What is a Bossware? Is it tracking you?

Whether working remotely affects employee productivity is controversial. On the one hand, employers believe that working remotely makes it easier for people not to work. Skipping the commute and focusing on work, on the other hand, may actually increase productivity.

Some employers are trying to answer this question by using employee tracking software. This is also known as boss software. It is popular because it prevents wasting time and increases productivity. But it has also raised concerns about privacy.

So, what is Boss Software, and is it tracking you?

What Is Bossware?



How Does Bossware Work?


Bossware software is easy to install. It can be installed on a work computer before handing it over to an employee, or it can be required to be installed as a condition of their employment.

Some products are designed to remind users that they are being tracked, but others are designed to be the opposite. If the latter is installed on the computer, the user may be completely unaware of its existence.

The functionality of this type of software also varies greatly. In the most basic case, boss software keeps track of which programs are being used and for how long. This will indicate whether an employee is really at work or just browsing the web.

More sophisticated tracking software can track all activities, including recording employees’ screens and every word they type.

While the basic boss software products aren’t particularly controversial, it’s mainly the keylogger version that raises privacy concerns. Others argue that boss software should be visible to users at all times, regardless of complexity.


Bossware is not strictly designed to invade people’s privacy. Rather, its main purpose is to increase productivity.

It prevents people from not working

People are less likely to waste their time when they are being watched. People believe that if employees knew their boss knew about their activities, they would spend more time on tasks they were actually assigned.

It facilitates disciplinary action

Bossware can remind employers that employees aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. This can provide the evidence needed to take disciplinary action.

It May Highlight Inefficiency

Bossware has the potential to increase employee productivity by highlighting ways that time is being wasted accidentally. If an employer understands how tasks are typically being performed, they may be able to remove inefficient steps.

It is often used for payroll

Bossware is not used to monitor employees, but to track their working hours. This information can then be used to pay wages and arrange jobs.

Why isn’t Bossware popular?


Bossware is unpopular because many people don’t like to be tracked. It is also possible to collect personal information without consent.

Bossware May Track More Information Than Necessary

Bossware often collects more information than people think is necessary. For example, if a keylogger is installed, this can inadvertently collect people’s passwords and other personal information. If the software records the entire screen, the video call may be recorded.

Information may be used for unlawful purposes

The information collected by bossware may be used for illegal purposes unrelated to productivity. Employees may not mind productivity tracking. But what if an employer uses the software to find out if an employee is looking for another job?

Information May Be Stolen

The information collected by bossware may not be stored securely. If the employer is the victim of a data breach, the employee’s private information may be published on the dark web. This information may include private chat history and account passwords.

Bossware May Be Installed on Personal Computers

Some employers require that the boss software be installed on a personal computer. When this happens, it has the potential to collect information when the employee is not working. It may also have access to the user’s personal files.

How can I tell if my computer has Bossware installed?

Some employers will tell you before installing the boss software. Ideally, they’ll explain exactly what information they’re collecting, and the product may even be visible on your desktop.

However, if you suspect that your computer has software installed that has not been told, what you need to do is:

Check Your Contract

Employers who use the boss’s software usually get consent in an employee contract. Unfortunately, the language used is often vague. Take a closer look at your contract to see if there’s any mention of tracking or monitoring. It is worth noting that in some states, consent is not required by law. However, if it’s in your contract, it may be being used.

Check the running processes

Some bossware products are designed to hide completely. But other products can be found by checking what processes are running on your computer.

In Windows, you can check what processes are running by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL and opening the Task Manager. On a Mac, you will need to open Utilities and then open Activity Monitor. The active process will likely use a non-descriptive name rather than something like “bosswareworkfromhometracker.exe” or otherwise. That’s a silly example, but you get the gist.

Search for information

If you find a process on your computer that appears to be the boss’s software, you can google its name. As long as it’s a popular product, you should be able to determine exactly what information it’s collecting from you.

Privacy concerns about Bossware are understandable

Bossware has the potential to increase productivity while also respecting user privacy. Unfortunately, the software is not always used in this way. Therefore, it is understandable that many people have concerns about these products.

However, despite this, bossware is legal and doesn’t always require consent, and depending on the product being used, it’s possible to track whatever you do without your knowledge. If you check the running processes, many bossware products are visible, but the feeling of privacy being violated is always unpleasant.