Archives for 2010

HAPPY CYBER-MONDAY!

Monday, November 29, 2010 No Comments

HAPPY CYBER-MONDAY!

A relatively new term coined in the last few years is “Cyber Monday.” This is the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend when millions of people, back at work, go online to do some holiday shopping… It is also probably the single day with the most amount of wasted time at work… Below are a series of articles to celebrate today’s national cyberslacking event, and to remind bosses why it’s a good idea to know how your employees are spending their work day…


November 25, 2010
Half of Employers Monitor Internet and E-mail Use of Employees – Nearly One-Third of Workers Holiday Shop Online at Work
By Career Builders


CHICAGO – As Thanksgiving weekend officially kicks off the holiday season, one tradition that is returning this year is online shopping at the office. Cyber Monday, a term coined by the National Retail Federation for the first Monday after Thanksgiving, will likely be a busy day for Internet use at work. Twenty-nine percent of workers say they have holiday shopped online at work, on par with previous years. Of those planning to shop online this year, 27 percent will spend one hour or more. More than one-in-ten (13 percent) said they will spend two hours or more. Workers should be mindful of their companies’ electronic communications policies, though, as nearly half (47 percent) of companies said that they monitor Internet and e-mail use of employees. This year’s survey included more than 2,400 employers and more than 3,100 workers. Read more › 
November 24, 2010
Cyber Monday & Redefining Acceptable Use – Again
By Dan Lohrmann, Lohrmann on GovSpace


Trevor usually spends about six hours each year shopping online for Christmas presents at the office. A few years back he would save the final step, making the actual purchase, for his home PC. But now he feels comfortable enough to pull out his personal credit card and empty his shopping cart while still on his work PC. Yes, Trevor (not his real name) knows he is violating the formal acceptable use policy. Still, he silently justifies his actions by remembering his excellent performance appraisals. Besides, everyone is doing it... Read more ›
November 26, 2010
Stroud: What's Likely to Happen in Your Office on Cyber Monday
By: Robert Stroud, CGEIT – via cnbc.com


I was putting up bookshelves a few weeks ago when I discovered that the package was a few nuts and bolts short of getting the job done. As a typical time-pressed executive who spends most weekdays on the road, I needed an instant solution. So I called the manufacturers’ 1-800 line, only to find out it was closed on weekends. That’s when my “digital native” son took over. A few minutes of him surfing the web served up the needed info and a trip to the hardware store got it done. Read more ›
November 23, 2010
The Holidays: Is the Boss Monitoring Your Online Shopping?
By Stacey Bradford, Moneywatch.net


Working parents are especially busy during the weeks leading up to the holidays. In addition to our regular family obligations, we often need to clock in extra hours at the office so we can wrap up projects before Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time crunch presents many mothers and fathers with an ethical question: Is it okay to shop online for gifts from our cubicles? It turns out that plenty of folks have no problem hitting online stores during office hours. According to a recent poll by CareerBuilder, 27% of employees plan to spend at least one hour surfing the web for presents. Another 13% intend to waste at least two hours shopping for holiday gifts. Read more ›

The Top Ten Ways Workers Waste Time Online

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 No Comments

We were mentioned in this article from that talks about the top 10 ways employees waste tme online (at work)…

September 30, 2010
The Top Ten Ways Workers Waste Time Online
From 24/7 Wall Street

It is broadly assumed that American workers with access to computers spend some portion of their day using them for personal communication, gain, or pleasure. The actual wasted time and productivity turns out to be staggering.

24/7 Wall St. looked at a number of workplace studies about how people spend time online. Most of this research says that workers with PCs are on the Web for 20 to 22 hours a week. About a quarter of that is time spent on personal matters. That is about five hours of lost productivity each week. It is hard to imagine that any other activity before the advent of the PC could have eaten up that amount of time at work, even considering such productivity killers as going to the corner store to buy cigarettes or gossiping with co-workers around the water cooler. Read more ›

How to handle an employee's controversial online behavior

Thursday, September 02, 2010 No Comments

This interesting article that gives advice on how to let employees surf freely online, but making sure to keep them in line… good piece. Remember, a program like The Office Software will allow your employees freedom on the net, while you can make sure they don’t abuse the privileges.


How to handle an employee's controversial online behavior
From Helium.com

In these days of social networking, employers need to take a well-considered, sensible and pragmatic approach to managing employees’ conduct online. Whilst many businesses employ some of form of filtering or monitoring, they would be foolish to underestimate the importance and value of social networking to their business, and to outlaw their employees from participating in such things would equally naïve. Issues of conduct fall into a number of different areas… Read more ›

More than 16 billion minutes spent on Facebook per da

Thursday, July 01, 2010 No Comments

And just imagine how many of them are during work hours! The Office Software (theOS) will let you know how much time your employees are wasting on Facebook and other social networking sites.

June 29, 2010
More than 16 billion minutes spent on Facebook per day
By Paul Mah, fierceCIO.com

More than 400 million active users spend a total of more than 16 billion minutes on social networking site Facebook per day, says Facebook VP of Technical Operations Jonathan Heiliger. Heiliger was giving a presentation on the infrastructure of one of the world's most trafficked sites at the Velocity 2010 conference last week when he revealed the figures. Read more ›

Banning Social Networks At Work: Exercise in Futility

Friday, June 25, 2010 No Comments

This article we found highlights a security firm’s summit, where they stated clearly that banning social media is an exercise in futility. They also said that productivity and keeping people off social networks should not be an IT concern, rather a boss’s problem and an issue of clear guidelines and expectations.

Agreed. And The Office Software comes in handy for just that. Rather than totally blocking social networks, you can allow your employees to use them – but if they start to abuse the privilege, you will see it and can hold them accountable…

22 Jun 2010
Companies shouldn't bother banning Facebook, social networking
By Eric Parizo, Senior Site Editor, SearchSecurity.com

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – According to a Gartner Inc. social media security expert, banning Facebook, and other social networking services like LinkedIn and Twitter, is an exercise in futility. To boot, securing social media in the enterprise is not a responsibility that should fall to information security teams. Read more ›

Big Boss Is Probably Watching You – Legally

Thursday, June 24, 2010 No Comments

We found this interesting article in the Lowell Sun (Massachusetts) that looks at employers’ legal rights to monitor employees basically anywhere in the work place (except the bathroom) and on any computer… and they don’t really have to tell you! With The Office Software, you can monitor your employees in a legal and visible way, and have them actively participate in keeping workplace productivity high.


June 21, 2010
Big Boss is probably watching you -- legally
By Rita Savard, Lowell Sun

The camera Kyle Keady concealed inside a pen was the size of a housefly.

The former Shirley town administrator told police he tucked his homemade spy device in a vent above a ladies room stall in Town Hall.

Then there was the digital recorder hidden in a potted plant on his female assistant's desk, a baby monitor stashed away in ceiling tiles and hundreds of photos taken in the area of Keady's office without anyone knowing.

His arrest, and the controversy that has roiled Shirley's close-knit community of 6,300, has also sparked questions about just how far a boss can go to monitor employees. Read more ›

What is acceptable office computer use

Friday, June 18, 2010 No Comments

We found this great article on PCWorld.com that looks at appropriate computer use at work. Though a competitor is mentioned, the article is lengthy, in-depth, and presents a great argument for monitoring employees in the workplace. With The Office Software (theOS), you can block websites you don’t want people on at all or just keep an eye on where people are going and how they are spending your time on the Internet…


Not Safe for Work: What's Acceptable Office Computer Use
By Joan Goodchild, CSO

How many minutes, or hours, did you spend on Facebook today? Even if you spent just a few minutes on the popular social networking site during office hours, you're not alone. Data from Nucleus Research finds 77 percent of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours. Read more ›

Facebook at Work?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 No Comments

This interesting article from a North Dakota newspaper looks at the productivity issue (or lack thereof) that comes up when we look at the allowance of Facebook in the office. A poll on the website asks if Facebook use should be banned at workplaces… 67% say yes!

If bosses used a productivity tool like The Office Software (theOS), they could allow Facebook, but prevent abuse. Thus giving them the chance to harness the power of social networks, while making sure the business isn’t hurt by the privileges afforded to employees.

June 04 2010
Facebook at work: Employers worry about productivity
By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

Jeff DeLoss, a business analyst at Noridian Administrative Services in Fargo, can’t log on to Facebook at his work computer. Company policy does not allow access to social networking sites on company time.

“I guess I don’t mind it,” he said about the policy, “because I can see room for a lot of misuse on company time.” Read more ›

Surfing Porn Still Popular At Work

Wednesday, June 02, 2010 No Comments

Surfing Porn Still Popular At Work -- Think your employees aren’t surfing (or trying to) porn at work? Think again! Statistics show 70% of all Internet porn traffic takes place during the 9-to-5 workday. With a tool like The Office Software, you will be able to keep an eye on your employees and stop a porn addiction before it get serious and hurts everyone involved. Check out this excellent article from Canada!

May 26, 2010
Surfing porn still popular at work
By Lauren La Rose, Globe and Mail

In a relationship with pornography that spanned three decades, Michael Leahy said it was in the final five years that his use of the material went beyond recreational — it became an obsession.

At the height of his addiction, Leahy worked out of a cubicle for a computer company in Atlanta, and accessed porn online for an hour or two a day. As a company salesman who was often on the road, Leahy said that tally could reach as many as eight hours in a day. Read more ›

Pac-Man on Google wasted 4.8 million hours and $120 million

Thursday, May 27, 2010 No Comments

Remember last week when Google paid tribute to Pac-Man, who turned 30. Did you know that the Google logo was actually a playable Pac-Man game? I bet your employees did! A study is now showing that almost 5 million hours of company time and over $120 million was wasted on the game… A productivity tool like The Office Software (theOS) can help you curb cyberslacking habits like videogames at work!

May 25, 2010 3:07 PM PDT
Study: Pac-Man on Google wasted 4.8 million hours
By Daniel Terdiman, Cnet.com

It might not sound like a lot on first glance, but the 36 extra seconds that the average Google.com visitor spent there last Friday playing Pac-Man adds up to a massive 4.8 million of wasted hours.

According to a study by RescueTime, Pac-Man on Google--the playable version of the iconic game that the search giant replaced its home page logo with on Friday--cost the economy a total of 4,819,352 man-hours and a whopping $120,483,800 in lost productivity. Read more ›

A Facebook-Free Workplace? Curbing Cyberslacking

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 No Comments

We found this article from last week that revisits the employer question: do I allow my employees on Facebook at work? If you have a tool like The Office Software (theOS) in place, you can allow access and curb abuse at the same time – thus finding the all-elusive “happy middle ground” the article talks about… Check it out and then ask us how theOS can work for you!


May 20, 2010
A Facebook-Free Workplace? Curbing Cyberslacking
By Sarah E. Needleman, Wall Street Journal Blogs

What do ABC's "Lost," the World Cup and Playboy share in common? They all have the potential to put a big dent in small businesses' production flow these next few weeks, as each has something new to tempt employees who work online.

The TV series "Lost" ends May 23, giving viewers much to chat about on fan sites in the days leading up to and after it airs. And starting June 11, the 2010 World Cup, which takes place in Africa this year, will be live during office hours in the U.S. Sports lovers may be inclined to frequently check sports sites for score updates. Read more ›

Workplace Privacy A Thing Of The Past...?

Thursday, May 13, 2010 No Comments

This interesting news story from South Carolina looks at how local companies and schools are monitoring employees. The Office Software (theOS) is a perfect solution for both companies and school systems that want to know how the company/school machines are being used. It shows you what people are doing, and helps you increase productivity and keep people on track by filtering web access and restricting other activity that could b considered wasteful (like instant messenger or running P2P software).

May 11, 2010
Facebooking At Work? Watch Out For Prying Eyes
Tim Waller, WYFF News 4

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Do you update your Facebook status from a work computer? Do you browse your favorite shopping websites on your lunch break? Like most employees, Elizabeth Rouprich of Greenville occasionally surfs the web on her work computer, and only on her lunch break, she says. Read more ›

Are Your Employees Watching Porn at Work?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 No Comments

This interesting article reveals some good stats, despite being a bit off a profile of a filtering company. Remember, filtering is only going to cause your employees to waste company time by finding ways to circumnavigate the filters so they can look at what they want. A better method is to let them know you are watching…

May 10th, 2010
Are Your Employees Watching Porn at Work?
By Donna Fenn, BNET.com

According to The Nielsen Company, 29.5% of adults who use a computer to access the Internet at work visited an “adult” site in March alone. That’s almost as shocking as revelations that senior Securities and Exchange Commission employees were trolling the web for porn while the economy was crashing and burning. So what can you do to make sure that your employees aren’t doing the same? Read more ›

Vermont Attempting to Monitor State Employee Internet Activity

Thursday, May 06, 2010 No Comments

Vermont Attempting to Monitor State Employee Internet Activity --

Currently making headlines is this ballsy move by the legislators in the state of Vermont who are voting to install monitoring software on state employee computers. They say it’s to prevent looking at porn – then why couldn’t they just use filters.

Of course, employees are up in arms – but is it because now they know others will know they don’t do anything at their jobs?

Vermont should invest in our The Office Software (theOS)… it’ll do exactly what they need it to and they’ll be able to increase productivity too!!

May 3, 2010
Controversy mounts regarding porn blockers on state computers
From WCAX-TV/ CBS 3

Controversy is heating up in Montpelier over a plan to install monitoring software on the computers of state employees. The goal was to cut off any chance of state employees viewing porn on state time. But that's easier said than done.

A case of big brother? Or an ingenious attempt to prevent inappropriate activity? Regardless of where you stand debate is growing over a plan to install computer monitoring software in state government. Read more ›

Should Managers Care That Employees Are On Facebook And YouTube While At Work?

Thursday, April 29, 2010 No Comments

This interesting post from TechDirt.com speaks for itself. What do you think about this? Remember, an office productivity tool like The Office Software can let you allow social networking access at work, but keep the cyberslacking to a minimum. You will know if employees are abusing your kindness…

Should Managers Care That Employees Are On Facebook And YouTube While At Work?
From the results-based-management dept

A recent study reported that 6.8 percent of URLs accessed by businesses lead to Facebook and 10 percent of bandwidth goes to YouTube. Of course, as to be expected, along with such a study come the fears that security and worker productivity is harmed by allowing access to such "non-work" sites:

The figures show that IT managers are right to be concerned about the amount of social network use at work. There are two real concerns here: firstly that employees will be downloading applications from social networks and putting security at risk; and secondly the amount of corporate bandwidth that appears to be being used for non-corporate activity. Read more ›

Employers You Don’t Have a Facebook Problem You Have an Employee Problem

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 No Comments

We found this excellent blog post from a Librarian and wanted to share. She spells it out perfectly!! Don’t blame technology – blame your employees! Employees will always find ways to waste time, whether it’s going to the kitchen, on a coffee run or for a butt brake, they will slack a bit. It just so happens that social networking is today’s preferred vehicle (before social networking it was solitaire). Productivity tools like The Office Software will help you eliminate the cyberslacking and keep everyone on task…

April 21, 2010
Employers You Don’t Have a Facebook Problem You Have an Employee Problem
By Bobbi Newman (a.k.a. LirarianByDay.net)

I hear questions like these a lot at conferences – How do I stop my employees from wasting time on Facebook? or What do I do with an employee who is spending too much time on Facebook?

My responds is always the same – You don’t have a Facebook problem you have an employee problem. What would you do if that employee were spending too much time at the water cooler? Or on the phone with with his girlfriend? Or playing solitaire all day? For some reason when people are presented with a old problem in a digital format they focus on the format and not the problem. Read more ›

Employee Fired for Disseminating Inappropriate E-mail at Work

Friday, April 23, 2010 No Comments

The article here is an interesting look at the legalities of monitoring employees… in Canada! So, all our fellow business owners in the Great White North, read this!!

It is your legal right to use office productivity tools like The Office Software (theOS)...

April 19, 2010
Employee Fired for Disseminating Inappropriate E-mail at Work
By Alix Herber, The Employment Law Post

While many employees are allowed to access and use the Internet and e-mail on company computers for “limited” personal use, it’s not uncommon for them to misuse this privilege. In Poliquin v. Devon Canada Corporation, the Alberta Court of Appeal was asked whether an employee could be fired for cause because he used his employer’s computer and Internet access to view and disseminate pornographic and racist materials in violation of the employer’s code of conduct. According to the Alberta Court of Appeal, the answer was yes. Read more ›

Supreme Court takes up 'sexting' privacy case

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 No Comments

Supreme Court takes up 'sexting' privacy case --
We got wind of this story before, but didn’t post it quite yet – as the controversy here is over ‘sexting’ that occurred on company cell phones – NOT computers. However, this case has now gone all the way to the Supreme Court and may very well impact an employers ability to monitor ALL forms of communication via company-owned electronic devices with tools like The Offiice Software (theOS).


April 19, 2010
Supreme Court takes up 'sexting' privacy case
By Warren Richey, Staff writer Christian Science Monitor

Washington - The US Supreme Court on Monday took up a case testing whether a police officer who used his department-issued pager to transmit and receive sexually explicit messages had a reasonable expectation of privacy that the messages would not be viewed by police officials.

The case is being closely watched because it could establish new constitutional ground rules for when personal text messages, emails, and other communications in the workplace are entitled to Fourth Amendment privacy protections. Read more ›

NY Cyberbullying Bill Gets Endorsement

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 No Comments

Attorney-Client Privilege Trumps Employer Monitoring -- A case that had been ongoing has been settled and the outcome is clear: When an employee exchanges emails with her attorney through a personal web-based email account using a company computer, that email is attorney-client privileged even though the computer may automatically create a viewable copy of the email's text in temporary internet files on the company computer.

So whether you are going to use The Office Software, or a lesser brand, know that if you have an employee communicating with an attorney, via private email – even if it is on your company computers – you cannot look!

April 6, 2010
Are Employees' Personal Emails On Work Computers Private? "Sometimes" Rules N.J. Supreme Court

Until last week, most employers believed that they had the right to review -- and in fact owned -- any electronic information stored on company computers. In a recent decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court carved out an exception to this rule. When an employee exchanges emails with her attorney through a personal web-based email account using a company computer, that email is attorney-client privileged even though the computer may automatically create a viewable copy of the email's text in temporary internet files on the company computer. In addition to ratifying, once again, the sanctity courts grant to the attorney-client privilege, the case highlights the importance of well-drafted company policies to enforce workplace rules and protect employer rights. Although the precedent applies only in New Jersey, the decision is significant for all employers. Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. Read more ›

Small Businesses Fear Security Threat of Social Media

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 No Comments

This article is based on a recent survey of IT professionals. Their predictions are based on past experience. The bottom line here is that if you are monitoring your employees’ Internet use with tools like The Office Software (theOS), you can not only cut down on office time spent visiting social networks, but you can also trace the source off a security breach when it occurs. There is no reason not to know what your employees are doing on the company machines they use…


Survey: Small Businesses Fear Security Threat of Social Media
More than three quarters of small business owners fear use of Facebook and Twitter will come back to haunt them. Meanwhile, a separate survey reveals social media users still aren't very privacy savvy.
By Courtney Rubin, Inc.com

Small business owners fingered social networks as biggest threat to information technology security in 2010, according to a new report.

Based on security firm Webroot's survey of 803 IT professionals at small and medium-sized companies, a whopping 80 percent of them think Facebook, RSS feeds, and related Web 2.0-based malware will cause a problem for their companies in 2010. (Worse, 73 percent of respondents think these web-based threats are going to be more difficult to manage than e-mail based threats).
Read more ›

NJ Supreme Court Hampers Corporate Email Surveillance

Friday, April 02, 2010 No Comments

NJ Supreme Court Hampers Corporate Email Surveillance - We found this VERY IMPORTANT article that every business owner, big or small, should read!! Remember, with a tool like The Office Software (theOS) you won’t need forensic software. Furthermore, it’s easy to tell your employees that the tool is in place, and we’ve even made it so the employee can contribute to their own monitoring – with the Activity Vault.

We’ve put the start of the article below – but READ IT ALL! We’ll make sure to put the follow-up next week on here too!

NJ Supreme Court hampers corporate email surveillance
Posted by Jon Hyman on April 1, 2010

Employers generally think that they own and control all data that passes through their computer networks, whether work-related or personal to an employee. Earlier this week, in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency [pdf], the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that should concern all businesses, and could greatly inhibit employers’ ability to monitor how employees use workplace technology for personal reasons.

Consider the following facts. You issue a manager a company-owned laptop. The employee – who is not technologically savvy – does not realize that the Internet browser automatically saves on the hard drive a copy of each web page viewed. During her employment, the employee uses the computer to contact her attorney using her personal, web-based, password protected Yahoo email account. She did not save her private login or password on the computer. After she quit and returned the laptop, she sues for discrimination. You are able to extract, via a computer forensic expert, the emails she sent to her attorney. When you turn over in discovery copies of those emails, it hits the fan… Read more ›

Social Media At Work -- Bane Or Boon?

Thursday, March 25, 2010 No Comments

We found this very cool article from CareerBuilder.com (on CNN.com) that looks at the pros and cons of social networking at work. While it can be a positive thing, and certainly companies are trying to use it to their advantage in their own brand building, it is probably the thing that can be most easily abused (the privilege to visit MySpace, Facebook, Twitter et. al. at work). That's why employers need tools like The Office Software in place - to prevent abuse and keep distractions at a minimum. Check out the article…

Social Media at Work -- Bane or Boon?
By Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder.com

Social media are, by definition, supposed to be a social experience. Make a profile and start connecting. Reach out to friends, old and new. Post a profile picture, and while you're at it upload a photo album of your trip to Greece so others can see and comment.

When you're done with that, look at your friends' profiles and see what they're up to. Oh, a friend just logged in, too, so now you can chat.

What, it's been two hours since you logged on? How did the time pass so quickly? You should get back to work. Read more ›

Pandora Corp. To Business Owners: Don’t Fight the “Madness”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 No Comments

Pandora Corp. To Business Owners: Don’t Fight the “Madness”
Nearly $2 Billion is expected to be lost in worker productivity during March Madness. But Pandora Corp., makers of The Office Software (theOS), says it might be okay. Co-founder Manuel Coats explains…

A recent study predicts employers will lose about $1.8 Billion from March Madness this year. With at least 58 million employees holding their brackets with fingers crossed, many are sure to spend time during the workday checking highlight reels, news updates, social network pages or even watching full games online.

But is that such a bad thing?

“There are a couple of other elements we should consider,” says Pandora Corp. co-founder Manuel Coats. “For starters, because this is such a highly anticipated event in the sporting world, it often brings excitement to the office and breeds a positive environment.”

Another recent survey found that 41% of managers feel March Madness does indeed bring a positive atmosphere to the office. Another 22% say it actually increases productivity. Given those numbers, employers may want to re-write their Acceptable Internet Use policies for March and April every year.

“We feel that allowing March Madness participation in the office can definitely be a good thing,” explains Coats. “But managers and business owners should have the tools in place to prevent rampant abuse of the courtesy extended during the tournament.”

The Office Software is a multi-functional office productivity tool designed to help managers of small and medium-sized business achieve increased productivity and enhanced security. The program allows managers to analyze activities performed by employees by tracking computer usage at a group and/or an individual level, cross-reference activities reported by an employee, and access an employee’s desktop in real-time. TheOS also has the ability to block websites and mark others as “timewasters” to help manage time spent on non-work-related websites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The Office Software will let you know if some employees are taking the ‘Madness’ a little too far,” says Coats. “If someone is spending all day on nothing but basketball-related websites, or even sucking up the company’s bandwidth with constant streaming video, theOS is going to let you know.”

And one more thing Coats suggests: “You can be certain that many managers and business owners also have money riding on the games. TheOS could even help to prevent some mid-tournament cheating by your employees.”

For more information on how The Office Software can help prevent March Madness overload in your workplace, visit www.theofficesoftware.com

System Requirements:
The Office Software requires Windows Vista, Windows XP or above; Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework (available with theOS installer). an Intel or AMD processor running at 1GHz or faster (dual core recommended for Dashboard); 512M RAM for Agent, 1GB RAM for Dashboard; 40MB of HDD space for the installation; 10M - 15M of hard disk space for a typical day of recording; an Internet Connection (dial-up modem, cable modem or DSL) for program registration; Administrative or Power User access rights to install the software. Agent (employee) computers require a LAN connection to the Manager computer.

About Pandora Corp.:Formed in 2005, Pandora Corporation has one goal - to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families, their businesses and themselves online. Pandora Corporation's flagship PC Pandora monitoring software is an essential tool that helps parents keep their children safe from predators and cyberbullies, while shielding them from potentially harmful or mature content. Pandora Recovery is a free data recovery tool that allows users to recovery lost and deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted drives. The newest product, The Office Software (theOS), allows employers to monitor employee computer and internet activity, thereby increasing productivity and protecting company assets.

MARCH MADNESS – How is it hitting your business?

Friday, March 19, 2010 No Comments

MARCH MADNESS – How is it hitting your business?
Brackets brackets brackets! They are once again flooding the workplace and consuming company time… But productivity tools like The Office Software can keep the “madness” in check.

Mar 16, 2010
High workplace cost of March Madness
Figure a $1.8 billion in diminished productivity
By Diego Vasquez, MediaLife Magazine

If you're surreptitiously filling out your March Madness bracket while you should be doing something else at work, you're not alone. This year's NCAA men's basketball tournament will cost U.S. companies $1.8 billion in productivity, according to a study by Chicago outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. One major culprit will be March Madness on Demand, CBS's online streaming video player that carries every game, including the first-round games that tip off just after noon on Thursday and Friday, right in the heart of the work day. That sucks employees' attention away from their work, but it also costs employers by sucking up bandwidth, too, slowing down office-wide email and internet surfing. NCAA fans also waste time filling out brackets, going online to see how their teams did, and even calling in sick when they absolutely must watch a game. Short of unplugging the web or monitoring employees on a minute-by-minute basis, there's little companies can do to combat this time drain. In fact, John Challenger, chief executive officer at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says companies would be wise to embrace it. He talks to Media Life about how he arrived at the $1.8 billion mark, why March Madness poses such a threat to productivity, and how the tourney can actually lift office morale.
Read more ›

Privacy at Work – Lost on Both Sides

Thursday, March 18, 2010 No Comments

We found this very interesting article from Human Resource Executive ONLINE that looks at an employer’s loss of privacy at work. Productivity tools like The Office Software could help in any cases where employees and employers need to slug it out in court.


Privacy at Work
While the expectation of privacy in the workplace has all but vanished for American employees, advancements in cell-phone and video technology mean employers should no longer expect privacy at work either. HR leaders should instruct managers to behave as if their conversations could come back to haunt them as recordings at any time.
-- By Michael O'Brien, Human Resource Executive ONLINE

The case, in and of itself, is not atypical for the discrimination arena: a pregnant bartender at a New York strip club is demoted from front-line duty because her boss thinks her condition is negatively affecting his club's bottom line.

What is intriguing about the case is the fact that Jennifer Paviglianiti, the bartender at Café Royale, activated a tape recorder in her purse to secretly -- yet legally -- record her manager as he made such claims.
Read more ›

Businesses Beware – Social Networking Can Seriously Damage Your Business

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 No Comments

We found this very interesting article from a website in England that is a warning to businesses that allow their employees to use social networks. Check it out…

March 15, 2010
Businesses Beware – Social Networking Can Seriously Damage Your Business
By Michael Sandys, ClickLiverpool.com

Many more businesses are becoming embroiled in defamation claims regarding the use of social networking sites following the rise in the use of Twitter, Facebook and also blogging.

Employees frequently use these sites on a daily basis and sometimes during work hours and by using their employer's pc's to publish stories and photos, which are then sent around the world. They are then viewed by a significant number of recipients and may also be edited by unknown sources and forwarded on. Read more ›

Pentagon Says OK to Social Networks

Monday, March 01, 2010 No Comments

Last year the Marines made news when they announced they had banned social networks: Marines Ban Social Networking. The story mentions the fact that at the time the Pentagon was wrestling with how to allow armed service personnel to use these networks, but keeping things secure at the same time. Looks like they found a way…

Btw, The Office Software (theOS), will help any small business or office that has the desire to let its employees use social networks, but with a way to keep them in check…

February 27, 2010
Pentagon OKs social-media access
By Jonathan Skillings



The Defense Department has made its peace with social media.


Long skittish about forums such as Facebook and Twitter, the U.S. Department of Defense says that it is now OK with social-networking services and other interactive Web 2.0 applications. A memorandum released Friday makes it official policy that the agency's nonclassified network will be configured to provide access to Internet-based capabilities across all Defense components, including the various combat branches. Read more ›

SEC Employees Investigated for Surfing Porn Sites at Work

Monday, February 15, 2010 No Comments

SEC Employees Investigated for Surfing Porn Sites at Work -- Over 2-dozen Securities and Exchange Commission employees have been investigated for viewing porn on their government work computers. The great article below from a Law News website points to the original Washington Times story. Read ‘em both! The government could benefit from office tools like The Office Software, as government employees aren’t necessarily known as the types to never slack off…

February 3, 2010
SEC Employees Investigated for Surfing Porn Sites at Work
By Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

The Securities and Exchange Commission has investigated more than two dozen employees and contractors caught viewing pornography on their government computers, including one regional supervisor who admitted his viewing habits were a “kind of distraction per se.”

The Washington Times wrote about the porn problem after getting information about the SEC investigations through a Freedom of Information request. The SEC did not reveal the names of the employees investigated. Read more ›

theOS Featured in Business News

Friday, February 12, 2010 No Comments

The Launch of theOS was covered in Business News on KUHF in Houston Texas! Ken Shallcross did an interview with Ed Mayberry, which is featured on their website. Check it out!

February 12, 2010
The makers of computer monitoring software have launched office and network monitoring. Ed Mayberry reports.

Tracking software is being marketed as a solution to increase employee efficiency and protect company assets. Pandora has launched The Office Software to combat cyberslacking and security risks by limiting Web surfing, online shopping and social network updating. The company's Ken Shallcross says it has a central dashboard station for management. Read more ›

Study Finds Most Czech Companies Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 No Comments

Study Finds Most Czech Companies Monitor Employee Internet Activity
-- A study in the Czech Republic suggests that three quarters of all Czech companies track the web pages that their employees visit. The minister for minorities and human rights recently proposed a crack-down on employers who don’t respect the privacy of their staff. In the Czech Republic, monitoring web sites visited by employees is not illegal, but other forms of monitoring online activity are, like reading emails. Read this very interesting story and listen to the audio that illustrates differences and similarities in our two countries.

February 3, 2010
Study finds most Czech companies monitor employee internet activity
By Sarah Borufka

Concerns about employee privacy in the Czech Republic are on the rise. A freshly released survey suggests that three quarters of all Czech companies track the web pages that their employees visit. And the minister for minorities and human rights recently proposed a crack-down on employers who don’t respect the privacy of their staff. How serious is the situation? Read more ›

Employee Fired for Facebook Post

Monday, February 08, 2010 No Comments

Employee Fired for Facebook Post

-- An employee of a health/hospital company was fired for a Facebook post that the company says was a violation of corporate policy. Details of the post contents and employee name are not known, but it raises the real-life concern of what you say online can get you into trouble.

Whether companies choose to monitor activity in the office, or simply want to know what type of character you arre outside of work, saying something online - i.e. publicly expressed - can earn you a pink slip...

February 2, 2010
Employee Fired for Facebook Post
By Chris Cekot, WHTM-TV/ ABC 27

Harrisburg, Pa. - Millions of people use social networking sites to stay connected, but that may not always be a good thing.

You never know who's checking out your Facebook page. One Pinnacle Health employee was fired when the company objected to information he or she posted online. Read more ›

Monitor Employee Internet use for Better Productivity

Friday, February 05, 2010 No Comments

Thought I’d share this article I found at startupbizhub.com. I couldn’t have written this better myself… Happy Friday!

Should You Monitor Employee Internet use for Better Productivity?

Summary: Main reason behind monitoring internet usage of employees is increasing productivity in organizations. Internet has joined the race with extended lunch, coffee, cigarette breaks, personal chat with co-workers or non-business related phone calls which stop productivity in workplaces. Read more ›

More Coverage of Sophos Study - Social Networks Pose Security Risk to Companies

Thursday, February 04, 2010 No Comments

Here’s another article on the Sophos study we showed you yesterday. This one give a breakdown of what companies can do to protect themselves. Of course, they can use The Office Software to eliminate the cyberslacking and keep the security threats posed by social networks under control…

Why Your Boss Hates Facebook
Written by Sarah Perez, ReadWriteWeb.com

Are you goofing off on Facebook at work? As it turns out, this sort of "time theft" may be no longer be your company's top concern when it comes to social networking in the workplace. According to a new study from security firm Sophos, the real problem with social networks - and most of all Facebook - is the security risk they pose to organizations. Read more ›

Social Networks = Security Threat to Companies

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 No Comments

Social Networks = Security Threat to Companies

A survey of 500 companies worldwide conducted by security firm Sophos found companies have a real concern about their employees being on social networks – and it’s not just because of the rampant cyberslacking. Check out this article in USA Today…

February 02, 2010
Facebook viewed as riskiest social network by companies
By Craig Ruttle, AP

Seventy percent more companies reported spam and malicious infections arrived via social networks in 2009 vs. 2008. By the end of last year, 72% of companies expressed concern that their employees' use of popular social sites could result in a security breach. And 60% of companies now consider Facebook to be the riskiest social network out there. Read more ›

An IT manager's view on e-mail and Internet policies and procedures

Thursday, January 28, 2010 No Comments

We found this very good research paper-style article on e-mail and Internet policies and procedures, from the stance of an IT manager. Very good stuff…

An IT manager's view on e-mail and Internet policies and procedures
Journal of Instructional Psychology, Dec, 2009
By Mayur S. Desai, Jeff Hart, Thomas C. Richards


E-mail is mandatory tool of communications any business to survive in the 21st century. It is imperative that Information technology (IT) managers monitor and make sure that the e-mail systems are used properly. In order to organize a systematic process for proper use of email an administrator must have an input into the development of appropriate e-mail policies and procedures. IT administrators must develop and understand the policies and procedures for the management of E-mail systems. This research highlights on the importance of e-mail policies and procedures as they relate to employees use of e-mail systems and the responsibility assigned to an e-mail administrator in the management of this usage. This research also addresses liability issues and how the law applies to e-mall management. Read more ›

theOS Featured on the Small Buisness Advocate Radio Show!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 No Comments

theOS Featured on the Small Buisness Advocate Radio Show! - We are ever-so-proud to have been on our first radio show for The Office Software promotions. Jim Blasingame was kind enough to bring us on his radio show, The Small Business Advocate. Check them out and click below to hear the interview!



Social Media Policy in Business

Friday, January 22, 2010 No Comments

Social Media Policy in Business

I find this of personal interest because I, myself, am the social networking person for my company. This very interesting article is sort of a look at the ethics of social networking for businesses. This doesn’t really have to do with monitoring, per se – though it would be a good idea to know if your employee is spending more time in their own personal accounts or the company’s.

(Happy Friday)

Jan 25, 2010
Do You Need a Social Media Policy?
There's a lot to consider when it comes to representing your brand on social media sites, including what guidelines you need (if any) to protect yourself.
By Tamara Schweitzer, Inc.com

Social media mishaps happen all the time. Who hasn't said something on a personal blog or Twitter, or on their Facebook status updates that they haven't regretted later? But, what happens, for example, when an employee posts on their personal Twitter account about the horrible meeting they just had, which turns out was with one of your company's biggest clients? Even if the employee doesn't mention the client by name, he or she has crossed a line into potentially defaming the client and damaging your company's reputation. The consequences could result in a lost account or even a potential lawsuit. While most professionals interacting in the social media space exhibit common sense, these scenarios can and do happen, and it's in your best interest to be prepared. Read more ›

Bad News for Employers: Your Employees are Wasting Your Time and Money on Social Networks

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 No Comments

Bad News for Employers: Your Employees are Wasting Your Time and Money on Social Networks
Social networks are destroying employee productivity in the workplace. Statistics show 64% of employees use company time to browse sites like Facebook. Companies are losing millions, perhaps billions of dollars per year due to cyberslacking. The Office Software (theOS) is the best network-based productivity tool to help managers monitor employees and achieve increased productivity and enhanced security.

Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) January 19, 2010 -- The Internet has made all our lives easier. We can shop online, pay bills and, most importantly, keep in touch with our friends and family. But our leisure can often come at the expense of our employers.

"Statistics indicate that checking social network profiles at work has become the new coffee or cigarette break," says Pandora Corp. co-founder Jamie Leasure. "But the problem is, it can be done without anyone, especially managers, noticing. It's very easy for an employee to spend many hours each day checking their Facebook page; whereas it would be impossible for them to not be at their desk for extended periods of time."

To help businesses cope with employee Internet abuse, often referred to as "cyberslacking," Pandora Corp., makers of the well-regarded PC Pandora monitoring software, have introduced The Office Software (theOS), a monitoring software tool that will allow employers to dramatically increase employee efficiency.

"Employers have every legal right to monitor employee Internet activity," says Leasure. "And in this economy, companies can't afford lost productivity. They need to ensure that their employees are efficient and their business is running smoothly."

Statistically speaking, an overwhelming majority of both employees and employers feel it is ok to surf non-work-related websites while on the job. The difference of opinion comes when surfing turns into an obsessive distraction.

"There is a difference between quickly replying to a personal email - or checking in with the family through IM - versus spending 15 minutes of every hour checking and updating your Facebook page," notes Leasure.

According to a recent survey, 77% of US workers who have a Facebook account say they check their pages from work; the average amount of time lost to Facebook alone is 40 minutes. That doesn't include other random web surfing and cyberslacking.

Pandora Corp. co-founder Manuel Coats says statistics like those should shock employers to their 'bottom line' core.

"Think about it: for every dozen employees you have that check their Facebook regularly," Coats explains, "you have the equivalent of a full-time employee getting paid to be a social network butterfly."

The Office Software is a multi-functional office productivity tool designed to help managers of small and medium-sized business achieve increased productivity. The program allows managers to monitor and analyze activities performed by employees and the time spent on different work items. It also affords the ability to track computer usage and access an employee's desktop in real-time.

"Managers and business owners need to be able to see how their employees are spending the work day," says Leasure. "Being able to obtain reports of daily activity, and then analyze and compare them is priceless in today's corporate environment."

While the internet has become a commonplace item in our daily lives, it can indeed have negative effects on companies' bottom lines. But employers can reverse those effects.

"With tools like The Office Software," Coats concludes, "you can increase productivity by controlling cyberslacking. Remember, it's not only the time spent on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter that are an issue -- it's also the fact that an employee's concentration and focus are disrupted throughout the day by these sites. If an employee knows they are being monitored, and a manager can tap into any employee's monitor display with the press of a button, cyberslacking is stopped in its tracks and office efficiency and productivity improves."

For more information on The Office Software and to learn how it works, visit http://www.theofficesoftware.com/

System Requirements:
The Office Software requires Windows Vista, Windows XP or above; Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework (available with theOS installer). an Intel or AMD processor running at 1GHz or faster (dual core recommended for Dashboard); 512M RAM for Agent, 1GB RAM for Dashboard; 40MB of HDD space for the installation; 10M - 15M of hard disk space for a typical day of recording; an Internet Connection (dial-up modem, cable modem or DSL) for program registration; Administrative or Power User access rights to install the software. Agent (employee) computers require a LAN connection to the Manager computer.

About Pandora Corp.:
Formed in 2005, Pandora Corporation has one goal - to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families, their businesses and themselves online. Pandora Corporation's flagship PC Pandora monitoring software is an essential tool that helps parents keep their children safe from predators and cyberbullies, while shielding them from potentially harmful or mature content. Pandora Recovery is a free data recovery tool that allows users to recovery lost and deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted drives. The newest product, The Office Software (theOS), allows employers to monitor employee computer and internet activity, thereby increasing productivity and protecting company assets.

Should Employers Ban Facebook at Work?

Monday, January 18, 2010 No Comments

A very interesting article from by Jennifer LeClaire at Newsfactor.com asks the question: should employers ban Facebook at work?


December 26, 2009
Should Employers Ban Facebook at Work?
By Jennifer LeClaire

2009 has indeed been the year of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But some say that social networking at work has become too costly in terms of lost productivity and too risky from a security standpoint. Is it time for a complete ban on social networking in the office, or are guidelines and productivity goals a better solution?
Read more ›

Social media going corporate; What that means for Internet use in the workplace...

Friday, January 15, 2010 No Comments

A very interesting article from The San Francisco Chronicle in November looks at how social networking is enhancing the corporate world. We are a great example, as we use blogs, Facebook and sometimes Twitter…

But what happens when the idea of using social media gets abused…? 15 years ago everyone said, “oh wow, let’s use the Internet to help our business,” and it was so, and it got abused. Think the same won’t happen for social networks?

Make sure The Office Software is in your office to keep your employees on task.

November 7, 2009
Social media going corporate
Benny Evangelista, Chronicle Staff Writer
At a conference last month in San Francisco, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts credited an employee's use of Twitter with helping to change the cable giant's corporate culture toward customer service.
Yet a recent survey of corporate technology executives by Robert Half Technology of Menlo Park found that 54 percent of companies prohibit employees from using social-media sites while on the job.
Experts say those companies could stifle the creativity of employees who are using Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites to help their companies.

Read more ›

Cyberslacking is International

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 No Comments

This great article from Digital Moses Confidential highlights a study from across the Atlantic showing that social networking on the job is costing UK businesses over $2 billion! The Office Software can work anywhere there is an office using PCs!

Twitter and Social Networks Cost UK Businesses $2.25 Billion
by Jason Hahn

Morse, an IT services and technology company based in the U.K., recently found that the use of Twitter and other social networks by employees while at work is costing businesses in the country a pretty penny to the tune of £1.38 billion, or $2.25 billion, each year in lost productivity.

Of the 1,460 office workers surveyed for the research study, which was conducted by TNS, 57 percent said they used social networking sites during the work day for personal use, with the average time spent on these sites at 40 minutes each week. Morse handles the math and notes that this is equivalent to a little under a full work week being spent each year by every employee who dwells on social networking sites at their offices.
Read more ›

Bosses Don’t Like You Checking Facebook at Work!

Monday, January 11, 2010 No Comments

I found this very interesting article from The Charlotte Observer, posted on Philly.com… It takes the previous posts study and adds commentary to it… check it out…

Oct. 13, 2009
Checking Facebook at work? Your boss likely doesn't like it
By Jeff Elder, McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - More than half of employers say they completely prohibit social media use by workers, according to a new survey of about 1,400 large U.S. companies. But what if the CEO is in her office using LinkedIn, your boss just invited you to become a fan of the company Facebook page, or your competitors are connecting with your clients on Twitter?

Welcome to one of the toughest issues facing employers: Is social networking a valid part of our work life today, or is it "social not-working"?

"It's a blurry line," says Gary Henning, Charlotte-based district director for Robert Half Technology, which conducted the survey. "People are getting their arms around best practices, and there are a lot of concerns. This is a big topic for employers."

Employer Mark Gilman fired an employee whose personal life became too much of a distraction, "and social media was a big part of that."

Read more ›

54% of companies ban social networks at work

Friday, January 08, 2010 No Comments

Welcome to theOS Blog. We have a bunch of stories collected from the past few months to kick off a few discussions. Please feel free to comment and participate in a discussion on a very interesting topic: employee internet abuse/monitoring employee internet activity.

So, without further ado...

Did you know 54% of companies have an outright ban on social network websites at work? Rather than banning, why not just monitor and assess with a tool like The Office Software?

Check out this story in Computerworld from back in October…

Study: 54% of companies ban Facebook, Twitter at work
Some allow limited use of social networks on the job, but most now bar them outright
Computerworld


October 6, 2009 (Computerworld) Planning on firing off a short missive on Twitter or posting an update to your friends on Facebook from the office?


Better check your employer's rules first.


According to a study commissioned by Robert Half Technology, an IT staffing firm, 54% of U.S. companies say that they have banned workers from using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace while on the job. The study, released today, also found that 19% of companies allow social networking use only for business purposes, while 16% allow limited personal use.


Only 10% of the 1,400 CIOs interviewed said that their companies allow employees full access to social networks during work hours.


"Using social networking sites may divert employees' attention away from more pressing priorities, so it's understandable that some companies limit access," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology and a Computerworld columnist, in a statement. "For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes."


A study released last summer concluded that social networking use could hurt the bottom line.


Nucleus Research, an IT research firm, reported in July that employee productivity drops 1.5% at companies that allow full access to Facebook in the workplace. That survey of 237 corporate employees also showed that 77% of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours.


Nucleus said that the survey found that "some" employees use the social networking site for as much as two hours a day at work. It did not say how many workers fit into that category, but it did note that one in 33 workers surveyed said that they use Facebook only while at work. And of those using Facebook at work, 87% said they had no clear business reason for accessing the network.


And in August, the U.S. Marine Corps reaffirmed its ban on the use of social networks by its soldiers.

Workplace Productivity at an All-Time Low; Pandora Corp. Releases The Office Software (theOS) to Combat Cyberslacking and Security Risks

Thursday, January 07, 2010 Comments Off

Bad news for employers: social networks are destroying employee productivity. Time and money are being wasted at a higher rate than most employers think, as statistics show 64% of employees use company time to browse sites like Facebook. The Office Software (theOS) is the best network-based productivity tool to help managers monitor employees and achieve increased productivity and enhanced security.

(PRWEB) January 7, 2010 -- No one can argue the fact that the Internet has made all of our lives easier. But, increasingly, it has become a black hole for wasted time. And unfortunately, a lot of that time comes at an employer's expense.

To help businesses cope with both "cyberslacking" and security issues, Pandora Corp., makers of the well-regarded PC Pandora monitoring software, has introduced The Office Software (theOS), a monitoring software tool that will allow employers to increase employee efficiency and protect company assets.

"Employers have every legal right - and in some cases a duty - to monitor employee Internet activity," says Pandora Corp. co-founder Jamie Leasure. "And in this economy, companies can't afford lost productivity. They need to ensure that their employees are efficient and their business is running smoothly."

THE ISSUE:
Statistically speaking, an overwhelming majority of both employees and employers feel it is ok to surf non-work-related websites while on the job. The difference of opinion comes when surfing turns into an obsessive distraction.

"There is a difference between checking your personal email to reply to your mother and spending 10 minutes of every hour updating your social network profile," notes Leasure.

On average, workers with an Internet connection spend 21 hours per week online while in the office, a little more than four hours per day. And on average, 26% of that time is spent on personal-interest websites. That amounts to roughly an hour per day, or 22 hours per month.

"For every eight employees you have that spend one hour a day surfing the web for personal interest," Pandora Corp. co-founder Manuel Coats explains, "you have the equivalent of a full-time employee showing up to work and doing nothing."

THE SOLUTION:
The Office Software is a multi-functional office productivity tool designed to help managers of small and medium-sized businesses achieve increased productivity and enhanced security. The program allows managers to analyze activities performed by employees and the time spent on different work items. It also affords the ability to track computer usage at a group and/or an individual level, cross-reference activities reported by an employee, and access an employee's desktop in real-time.

"We think managers and business owners need to be able to see how their employees are spending the work day," says Leasure. "Being able to obtain reports of daily activity, and then analyze and compare them is priceless in today's corporate environment." The Office Software consists of three major components:

  • The Covert Activity Monitor (CAM) monitors various aspects of computer usage and stores the data for managerial review. The goal of this component is to ensure integrity of sensitive data, help employees retain focus and help managers discover and address work-ethics related incidents (cyberslacking, harassment, etc.); the activity recorded includes program usage, websites visited, keystrokes logged, web searches, email correspondence, instant messaging, peer-to-peer/file sharing and system interaction. The Covert Monitor also allows a manger to control aspects of employee computer usage, such as allowed/blocked websites, and the ability to mark certain websites as timewasters, so a manager can easily and quickly see how much time is wasted on non-work-related websites.
  • The Overt Activity Monitor (OAM) allows employees and managers to track time spent on individual tasks. The goal of this component is to help managers and executives estimate the time, the effort and ultimately the cost of individual projects. Employees are able to log their own daily activity in a spreadsheet-like data form (called the "Activity Vault"), while managers can review activity logged and confirm, analyze and compare the reporting. This component is especially important in multi-tasking environment where a single employee often works on more than one project during a reporting period.
  • Finally, the Real-time Access Device (RAD) allows a manager real-time access to an employee's desktop. Often referred to as "ghosting," this component is particularly useful during the initial training phase of entry-level employees, making theOS a desirable and useful tool in the education & training environment.
"The Office Software is intended for small and medium-sized businesses," explains Coats. "But it could easily fit the needs of schools, libraries and other public sectors where there is a need to know what third-party users are doing on in-house computers. The Office Software is specifically optimized for multiple-user environments where traditional monitoring software like our own PC Pandora might not be the perfect solution."

WHY MONITOR?
In this age of advanced technology, employees can know that their bosses are keeping an eye on them while at work; the reasons to do so are numerous and compelling, from a simple productivity issue to a serious legal responsibility.

Courts have ruled that companies are responsible for providing a workplace environment devoid of harassment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment can be a direct result of cyberslacking. According to one study, 70% of all traffic to Internet pornography websites occurs between the hours of 9AM and 5PM - during the typical working day.

"Employees might also send pornographic natured emails to their coworkers," says Leasure. "Sometimes those emails can make their way to someone in the office that does not find it funny, but degrading, and the office managers and CEOs must become involved."

There's also an issue of inter-office romances. While many relationships are accepted when openly noted, it is usually against company rules to carry on a relationship with a co-worker in secret.

Additionally, there is the issue of intellectual property - the lifeblood of a company. According to a 2007 survey by the Enterprise Strategy Group, 32% of companies surveyed reported losing intellectual property within the 12 months prior to the survey. Add that statistic to the fact that 80% of computer-related crime related to businesses is performed by "insiders," and it's very easy to see why monitoring employee activity is essential in the interest of security.

"Imagine what could happen if a disgruntled or terminated employee sent your client lists, mailing lists, project timelines or other valuable property to a competitor," says Coats. "The Office Software gives you a step up and provides you with the knowledge you need to stop a leak before it gets serious."

While the Internet has become commonplace in our daily lives, it can indeed have negative effects on companies. From employee productivity to breaches of security, employers are recognizing the necessity of monitoring the Internet usage of their employees as a way to stop the abuse.

"When you use a program like The Office Software," Leasure concludes, "you'll be able to increase productivity and protect your company's assets at the same time."

For more information on The Office Software and to learn how it works, visit http://www.theofficesoftware.com/

System Requirements: The Office Software requires Windows Vista, Windows XP or above; Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework (available with theOS installer). an Intel or AMD processor running at 1GHz or faster (dual core recommended for Dashboard); 512M RAM for Agent, 1GB RAM for Dashboard; 40MB of HDD space for the installation; 10M - 15M of hard disk space for a typical day of recording; an Internet Connection (dial-up modem, cable modem or DSL) for program registration; Administrative or Power User access rights to install the software. Agent (employee) computers require a LAN connection to the Manager computer.

About Pandora Corp.: Formed in 2005, Pandora Corporation has one goal - to help our customers monitor, control and protect their families, their businesses and themselves online. Pandora Corporation's flagship PC Pandora monitoring software is an essential tool that helps parents keep their children safe from predators and cyberbullies, while shielding them from potentially harmful or mature content. Pandora Recovery is a free data recovery tool that allows users to recovery lost and deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted drives. The newest product, The Office Software (theOS), allows employers to monitor employee computer and internet activity, thereby increasing productivity and protecting company assets.