For those who aren’t up (or is it down?) with writerly abbreviations, a WIP is a Work In Progress. I have a couple on the boil at the moment, along with several on the proverbial back burner, where they can just stay until these others are finished!
For one of the current ones, I had to do some research on key logging software.
I knew about key loggers in the vaguest sense from warnings I have received about hackers. They are programs that the sneaky hacker tries to load onto your computer to track what keys you hit, with the aim of finding the strings of keystrokes that are passwords. Which they then use to steal your money, one imagines.
But I had no idea that you could go out and buy the software, quite legally.
The marketers of the programs promote them as a way to keep tabs on employees and children. In the first case, to make sure that they aren’t spending their work time on Facebook, and in the second, that they aren’t getting up to things they shouldn’t.
Now, I understand that social media can be a real problem for employers and that parents are worried about their kids – but both of these applications shocked me to my socks.
It seems like such a betrayal of trust.
Of course, if an employee is using their paid time to mess around on the internet, you could argue that they have broken faith first. But I think if an employer feels the need to do this, they need to take a good hard look at the work they are asking people to do and how they are managing and motivating. Engaged, committed, happy staff don’t goof off – not excessively, anyway.
As for children… I believe that parents should know who their kids mix with and where they are going and that includes online. But I also think that they should mostly find those things out by asking, by taking an interest, by having a house that’s open to friends and by keeping the lines of communication strong. Insisting that an underage person have you as a Facebook friend, or that internet access be in a family space, not a private one, is one thing. Spying on their every keystroke seems to me to be quite another.
What do you think? Is it okay to keylog your employee’s, children’s (or, dare I say it) spouse’s computer activity? Am I being naive about this? How would you feel if someone did it to you?
Slightly freaked out…
The groovy spy image above was provided by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net