How to Monitor Employee Internet Use With BrowseReporter (Video)

BrowseReporter employee internet monitoring software technical demo

NEW: BrowseReporter Employee Monitoring Software Overview

Since this article was originally posted there have been several functionality and user interface updates to BrowseReporter employee internet monitoring software. These videos showcase the new interface and the data dashboards that were introduced in 2021.

BrowseReporter is a versatile computer user activity monitoring software that helps organizations enforce policies, meet compliance requirements, and understand how their users operate – no matter where they’re located.

BrowseReporter’s detailed user activity reports provide insights like…

  • Are our users following organizational policies? Are there any unwanted activities that need to be addressed?
  • How engaged are our users? Do they spend the majority of their time on-task? And…
  • Are our users making use of the software we’ve invested in? Should we reduce the number of licenses we pay for?

The computer activity data is collected by a software agent that is installed on your computers. The agent connects to a database on your organization’s network, allowing you to maintain complete control over the data.

BrowseReporter’s central console allows you to run reports on your user’s computer activities from the convenience of a web browser. 

There are dozens of reports to choose from, including…

  • User productivity reports with an overview of how much time was spent on websites that are productive, unproductive, or neutral. These classifications can be customized to match what is productive for your users.
  • There are also detailed internet activity reports that show you what websites your users have visited, how long they spent browsing each site, and the amount of bandwidth consumed.
  • And finally, the application usage reports show you what software is being used, how long it was used for, and who was using it.

BrowseReporter’s reports can be generated on-demand, on a set schedule, or automatically sent to your inbox to alert you of specific events.

Using the End-User Reports feature you can even provide your users with on-demand access to their own data. This lets them benefit from the insights that you have.

BrowseReporter can even be deployed with optional privacy-enhancing features.

You can…

  • Display a custom message to notify users that they are being monitored
  • Make the client visible in the system tray
  • Stop monitoring outside of standard operating hours, and…
  • Disable certain types of tracking altogether 

These optional features allow you to customize your BrowseReporter deployment to fit the needs of your organization.

BrowseReporter is best used in tandem with our web filtering software BrowseControl. Using both solutions provides you with the visibility and control you need to ensure that your organization’s computers are being used appropriately

Ready to make data-informed decisions? Get actionable insights into the activity of your users with a free trial of BrowseReporter.

Get started today by visiting CurrentWare.com/Download

If you have any questions during your evaluation our technical support team is available to help you over a phone call, live chat, or email.

Thank you!

Hey everyone, this is Dale here. I am the Digital Marketing Manager for CurrentWare.

In today’s video, I’d like to show off the new user activity data dashboards that were introduced to BrowseReporter in version 6.0.2. 

With these dashboards, you can review the productivity levels, web browsing, application usage, and bandwidth consumption of your entire workforce from the convenience of a web browser. 

These dashboards work in tandem with BrowseReporter’s computer activity reports to provide valuable insights into how technology is used in your organization.

Today’s video is just a sneak peek of what BrowseReporter is capable of; as time goes on you can expect to see further enhancements and data points added to these dashboards.

How the Dashboards Work

To begin using the new dashboards simply select the groups or users you would like to review, then select the desired time period.

Here at the top of the Overview dashboard, you will see a comparison between the data from this period and the previous time period. This gives you a high-level glance into whether the given metrics have increased or decreased during this timeframe.

Below that, we have graphs showing the Top 5 most used websites and applications. This shows you what computer activities your users spend the most time on.

Next, you’ll see the top 5 most active and idle users or groups. 

BrowseReporter automatically switches from Active Time Tracking to Idle Time Tracking when the user stops using their keyboard or mouse for a set period of time; this threshold can be changed to fit your organization’s needs.

Dashboards for Specific Groups/Users

Let’s drill down even further by clicking on one of our groups.

In this group sub-dashboard, you can see the most productive and unproductive users in the group, along with a dedicated Activity Log. 

Likewise, if we started out looking at a specific user rather than a group we would be taken to a sub-dashboard with that specific user’s online status and computer activity data.

Activity Log For Raw User Activity Data

The activity log lets you review the raw data that is used to populate the dashboards. 

You can use the search function to find specific information, use the column men u to adjust what columns appear, and sort the data that is displayed.

What data points are available in the Activity Log will vary depending on the dashboard you’re viewing.

For example, here in the Overview dashboard, we have access to Group or usernames along with several active and idle time metrics.

In the productivity dashboard, we’d have access to the group or user name, the number of users, and various productivity metrics.

Likewise, the Activity Log of the Websites dashboard shows domain names, active time, web content categories, and the productivity categorization for the domain.

The Activity Log of the Applications dashboard shows the application name, process name, active time, and idle time.

If you’d like to use the Activity Log data in a business intelligence tool you can easily export your user activity data to an Excel spreadsheet. 

If you’d like to provide a visual copy of the Activity Log to someone else, you can use the Export to PDF function. The PDF will display the Activity Log, including hyperlinks to the sub-dashboards of the groups or users shown. 

So long as the viewer has access to an operator account with sufficient permissions they’ll be able to follow these hyperlinks to learn more about the selected user or group.

To finish things off, let’s take a look at the dashboards offered in version 6.0.2

Productivity Dashboard

Switching over to the Productivity dashboard you will see how much time was spent on productive, unproductive, and neutral web browsing. You’ll also see who the most productive and unproductive users or groups are, as well as the top 5 websites and categories. 

What is considered productive can be customized by going to BrowseReporter’s Productivity Grading window; a shortcut to this can be found in the dashboard settings. 

From here you’ll be able to specify whether a given website category or a specific domain should be labeled as productive, unproductive, or neutral.

Internet Browsing Dashboard

Moving on to the Websites dashboard you will find the total active and idle time for the selected groups or users, the top 5 websites and most active users, as well as the web browsing Activity Log.

Application Usage Dashboard

In the applications dashboard, you will find similar graphs showing how much time was spent using applications, the top 5 most used applications, the 5 users that spent the most time using applications, and the application usage Activity Log.

Bandwidth Consumption Dashboard

Finally, we have the bandwidth usage dashboard. Here you’ll be able to see who is using the most bandwidth and how much bandwidth was used each day.  

If you’d like to see what websites are responsible for anomalies in bandwidth usage you can run BrowseReporter’s Bandwidth Usage by URL report. 

This report will show you the exact websites that are consuming bandwidth; from there you can decide whether the bandwidth hogs need to be blocked with BrowseControl or if other corrective measures need to be taken.

Conclusion

Ready to boost operational efficiency, employee productivity, and endpoint security with advanced awareness and control over how your employees use technology in the workplace? 

Get started today with a FREE trial of any of our software solutions. 

Simply visit CurrentWare.com/Download to try our software for yourself or get in touch with us at CurrentWare.com/Contact.

Thank you!

Original Video: How to Monitor Employee Web Browsing (Legacy UI)

NOTE: This video features a legacy BrowseReporter UI. Click here to check out the new web console.

Video Transcription

Hi guys my name is Sai. I’m from CurrentWare’s technical support team and today I’m going to show you how to use BrowseReporter to monitor the internet activities of your users

What you’re looking at right now is the CurrentWare console. On the left hand side you’ve got all your computers that are connected to your console and you can run different reports on their internet activities.

Employee Internet Activity Reports

Next let’s run a report on our user’s internet activities. First I’m going to go to Run Report, and this is where the report options will be. The very first option is a report profile and this is where you can save all the shortcuts of the reports that you selected.

Next we’ve got a report type, and here’s a list of different reports that you can generate the internet activities on. There are reports ranging from detailed reports and summary reports as well as browsing time, category reports, and bandwidth usage reports.

At the very bottom we have a few graphs that compares the different internet activity data between the different users. When you want to generate a report first you need to select a user or computer. This is where we click on the user and computer button and select the computer that we want to run the report on. 

Idle time limit is only useful if you want to filter out data from your reports that are longer than, in this case, 20 minutes. And then finally we got the reporting period, which can range from all, today, yesterday, last seven days, last month, and a custom range.

BrowseReporter Sites Visited report sports and entertainment websites listed.

Sites Visited Report

Let’s go ahead and generate a Sites Visited report for our user. This is the Total Sites Visited by Computers report. This is the most detailed report that BrowseReporter has to offer; it’s going to show you every single website that your users have gone to. 

Now BrowseReporter only tracks the URL that is on the address bar of the internet browser. It does not track the traffic that is coming in from the background of the websites. For example when you open a site usually it loads up the advertisement in the back, analytics, as well as any content management links. Those will not be tracked by BrowseReporter and in turn, you’re going to get a much easier-to-read report and a report that shows you exactly what sites that your users have gone to.

The benefit of a report like this is that managers will be able to find out if the employees are actually working during office hours. Looking at the websites you’ll be able to see if they’re going to websites that are not related to work and are distracting. So this gives the manager the ability to make a decision on what to do to minimize distractions that the employees are getting during office hours

Active Time vs Total Time

On the right hand side you’re going to notice two columns related to time: Active time and total time. Now let’s explain what total time is first. Total time is the amount of time that you spent on a website from the second you enter the page to the second that you leave the page, so it is the total duration of the website being opened. 

On the other hand active time will only track the time when the website is active. And what I mean by active is that the website is sitting on top of other websites, is sitting on top of other tabs, or if it’s sitting on top of an application.

When a user switches from that website to a different page or a different tab or a different application, active time will pause the tracking for that session. So it is smart enough to only track a website when it is active. This is the most accurate way of BrowseReporter tracking the time and is going to give you a fair number of how long your users have been spending on a particular website.

Internet Usage Summary Reports

For the next report we’re going to look at a summary report. This is the top domain by browsing time report and this is going to give you a one-page summary of the websites that your users most frequently visit. For this user you’re going to notice on the very top a bunch of websites that are not work-related. So from this one-page summary you can tell that this user hasn’t really been productive during this time period.

Now keep in mind that any reports that you generate with BrowseReporter can be sent directly into your email. So this would be a very great weekly report that you can get in your inbox, just to understand if your employees are working away on their computers and seeing if they’re productive during work hours. 

Sites visited by category report from BrowseReporter

Here’s a report called URL categories by computers. This report is very similar to the sites visited report that we saw earlier with the exception of the category column and the status column.

So the category column places a category next to a URL that you may or may not be familiar with. Nowadays for URLs that are not obvious sometimes you wonder what site that is, what that site is about, so having a category next to it can really help you identify if the site is work related or not. 

The column for status tells you whether that website is allowed in BrowseControl. So BrowseControl is a web filtering solution that you can pair up with BrowseReporter to start blocking websites that you don’t want your users to go to. And in this case these websites are allowed in BrowseControl and are not being blocked at the moment. 

Bandwidth Usage Reports

BrowseReporter daily bandwidth usage report

There are three bandwidth reports that come with BrowseReporter. You’re looking at the daily bandwidth usage report. This will show you the data that’s being sent and received on a daily basis. You get to see the data of every single day and how much data is being sent and received.

BrowseReporter Bandwidth Usage by Sites report with 13 different URLs listed.

The second report shows you the URLs that are attached to the bandwidth. And then the third report shows you all the computers on your network and how much data they are spending, so that you can compare and see who is hogging the bandwidth on your network.

Send Employee Monitoring Reports to Email

Screenshot of the email reports screen. BrowseReporter employee monitoring software

So now we’re back on the CurrentWare console; I’m going to show you a few more features of BrowseReporter. 

The very first one is email reports. We’re just going to go ahead and create a schedule here to send an email to our HR manager. I’m going to go ahead and select a profile that I’ve created earlier and add it to send on a weekly basis in the afternoon on Friday.

Okay so now that it is added hit apply. Every Friday at five o’clock our HR manager is going to get an email in their inbox containing the internet activities of users that are part of his or her departments. 

Remote Screen Capture & Live Screen Monitoring

Remote Live Screen Monitoring With BrowseReporter.

Other than tracking internet activities of your employees, BrowseReporter has the ability to remotely capture what’s happening on their screen. So let’s look at the remote capture feature. Once I click on this button it’s going to remotely connect to my computer and then I’m going to be able to see what’s happening on their screen in real time. 

Now this does refresh every one second and whatever activities that the end user is doing on their screen will be reflected on this window, so you’ll be able to monitor in real time what’s happening on their computer. 

Monitor Off-site Employees

Client settings, BrowseReporter employee internet monitoring software

I’m going to talk about the very last feature of BrowseReporter that I want to show you guys. Now this is a very unique feature that BrowseReporter has to offer and it’s one that most of our competitors may not have. So there are going to be situations where you install BrowseReporter on a laptop and these employees will take them outside of the network, because perhaps they’re remote workers or they’re consultants that need to meet with a client at a coffee shop hotel or at a conference.

So because BrowseReporter does have an agent installed on those computers it will remain tracking their internet activities even when they’re outside the network. 

Now let’s take a look at that. Under the BrowseReporter client setting there is an option to enable URL tracking when the CurrentWare server is unavailable. So while CurrentWare is still tracking the data when the user is using the laptop outside, when they bring that laptop back to the network where the CurrentWare server is installed the data is uploaded to the CurrentWare server for you to run different reports on. 

Conclusion

We highly encourage you trying out BrowseReporter on your own. We offer a fully functional free trial for 14 days and up to 10 users.

Now if you have any questions during your evaluation our technical support team is available to help you out at any time, so feel free to email us, give us a call, or even go on a website to open a chat with us.

And we really want you to use BrowseReporter to understand your employee’s activities and improve on the productivity of your network. Thank you guys so much for your time and we hope you enjoy the product demo.

Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.