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The Dark Side Of Monitoring Software

3 Mins read

Whether you’re a worried parent or a stressed out businessperson, the likelihood is that you have at some point either used some form of monitoring software, or are considering using it. While monitoring software like Mobistealth can often be seen as a kind of cell phone hacking tool or computer spying tool, it is anything but that for most people. Employers and parents have been able to keep a tighter check and control over what matters most to them – in the case of the employers this would be the interests of their business, and in the case of parents this would be their children.

The Dark Side Of Monitoring Software

The Business Side Of The Story

Employers have been known to gather big data through use of these kinds of tools. These kinds of software get a bad rap with some going as far as calling them malware, but in reality they can often help streamline office processes and increase productivity — only if implemented the right way, however.

Spying on employees is actually illegal unless you’re doing it on company owned devices, have a coherent policy in place, and have intimated to the people working for you that you will be monitoring them. If you do so without taking the right precautions you can land into hot waters.

The problem is that even if you do have an openly declared policy whereby you let everyone know how and why you will be monitoring them, some employees will not be comfortable with it. The idea of a boss watching your every move pleases no one and monitoring software has been known to deal harsh blows to the morale of the workplace. In many cases employees choose to move to other workplaces that might not offer the same perks but do offer more freedom.

The Parent Problem

For parents the main focus always lies on the security of their children. The problem arises when they realise that monitoring software is and always will be a double edged sword. There is no question that not monitoring a child could potentially endanger him/her. Cyberbullying cases that have resulted in suicide reveal that the parents were clueless about the torment the child was going through despite being a part of a loving family. Similarly, stalkers and harmful content can easily find their way to a child that wants to taste the world for themselves instead of confiding in their parents. Kids get hurt and not using monitoring software isn’t much of a solution.

The downside is that new research seems to indicate that parents that use monitoring software are actually turning their children into submissive and nonassertive folks. When faced with peer pressure these kids are not able to say no even when they feel like whatever they are being asked to do is wrong.

This is not to mention the kind of blow that trust takes in the process. A child is not able to actually talk to their parents the same way they would if their parents didn’t know every single detail of their life because of some piece of software.

The Absolutely Illegal

While parents and employers have some leverage in terms of what and how they can monitor their target users, there is no method through which monitoring someone who’s a friend, lover, spouse or partner is okay. Unfortunately, despite being created for exclusive use by parents and employers, such apps often end up being used by this sort of people. Often they lie to get the app and then there’s no stopping them.

The problem doesn’t just stop at the illegal snooping. Using any kind of stealth app requires that you jailbreak or root the target device, which means that you aren’t just making the warranty void, you’re also opening up the device to all sorts of nasty malware threats that it would otherwise be safe from. The potential for havoc is immeasurable.

For both parents and employers the problem is a complicated one. As the world becomes more digitized both cannot afford to stay aloof and put in zero protocols in place. It is important for employers to be able to digitally follow what their employees are up to just as it is important for parents to be able to map out whether their children are safe or not. There is an opportunity cost attached to the equation that cannot be avoided in any circumstance.

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