TikToker Reveals How Bosses Use Work Equipment To Spy On Employees

Ashley Hunte
Hands typing on a computer that's set on a white table next to a white wall.
Unsplash | NordWood Themes

Even with more and more offices calling their employees back to work in-person, work from home culture is here to stay. After all, it provides a good amount of flexibility for workers.

But taking your work computer home to use has its downfalls, too. For instance, it's totally possible for your employer to see what you're doing, even if you're working remotely.

In a series of TikToks, a user discusses how your employer could potentially be spying on you.

In her first TikTok, Jennifer Brick (@jenniferbrick) walks you through a free program employers can use to monitor "productivity," as well as web usage.

"They say 'uncover hidden potential...' I say just looking for time wasters to punish."

What she shows is just one of the many programs out there.

A computer monitor showing long strings of code.
Unsplash | Markus Spiske

Of course, this example was just the top search result on Google when looking for "employee monitoring software," and it isn't even close to being the only one.

But how do you know if you have one of those programs on your computer?

In the second TikTok, Brick states that, unless the employer explicitly stated that you're being tracked, you won't find the program in normal applications menus.

Instead, you have to get a little more "technical."

Drawn images of the CTRL, ALT, and DEL buttons.
Giphy | Adam J. Kurtz

On Activity Monitor on Mac, or Task Manager on Windows, "you're looking for processes you don't recognize."

Brick also suggests using Google to figure out exactly what programs you might have found.

The next question she asks is, "What do you do about it?"

Part three of the TikTok series shows Brick suggesting ways to give yourself a bit more privacy while your employer is monitoring you. This includes covering your webcam whenever you aren't in a meeting.

There are other devices that can trick a program into thinking you're being productive.

A drawing of a webcam that's slowly rocking side to side.
Giphy | Kyocera

Brick gives an example of a mouse mover pad, which moves your mouse and prevents your computer from going to sleep.

"Don't get the USB plug-ins though 'cause that's gonna be detected," she says.

In a fourth TikTok, Brick talks about how the software isn't the real problem.

"The real problem is the lack of trust, the lack of respect, and ultimately the lack of leadership that exists in environments that actively monitor their employees," she says.

It's important to think about if you actually want to work there.

A woman turning her head toward the camera to sat, "Is it worth it?"
Giphy | Megan Batoon

Instead of worrying about how to remove the software, Brick tells viewers to ask themselves an important question: "Do you want to work for a boss who would actively use it?"

Users weighed in on the idea of an employer spying on them while working.

Two people in a car. One says, "No thanks."
Giphy | Paramount+

"This is why you never use work equipment for anything other but work," one user commented. "Don't even use the work Wi-Fi for your phone or personal computer."

Others were a little less worried about their workplace privacy being breached.

A woman shrugging dramatically while saying, "Meh."

One commenter joked, "thank god I work at a company full of old people that do not know about this."

I guess having this software installed doesn't necessarily mean your employer will use it.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!