Today, smartphones are a basic necessity upon which both our personal and work lives depend. All of us use our mobile devices to not just receive phone calls or text messages but surf the internet, get emails and connect with the world in general. It’s not wrong to say that many people store a ton of private/company data on their smart devices without ever considering the risks of leaking them unintentionally or otherwise.
So, within this article, we will discuss smartphone surveillance and how you can best implement it at your workplace. Furthermore, we will look at one of the leading smartphone monitoring apps and the features it provides to help set up a successful surveillance plan for your company.
The word surveillance always invokes the feeling of someone looking after your every move. And that’s exactly what it means when we talk about surveilling a smart device. One might be able to read your text messages, review your call logs, know what websites you visit the most, how much you go through your social media accounts, and much more.
Still, at a workplace monitoring your employees can be helpful and profitable. It can help you identify which employees are spending their time being productive and which are not. At the end of the day, business is all about numbers and productivity.
5 Steps to Successfully Implement Smartphone Surveillance at Your Company
Huge organizations aside, most small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford to buy every employee their separate mobile device. So, the very first step for you will be:
1. Identify the Need for BYOD Policy
Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) policy addresses the risks and concerns for both the employer(s) and employee(s). When you allow your workers to bring along their personal devices to work, your organization’s data will always be vulnerable to threats such as corporate espionage, corruption, and loss of information. Another concern will be the privacy of your employee, who will need the details of how much monitoring will be done on their smartphones. As it is illegal to monitor anyone’s mobile phone without proper consent, you must devise a proper policy according to the local laws beforehand and make sure that the person undertaking the monitored device is agreed on it.
2. Decide What Devices Can or Cannot Be Used
Gone are the days when you could allow a single BlackBerry for work purposes. Now, people can choose between iOS and Android-based handheld phones or pads. Many newer devices will surely rise to the surface as well. That is why it’s imperative to specify what devices your employees can carry with them—especially when it is their own personal ones and not company issued.
3. Clarify Who Owns the Data & What Apps Are Okay to Install
A company-owned device might be set up to not allow additional app downloads and installations. But if you allow your workers to use their own devices then it’s best to make a list of allowed and banned apps. This will ensure no application is ever installed that can pose a threat to your valuable work data. Also, make sure you explain in your company policy that you hold the right to delete any data/app present in the monitored device. Following this tip will allow you to wipe corporate data from the device in case it is stolen or subject to a faulty app with security loopholes.
4. Choose the Best Smartphone Monitoring App for Your Needs
Currently, there are a large number of apps littered across the Apple or Google Play Store for surveilling smart devices. However, most of these apps are duplicitous and shady. We will talk about an app we have reviewed later in the article. But for now, you must identify your needs and get the best app for them. You can buy a cheap one that gives you the basic functionality of checking call logs and messages. Or you may get an expensive one that sends out alerts on specific actions performed using the said device, for example, a particular word gets used or the device enters a certain location, etc.
5. Make an Employee Exit Strategy
It is impossible to keep an employee in your service forever. Someday, they will either retire or find another job opportunity elsewhere. This scenario will require them to leave with their devices that hold your company data and network access authorizations. In turn, creating a loophole in your network security and the possibility of a data leak. To ensure that this does not happen you should set up a contingency or exit plan for your leaving employees. The plan may include:
- Revoking their company email IDs
- Wiping company-issued device(s)
- Removing their device access, as authorized personnel, from any and all company networks
The increase in using personal devices at the workplace is evident now more than ever. And it will be difficult to stop this growing practice. But with a good policy in place, you will be able to keep things from going sideways. And now, time to review an app that was introduced to help you oversee your staff at work.
XNSPY Smartphone Monitoring App
XNSPY is a reputed smartphone monitoring app that offers successful employee surveillance through its highly regarded set of features. A monthly subscription for its basic version will cost you about USD 4.99 while the premium version, entailing all its features, can be ringed up for USD 7.49. The app is supported on both Android devices with Android 4.0 onwards and its iOS counterparts from iOS 6.0 and above. You can either get a jailbreak or non-jailbreak version as per your requirements.
Moving on, let’s focus on what kind of features it provides to help you oversee your employees’ smartphone interactions:
- Telecommunication Monitoring: It entails some basic features that include access to viewing call logs and sent and received SMS/MMS. This will help you keep track of the correspondence between your employees and clients. Remote access to call log information will tell you about the numbers called or received with date stamps.
- Productivity Gauging: Using XNSPY and its various tools you can easily discern employee productivity. As you explore the app, you will find out you may check emails, know the top 5 most visited websites, what multimedia files are stored on the device, or the amount of time an app has been used. This can help you block the usage of any application that might be distracting your staff member and getting in the way of progress.
- Notification Alerts: It’s vital to get information right away when it comes to employee monitoring. This is why the app sends you instant alerts after you add words, contact numbers, or locations in their respective watch lists as required. Nice way to know that your subordinates are not talking about some company secrets or visiting your competitors.
- Location Tracking: If you get notifications on where the device is then of course it means that location is also being monitored at all times. You can check location history to see where your employee has been or track in real-time to know where they are at that moment. Helpful for tracking/rerouting drivers in the trucking industry or any other organization related to shipping and transportation.
Even with the best employee monitoring app, your company can be at risk of data breaches and leaks. Therefore, never take anything for granted when it comes to smartphone surveillance. With every new device launch, comes several loopholes and security lapses. Best to keep on your toes!