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Personal Monitor
Record PC users's actions, grab screenshots and passwords
Keylogger
Keystrokes recording software. Keylogger free trial
Hoverwatch
Cell phone and computer spy
Employee Monitor
Access and control the time spent by your workers
Terminal Monitor
Track employee activities on Terminal Server
Free Keylogger
Free keyboard logger keeps track of all typed text

Microsoft: a history of corporate monitoring

2 December 2010

Company managers and program designers have understood for a quite long time that monitoring staff activities can seriously, and without major expense, increase their productivity and responsibility.

This has also been strengthened by the fact that the main activities of office workers are almost totally connected to computers and the internet and that together with new capabilities there have also appeared a large number of temptations (social networks, various messaging services, on-line games) and dangers (viruses, hacks and fraud).

Already by 2007 the program Employee Monitor, which we developed, made it possible to evaluate the efficiency of staff monitoring and to save and analyse logs of their work on the computer.

Large companies took (and continue to take) great interest in corporate monitoring systems. For example, one of the 7000 patents, obtained by Microsoft in 2008, described a staff biometric monitoring system.

The patented system approached the problem of monitoring from quite a different angle, however it was less ethical and legally unambiguous. Its description mentioned a set of wireless sensors controlling heart beats, temperature, pressure, brain activity rhythm and even staff facial expressions.

Using analysis of the collected data, the system should automatically detect stressful situations, psychological distress, negative emotions and even incompetence. This patent caused quite a stir in the media and trade unions, but the public did not hear any comments from Microsoft or see a model of the patented device. Today, such biometric systems are still only used in the aviation and space industries and in fire fighting.

From keylogger to monitoring

23 April 2010

The first programs intercepting keystrokes (keyloggers) appeared in the 90s. They were very primitive and complied with a single function – recording the sequence of keystrokes in the log file. Later, they were designed to periodically send this file to e-mail and safely hide themselves in the system (it was not so difficult in Windows 9x). By 2000, there were already more than 300 different keylogging programs.

By 2002, these programs begin to specialize. For example, there appears a paid program to keep track of one’s partners – Loverspy. It was much discussed in the press. In addition, the main purpose of such programs are not keystrokes now but the network user’s activity, mainly – e-mail correspondence.

By 2005, the number of different keylogging programs has already surpassed 6000. They are divided into two groups by the way of usage: some have become hacker tools or a part of viruses, and other – legitimate tools which are not a subject to civil or criminal penalties for its user. In other words, there were found legitimate ways for usage of spyware programs:

  • monitoring of children’s activity on the Internet as a way to protect them (parental control software);
  • monitoring of other users of owner’s computer (personal monitoring software);
  • monitoring of employees as a way to increase their productivity (employee monitoring software);
  • tracking by security agencies of typed critical phrases that are a trade secret;
  • lawful conducting of tests and investigations of incidents involving the use of personal computers;
  • carrying out researches related to the determination of accuracy, efficiency and adequacy of personnel’s reaction to external influences;
  • monitoring by users of their own actions in order to gather statistics and optimize their own workflow.

There appeared programs that protect users from illegal keyloggers and anti-spyware modules in anti-virus programs.

Hardware solutions have appeared in addition to software ones. These are small devices built into a keyboard, system unit, or between them, which can capture and store all the information typed on the keyboard. Such devices are difficult to detect and there is no need to even turn on the computer in order to install them.

Hardware keylogger

Later scientists’ researches have shown that even these devices are not necessary, as up to 96% of information typed from the keyboard can be restored with audio of sounds that keyboard is creating while typing.
With the growing popularity of social networks and programs for messaging in these networks, there appeared functions for tracking of such communication in today’s monitoring programs.

Nowadays, development trends of these programs are changing again. The Internet is becoming more mobile, and mobile devices – more functional. Modern phones are equipped with powerful processors, fast Internet connection and GPS-positioning detectors that makes them a target for tracking programs. For example, there already exist programs to protect your phone against theft, which periodically report to the owner its exact location.

Refog Personal Monitor: engineering history.

8 April 2010

Development of Refog software is a continuous process: any detected errors in older versions are eliminated; releases of new products and updates of the old ones are prepared.

In this blog we’ll inform you about all the new products and added features and explain their purpose. Earlier the information about new features in the program was presented as a line of a text, but now it will be a detailed description with screenshots and videos.

Meanwhile you can see the development history of Refog Personal Monitor program from 2007 to the present date.

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