StaffCounter from February 2022: scheduled recording, monitor mouse simulators and internet connection
Meet the new version of the StaffCounter agent for Windows from February 1, 2022. The program has new settings and functions. For example, we have added the ability to stop recording outside business hours (scheduled), as well as a new experimental feature – monitoring mouse activity simulators.
New setting “Include mouse movers into idle time”
Mouse activity emulators are not new in the IT world. For years, unscrupulous workers have been using mouse activity emulators to hide their absence from the workplace or inactivity during work hours tracked by Microsoft Teams and time-tracking programs. But not all employers are willing to pay employees just for the fact that they have a cursor crawling across the screen. And since there are applications and hardware simulators that make the mouse “crawl”, there must be monitoring applications that will not take this activity into account. The new version of StaffCounter allows you to track the mouse activity emulator and include this time in the “Pause” section. Therefore, the absence of clicks, as well as the complete absence of activity on the keyboard, will not be counted as work.
New setting “Record data only during work hours”
Why keep track of working hours and monitor only at certain hours? The answer is obvious: if your employees leave their computers on all the time. This is especially common in software development or video production companies. It is also necessary when the computer is doing additional work beyond what the user is working on. Accounting for working time and monitoring activity on a schedule eliminates the human factor since the user does not need to remember that he needs to turn it on when he starts work, and turn it off when he finishes. The StaffCounter program allows you to record an employee’s activity only during working hours (set in the Schedule \ Schedules section), starting and finishing work in accordance with the stated requirements.
“Record Internet connection status”
The StaffCounter time tracking program now allows you to keep track of the status of your computer’s connection to the Internet. This option fixes all situations when the Internet connection on the computer of a remote employee disappears for one reason or another, including problems with the WiFi router or a physical disconnection of the cable. All cases of disconnection, including the time of disconnection and restoration of connection with the Internet, the reason, and the type of connection will be entered in the employee’s activity log. Using this data, department managers will be able to study in detail situations when remote employees did not fulfill their work duties due to lack of Internet. This will eliminate claims that there is no network access without clear evidence of this. Now your remote office will not be able to independently disconnect from the network in order to spend working time on entertainment, recreation, or other projects. Also, we remind you that StaffCounter monitors user activity offline, and loads the collected data when the connection is resumed.
Automatic inclusion of StaffCounter in the exclusion list of Windows Security and Microsoft Defender.
Added a script to the agent installer to include the Program Files (x86)\StaffCounter folder in the Microsoft Security exclusion list. Now, the StaffCounter time tracking program fully meets security standards and does not pose any threat. Thanks to this script, the application starts working immediately after installation, which saves you time and allows you to verify its effectiveness from the first minute.
Disable monitoring for highly privileged users
The /ignoreusers parameter has been added to the agent installer, where you can specify the names of accounts that need to be excluded from monitoring (for example, /ignoreusers:admin,backupoperator). An exception is added to the Bat file:
This option allows you to exclude individual accounts from monitoring in the AD network when the “Allow monitoring for all accounts \ Log all users on this PC” setting is used. Now, in the case when there are several accounts for which you do not need to collect information, it is possible to blacklist them of the StaffCounter agent so that they do not appear in the list of employees on the staffcounter.net online dashboard.
The update is currently only available for the Windows agent.