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Monitoring software

Monitoring software

(also computer surveillance software)

Monitoring software definition

Software that tracks user, app, and network activity on a system. Monitoring software covers a broad range of tools, including standalone apps installed by the supervisor and features bundled with other cybersecurity software. Monitoring software can capture a variety of data, such as traffic in and out of the system, user actions, and application processes. This data is reported to the administrator, alerting them to any violations resulting from unexpected behavior.

Some organizations employ monitoring software to keep tabs on employee productivity. Constant surveillance at work violates employee privacy, leading to these measures being dubbed “bossware” or “tattleware.”

Real monitoring software examples

  • Parental controls: Applications that may negatively impact minors often include tools for monitoring and restricting access. Parental controls are most often found in video games, letting guardians limit when and how often children can play.
  • Employee monitoring: Organizations may employ a variety of measures to maintain staff productivity, such as screen recording, keystroke logging, and surprise webcam activation. This type of monitoring software is dangerous because its functions can be hijacked by criminals to steal passwords, files, and personal data.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security