In these jurisdictions, monitoring without consent may be regarded as unlawful surveillance. Employees can potentially even sue the employer for the invasion of privacy if monitoring is conducted without obtaining proper consent.

Are monitoring policies mandatory in the workplace?

Yes, having explicit monitoring policies is mandatory for every business operating in the US. These policies should be detailed and presented to employees in the form of an official document. This document must cover the scope and methods of monitoring. It should also specify the limited privacy expectations on company devices and ensure that personal data unrelated to work is not collected or disclosed without restrictions.

The employees should be introduced to these policies as soon as they join the company and required to acknowledge them in writing.

Can employers monitor employees during breaks?

Monitoring during breaks is legal, especially if it involves company equipment like computers. Employers are allowed to monitor workers to ensure there is no misuse of the internet or company devices during breaks. Just like with monitoring during work hours, some states might require informing employees or obtaining consent for such monitoring.

Are employers required to inform employees about what is being monitored?

When using company-owned devices, employees’ activities are typically not considered private under US law. This is why employers may not be obligated to disclose monitoring details

Still, it is generally recommended to inform employees about the specifics of monitoring as open communication is the basis of trust and company loyalty.

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Employee Monitoring

Is It Illegal for Employers to Use Employee Monitoring Software?

Written by
Vanja Savic Petrovic
Published on
April 29, 2024

The short answer is—no. In the United States, using employee monitoring software is legally permitted under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA). Employers have a lot of freedom when it comes to tracking activities and internet traffic on company-owned devices, especially when there is a legitimate business reason. This applies to everything from tracking file distribution to monitoring keystrokes.

But, there is more to this issue. Specific state laws might impose additional guidelines, so both employers and employees need to be aware of the regulations that apply in their respective states.

Employers should also choose wisely and pick a computer monitoring app that allows extensive customization of monitoring settings. One of the most flexible monitoring tools is Insightful. This tool allows detailed activity and productivity monitoring while respecting the employees’ privacy and data security.

The question: “Is it illegal for employers to use employee monitoring software?” comes with a host of other doubts. Check out some more FAQs related to this topic:

Is it mandatory to inform employees about monitoring?

There are two answers to this question. At the federal level, there are no legal requirements for employers to notify their employees about the use of monitoring tools. Employers can legally monitor their employees without prior consent.

Still, in several states such as Connecticut, Delaware, Texas, and New York the situation is different. These states have enacted laws demanding that employers inform their employees about monitoring.

If you are hoping to improve your team’s productivity through monitoring, experience has shown that it’s better to notify your employees about monitoring. This can help you foster a trusting environment, protect the business in legal scenarios, and enhance team dynamics.

Are employers allowed to monitor screen contents on company computers?

Yes, in the United States, employers are allowed to monitor screen contents on company computers. This type of monitoring is completely legal at the federal level. It's generally assumed that all activities performed on work computers should be accessible to employers, particularly when supported by clear workplace policies.

If an employer still wants to protect their employees’ privacy, they can choose flexible monitoring software, such as Insightful. This way they can exclude certain apps or websites from monitoring or just blur screenshots. Good examples of the activities some employers leave out of monitoring are internal messaging apps.

Is monitoring keystrokes on company computers legal?

Yes, in the United States, keystroke logging, which records everything typed on company devices, is legal. Such software may even be configured to alert employers to specific words or phrases that could be deemed inappropriate or harmful to the company.

Are employers required to obtain consent for employee monitoring?

Just like when it comes to informing workers about monitoring, this question has two answers. The federal law does not mandate employers to secure consent before implementing monitoring in the workplace. 

Only in some states consent to monitoring is required. Again, these are Connecticut, New York, Texas, and Delaware. In these jurisdictions, monitoring without consent may be regarded as unlawful surveillance. Employees can potentially even sue the employer for the invasion of privacy if monitoring is conducted without obtaining proper consent.

Are monitoring policies mandatory in the workplace?

Yes, having explicit monitoring policies is mandatory for every business operating in the US. These policies should be detailed and presented to employees in the form of an official document. This document must cover the scope and methods of monitoring. It should also specify the limited privacy expectations on company devices and ensure that personal data unrelated to work is not collected or disclosed without restrictions.

The employees should be introduced to these policies as soon as they join the company and required to acknowledge them in writing.

Can employers monitor employees during breaks?

Monitoring during breaks is legal, especially if it involves company equipment like computers. Employers are allowed to monitor workers to ensure there is no misuse of the internet or company devices during breaks. Just like with monitoring during work hours, some states might require informing employees or obtaining consent for such monitoring.

Are employers required to inform employees about what is being monitored?

When using company-owned devices, employees’ activities are typically not considered private under US law. This is why employers may not be obligated to disclose monitoring details

Still, it is generally recommended to inform employees about the specifics of monitoring as open communication is the basis of trust and company loyalty.

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