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Monitoring user activity

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  • Monitoring user activity

    I have to admit this is a new one for me:
    Request from a client to monitor staff activity so they can see how much time is being spent on different applications each day (word vs IE vs MSN mainly )

    I have no idea what apps exist to do that -- I know there is software that will screen shot every time interval, but that leaves the job of analysing it and reporting.

    Any suggestions for tools (do not have to be freeware but that would be nice) which can e.g.
    Check the foreground application every X seconds
    Log it to a csv or similar
    Ideally total up the number of instances by app (although I can do that if it is in Excel)

    Legality should be OK as all staff have signed an AUP and it is on the owners instructions

    Clients are all XP pro in a 2 site SBS 2003 domain (no ISA server) so I felt the XP forum was preferable to the SBS one
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

  • #2
    Re: Monitoring user activity

    I have not used any application, but you can be able track the time via the task manager command line exporting the Data to a text file, then exporting to a Excel, and into a nice little graph.

    Its not simple, but possible.

    Other then that, there are a heap of programs that will work, just google "Application Monitor" or "network Application monitor".

    Also, if its "work vs internet" it might be simpler to monitor the internet useage (proxy program, Webmarshel (NOT the best, just first in my head)). We have this problem on some clients sites, e use Web marshel (I would rather use Untangle or some other Linux distro) and it does a fair job. Lists the sites each user has open, as well as the time on that page, time on that site and the total time spent on the internet (the last one sadly counts 2 windows open as twice the time).

    Also, a note on Legallity, if they are planning on using this as bases to fire people, you might want them to reissue the contract. I have had a client that was fined for "unfair use of personal infomation" becuse they fired there PA becuse they where always on facebook. Its very simple to get them all to Resign a "IT printer and network disclamer", if you want to hide the truth from them.

    If in asking for more details about a problem I seem to be rude, think about it this way, If I did not have to ask, I would not of been forced to be rude.

    Please assume anything and everything I say to be wrong unless I have provided links and evidence, or you have done the same.
    IE: you blow your server up following my advice, not my bad

    A OP is bad if I can go to and answer the question by pressing 4 buttons. "Ctrl +c, Ctrl +v".


    • #3
      Re: Monitoring user activity

      Tom, got these from a List I am on and haven't had time to check them out yet so they may not be of any use.

      Joined: 23rd December 2003
      Departed: 23rd December 2015