How do I monitor employee activity on a computer discreetly?

Posted on 2009-04-02
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have an employee who I am suspecting of conducting illegal activities. Therefore, I am keen to monitor any emails sent from and to his work computer, and any web browsing activities he performs on the computer, including accesing gmail or hotmail using the web browser.

The problem is that this employee has domain administrator and exchange administrator access into part of our organisation so unfortunately I cannot put any obvious exchange rules onto the mail server. Therefore, I am looking to see if there are any software I can install discreetly onto the employee's computer in order to monitor his activities on the laptop.

I have also have full domain administrator access into any computer onto the domain. It is not easy for me to get hold of his computer physically.
Question by:jwlchan
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Accepted Solution

LinkNJ earned 100 total points
ID: 24055128
I know somebody that used the software below just for the trial period and said they liked it.  I have no experience with it myself:
Good luck, Rob.

Assisted Solution

skywalker39 earned 200 total points
ID: 24055152
Hi jwlchan,

There's a program called Activity Monitor, here's the link:

Hope this helps.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Jared Luker
Jared Luker earned 100 total points
ID: 24055184
I hate to recommend it, but you'd probably be best suited with a hardware key logger.  Software key loggers will give you and your AV software a headache.

Something like this (just reference... not a recommendation)

If you have a spam filter, like the Barracuda devices, you might be able to have a peek at his inbound e-mails (again... a recommendation without regard to legalities of the issue.)
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Expert Comment

ID: 24055219
Yeah, I worked for a company used software similar to what skywalker39 suggested.
They used remote monitoring tools to view our desktops in realtime and we were unable to detect when they were on our machine.  It may have actually been Activity Monitor, but I don't know for sure.

I'll try to find out.

Author Comment

ID: 24055269
Thank you very much for everybody's help. I will try out each of the program detailed above on a laptop which should have the identical security setup (group policy, antivirus, firewall, etc).

jared_luker: I appreciate your suggestion of hardware keylogger but since he uses a laptop and is rarely unattended it is not easy for me to use the hardware keylogger.

As luck would have it, we do have barracuda like devices in our organisation and we can extract his inbound cooperate email without leaving too much traces. It is the outbound which will be an issue (he has full exchange rights for his mail server) - and the fact that we suspect he uses webmail anyway.

Assisted Solution

skywalker39 earned 200 total points
ID: 24055839
I forgot to mention another one, it's called Spector CNE Investigator. Here's the link to there site:

Assisted Solution

jimmmg earned 100 total points
ID: 24057938
i know one that is pretty smart for office use, powerful and affordable, u can take a look and have a free trial: 

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31566023
I am sure the above information would be able to help with my problem However, this job was changed to another person to deal with so I am no longer need to worry about it at all.
Anyway, thanks for the information.

Expert Comment

ID: 25213186
professional employee monitoring software for monitoring interent and computer activity: 

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