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How to monitor your employees’ activity on cell phones and computers

Do you want to monitor your employees’ productivity and track down slackers? Thanks to this guide you will discover the best solutions – 100% legal – to monitor your employees’ smartphones and computers.

Best Employee Monitoring software

Let me introduce myself…

I’m Frankie Caruso and I’m a tech and hacking addict. Today I would like to talk to you about the best legal methods to monitor the activity of your employees and help you find out who is producing and who is wasting time on Facebook or shopping on Amazon.

I know entrepreneurs well – I’m an entrepreneur as well – and since time is money for us, I don’t want to linger with useless philanthropists about whether or not it’s right to “spy” on an employee.

I will only address these considerations after showing you the best 2 software to track the activity on your employee’s smartphone and computer during office hours or smart working from home.

I intentionally decided to select only 2 software and no more to avoid wasting too much time in choosing the one that best suits your needs. I selected the best one to monitor only mobile phones and the best one to monitor both mobile phones and computers.

What is Employee Monitoring Software?

I would like to explain a little bit about what monitor employee software is before I show you which ones are the best.

They are software (or apps) that can record all the activities that are performed on a mobile phone or a company computer in order to track the productivity of an employee.

Let me explain it better…

In recent years, and especially in recent months, smart working has increased by about 44% (data from buffer.com). Increasingly more people have chosen to work from home and companies have somehow benefited:

  • lower costs related to working environments
  • increased productivity due to less stressed employees
  • happier employees
  • etc.

However, it is not always easy to monitor employees’ work remotely. It is therefore important for a company to understand who is working and who is slacking off.

It is exactly to solve this problem that employee monitoring software was born.

Best Employee Monitoring Software of 2021

Before we start, I would like to point out that:

I always try to keep the ranking up to date by testing new apps and software all the tests are conducted by me personally.

Let’s get started!

1. mSpy

mSpy Screenshot

  • Works only on smartphones (iPhone and Android)
  • Very easy to install
  • Cheap

mSpy is the most used professional spying software across the United States and Europe. It allows you to track company phones (iPhone end Android devices) from one centralized position.

Once you have the invisible spyware running on the employe’s phone, you will have access to their private data.

You will see all the websites your staff have visited while in the office or from their company phone as well as all emails and messages exchanged through WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, calls and so on.

The software gathers all the information you might need in order to check if your staff are doing their duties.

All you have to do is just install the app to their company phone (if they have one), and see what they do in real time from your computer or smartphone.

The installation procedure is easy and takes only a few seconds. You can learn more in this guide I have writtenStep-by-Step Guide to mSpy – the Best Cell Phone Tracker App. Inside you will also find a discount voucher (it’s a gift reserved for readers of my blog).

The following are the main features of mSpy:

INTERNET ACTIVITIES: You can find out what is searched on Google, Bing or any other search engine. Set restrictions for inappropriate websites. Arrange the blacklist and your employees won’t be able to go to any of the blocked sites. End find out if is searching for information on drug use, sex, violence or other inappropriate content.

READ EMAILS: You can get detailed information on all emails displayed on the device monitored using the Firefox browser, Chrome, IE and Safari. It can also monitor the most common mail clients, such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook.com

ACCESS CONTACTS AND CALENDAR: You will be able to monitor the calendar and the list of contacts in your phonebook.

USER ACTIVITY. The spyware allows you to find out how long a user has been logged in to a company smartphone, so that you can see the date and time of each login and logout. You can also use this program to create reports with detailed usage statistics to track their productivity performance

GPS TRACKING: Monitor your movements in real time. This way you will know, for example, whether your employee is with a customer (as they said they were) or not..

KEYLOGGER. You can check each letter they type on the keyboard, even if they are deleted immediately. View chat messages sent by the user through any instant messaging application, all email sent, text typed in Word documents and much more

ANONYMOUS MODE. mSpy does not slow down the monitored smartphone and does not interfere with normal user activity OR display pop-ups, alerts or notifications

INSTALLED PROGRAMS. You can see all the programs installed on the device. With this feature you can find out the name of any installed software, its version, the time of installation, and the space it takes up on the monitored computer

You can check other features by clicking here.


Frankie’s Take:

mSpy is great if you have a small company with a few employees to whom you provide a company mobile phone.

2. TheOneSpy

TheOneSpy Software

  • Works on both smartphones and computers
  • Easy to use
  • Great value for money

A great alternative to mSpy is TheOneSpy.

This software, unlike mSpy, allows you to monitor not only your smartphone but also your employees’ company computer.

It is a really complete software. In fact, I selected it among many because it is the only one that besides the usual features (email tracking, GPS tracking, internet history, keylogger, social media tracking, etc.) allows you to record incoming and outgoing calls and remotely access your computer’s webcam.

Let me show you in detail what it can monitor:

CALLS AND MESSAGES LOG: It keeps both audio and history of all incoming and outgoing calls on your company mobile phone, as well as text messages.

LOCATION TRACKER: Find the location of your mobile phone or computer and keep track of the routes an employee takes to get from one place to another.

SURROUND RECORDING: Allows you to listen – through the microphone on your mobile phone or computer – and record sounds close to the devices for up to 45 minutes.

BLOCKS AND UNBLOCKS APPS: You can block and unblock an app installed on both your computer and your company phone remotely and keep track of the entire list of apps on your devices.

SOCIAL MEDIA: You can monitor all access to the most popular social media (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.) on both computers and smartphones.

MEASURE PRODUCTIVITY: The dashboard provides you with all the data related to the usage time of each installed application.

These are just the main features.

But wait – there’s more: You can access the page with all features of TheOneSpy listed clicking here.

Installing TheOneSpy is very simple and does not require any IT skills.

The cost varies depending on the package you choose and what you want to monitor. You also have 14 days of Money Back if TheOneSpy does not meet your needs.


Frankie’s Take:

TheOneSpy is a great software if you have a company that is already structured and has more than 10 employees to whom you provide both a company’s mobile phone and PC.

Now that I have shown you which are the two best software on the market for tracking company devices, we can spend a few words on some issues related to monitoring your employees.

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about this topic over the years, so I decided to select and answer the most recurring ones.

Let’s have a look at them.

Employee monitoring FAQ


Are there alternative applications to mSpy and TheOneSpy?

As I told you before, there are many apps and software for monitoring employees phone.

Most of those you can find on the Internet, however, only allows you to monitor the productivity of an employee and not to access all the data related to messages, emails, calls, etc..

If your goal is to only measure your employees’ productivity then consider whether this software is right for you: EmpMonitor, Teramind, ActivTrak (absolutely the best employee monitoring software free) or SoftActivity. In case you want to know what they do, what they write, how they relate to clients then use one between mSpy and TheOneSpy.


Is it illegal to spy on your employees?

Good news: Yes it is.

If you suspect that your employees aren’t performing their duties properly, it is good to know that the end doesn’t always justify the means, and your unlawful behavior in workers’ control activities could cost you dearly.

In fact, spying on your employees without them knowing is illegal in almost every country. If you want to resort to an employee tracking system while complying with the law in your country, you have to inform your staff about your investigative actions.

If you want more information I recommend you to check the site WorkplaceFairness.org. You’ll find all the details on what you can monitor and what not.

The purpose of this article is for information only about the best way to gather information on your staff’s computer and phone activities, and messagingapplab.com is not responsible in any way for any illegal actions taken by readers.


What are the benefits of spying on an employee?

Personally, I see no downside to monitoring your employees – as long as they agree to it. On the contrary, I see it as an incentive to improve.

Both you and the employees themselves can benefit a lot.

Let me give you a few examples…

The employee knowing they are being monitored can be more productive and finish the job ahead of time avoiding distractions. This way they can go home earlier and have more free time to spend with their family.

You, on the other hand, having everything under control can concentrate on your homework and avoid wasting your days being a detective. You can also avoid leaks of confidential company information or prevent competitors from taking important resources away from you.

Sounds good?

Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring

✅ Boost employee productivity

By having access to everything done with a computer or company smartphone, you’ll be able to find out which employees work best and who wastes time on Facebook, texting on WhatsApp or looking for offers on Amazon. Based on this you can make decisions such as rewarding those who work the most or punishing those who waste valuable time. In the end, this increases productivity.

✅ Create healthy competition between employees

Most remote employee monitors software available also allows employees to check their productivity stats. You can set up rewards and create healthy competition between coworkers. Surely you’ll benefit in terms of work quality.

✅ Reduce business costs

Being sure that your employees work and are productive from remote, you can consider choosing a smaller location, thus reducing the costs associated with the management of company premises.

✅ Happier and less stressed employees

Employees who do not have to travel to the office – which often takes more than 1 hour – are less stressed and happier because they have more time to spend on their passions or family.

❌ Privacy violation

Some employees may feel the pressure to be monitored and not feel at ease. They may consider it an invasion of their privacy.

❌ Lack of trust

The fact of being constantly monitored can be perceived as a lack of trust and can lead to a decrease in the morale of your employees. After all, who likes to be monitored every moment of your working day?

❌ Crossing the line between private and working life

If you decide to monitor your employees you must be very careful not to cross the thin line between private and working life. For example, the business mobile phone can also be used for private life and therefore you may find some anomalies in its use. Or the business computer can be used in the evening to watch a movie or search for products on Amazon.


Frankie’s Take:

My tip is, if you decide to monitor your employees, to talk to them and ask what they think about it. Focus on the benefits of employee monitoring software.


We have come to the end of this guide, I hope that the information you have found has been useful to you and now you have clearer ideas.

Before we say goodbye, I’ll give you a little summary of what we’ve covered.

In most countries of the world (Europe, USA, UK etc.) spying on an employee is legal as long as they know that the company’s devices – and therefore their computer and smartphone – are tracked.

The best apps to monitor employees are:

mSpy software to monitor only smartphones – If you have a small business and provide your employees with a company smartphone (iPhone or Android) this is the best software: cheap, easy to use and it works all devices, even the older ones.

TheOneSpy software for smartphones and computers – If you have a company with more than 10 employees and already structured in departments this is the software for you. It works not only on mobile phones but also on Mac and Windows computers. It is one of the very few software on the market that allows you to record calls and access the webcam of your devices at a low cost.

That’s all for now.

If you have any questions, doubts, or have tried a monitoring software with which you had a good time and want to recommend it, comment on the post below. I will gladly share these sort of experiences with you.

Feel free to come back soon on my blog.

A hug and have a good day,

PS – Did you know that you can spy on a smartphone without installing any software? Click and find out how!

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.

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