I am working for a large international company. I mostly sit by myself in my office. There is no registering of when employees leave and come. But do you think they monitor when I am logged into my computer? Is this normal practice? Is it legal for them to monitor my PC activity? I wrote a program that moves the mouse pointer randomly so I dont get logged out and can register more hours, do you think they will notice?

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    So, you are leaving your desk, there is a kind of network policy that increase security by logging you out so nobody can gain access of your computer while you are away, then you figured out how to void this protection? – Sebastien DErrico Jul 18 '17 at 18:56
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    "your" PC activity? Or your activity on their PC, on their networks, in their office, etc. – PoloHoleSet Jul 18 '17 at 18:58
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    Our sysadmin would have a field day with this. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 18 '17 at 19:07
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    "Do you think" -> entirely opinion-based. "Is this normal practice" -> also opinion-based, and the answer to that will still not tell you if your employer does it. "Is it legal" -> probably, considering that it's generally not "your" computer, but "theirs", but, as mentioned above, it depends on where you live and perhaps even more on the specifics of your employment. – Dukeling Jul 18 '17 at 19:24
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    @MisterPositive Do you know any place in the world where a manager monitoring with his eyes is not allowed? Because that is all that it takes. – Anonymous Coward Jul 18 '17 at 19:41

I wrote a program that moves the mouse pointer randomly so I dont get logged out and can register more hours, do you think they will notice?

Yes. It's only a matter of time.

(You are actually asking if it's legal to be monitored while you are trying to steal "more hours"?)

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    Yep, the program will get caught on the next malware sweep. If they've got Snow, it's bad news for the OP. +1 – Old_Lamplighter Jul 18 '17 at 18:48
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    I'm amazed at how people still think they can pull stuff like this when it was old 15 years ago. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 18 '17 at 18:56
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    @RichardU I'm amazed that people who can actually accomplish writing a script like this still can't rustle up the common sense to realize that someone better will catch it nor to realize the potential security risks they're exposing the company to. Unattended and unlocked workstations is a network security nightmare, and OP is leaving the door open to ruin the day of an entire department. – jcam3 Jul 18 '17 at 19:51
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    @jcam3 At one place I worked, you could get a visit from security for leaving your desk without locking your computer. This would result in TOS - Termination On Sight. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 18 '17 at 20:00
  • If it's a program. I am sure that you can use a bit of Lego to construct a little device that will move your mouse around :-) – gnasher729 Jul 19 '17 at 8:59

I use myself a selfmade program which does the same because I can't disable the screensaver on the laptop and I want it displaying documents while working with the desktop.

That program is not a problem. It is just a tool. My manager knows I use it. I always lock screens when I get away from computers.

What you do with it is what matters. And you are doing nothing. Your lack of productivity will be noticed.
It also leaves you in a very vulnerable and easily verifiable position. "How came Adam H shows as logged for the past 60 mins when I saw him leave an hour ago?" This is the worst position to place yourself from a legal point of view.
Also worth mentioning that you are leaving your computer open to be tampered with by anyone who passes by since your screen is not locked. That is certainly a breach of use policy for most companies.


Whether or not your company is monitoring your computer activity, a program that makes it appear that you are working when you aren't is highly unethical, especially if you are being paid for more hours. I'm not a lawyer, but I believe this would be considered fraud in most places. Even if it isn't, I can't imagine that your employer would react well if they found out about it, which they likely will.

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    Not to mention, its a lot like stealing money from the company. – Neo Jul 18 '17 at 19:31
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    I've known people who needed to do this, because the company monitored their computer activity and didn't consider that they could be doing significant amounts of work without touching their computer. Their boss knew and completely agreed, but couldn't change the policy so that was fine. – gnasher729 Jul 19 '17 at 9:02

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