Employee monitoring software is a wide-ranging solution that keeps an eye on all users at the same time. As a result, it's important to have a solution that not only allows admins to monitor usage and set rules but makes it easy to understand when an employee is attempting to violate company policy. CleverControl does just that. It is a complete employee monitoring software solution that lets admins tailor the parameters for employee device usage and keep an eye on how users behave. It does a great job of balancing the full slate of tools with ease of use, delivering a complete solution without becoming overwhelming or confusing.
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CleverControl offers great flexibility for choosing your pricing package. Pricing is based on the total number of devices you'd like to license (a minimum of three devices is required), with a three-month, six-month, annual, two-year or three-year subscription period. Naturally, the longer the subscription period, the lower the monthly rate per device.
With an annual subscription for the minimum of three devices, CleverControl charges $5 per device per month, which comes out to $180 per year. We found this to be a competitive rate among the leading employee monitoring software we reviewed, especially for a comprehensive product. If you'd like to review your other options and obtain a quote for your organization's specific situation, you can use the pricing tool on CleverControl's website for a breakdown of all your options.
CleverControl is one of the most comprehensive pieces of software in our review. It offers specific tools for virtually every aspect of the employee monitoring ecosystem. In addition to all the tools explained below, CleverControl summarizes all user activity in one page, listing a running tab of all actions taken by a user on their device. If the overview is too general for you, it's easy to drill down into specifics using these tools:
- User statistics: CleverControl provides an overview of user activity, easily reviewed in a pie chart that tracks the type of activity the user has engaged in by time. This tool also breaks down the applications a user has worked in, as well as how much time they spent using that software.
- Live view: You can see a snapshot of the user's monitor in near real time, updating every few seconds. We set CleverControl to monitor our computer while writing this review, and the text appeared in CleverControl's live viewing screen with very little lag time from when we typed it. It worked much the same way as we navigated from window to window.
- Live webcam: You can activate a selected user's webcam to monitor what they are doing and where they are in real time. If you suspect a user is egregiously violating company policy, this could be a way to catch them in the act. However, they will be aware that their webcam has activated remotely, and the live webcam might also slow down their computer's performance.
- Keyboard events: CleverControl records all keystrokes a user enters and in which application. If a user is typing a Microsoft Word document, for example, not only will CleverControl show the complete record of their keystrokes and that they occurred in Microsoft Word, but it will also record the file name of the document in question.
- Screenshots: CleverControl takes automatic screenshots periodically and when a user shifts activity. This allows you to review user activity at their leisure, even if you aren't actively monitoring a specific user. These screenshots can be downloaded and saved for later review and perpetual storage.
- Webpages: This tool simply tracks when a user visits a specific webpage. It establishes an ongoing list of websites the user has accessed, allowing admins to easily check for prohibited content.
- Searches: This tool monitors what search terms an employee queries in any of the leading search engines.
- IM activity: CleverControl compiles a list of user chats across several different messenger platforms, including WhatsApp and Telegram. You can view whom users spoke with and what each participant said during the chat.
- Social networks: This tool monitors all of a user's social media activity on company time. It includes major platforms as well as minor ones, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace and Google Plus.
- Clipboard value: The clipboard tool tracks anything your users copy to the clipboard during their session. If they've copied any text, it appears word for word in this tool, including the source application from which the text was copied.
- Programs activity: The software displays all applications the user launched during their session. This includes applications and programs that are running in the background, with a timestamp of when they were accessed.
- User activity: This shows when a user began their session, as well as any inactive time that occurred during that session. This is an important feature for admins who want to see who is working hard and who is hardly working.
- Printer activity: All print jobs appear in this tool, with a timestamp and a copy of the document that was sent to the printer.
- External storage activity: This tool identifies any data that was uploaded or downloaded to a removable device, helping you protect your company's sensitive data while also monitoring the network for the source of any malware or other viruses that might have been introduced.
- Site blocker: This tool allows admins to quickly review any instances of a user trying to visit a blocked site.
- Installed applications: You can use this tool to review any third-party software a user might have installed or launched.
Ease of Use
While this selection of features is vast and in-depth, CleverControl does a good job of making its software easy to navigate. The aesthetically pleasing user interface is organized neatly into a series of tabs and menus that don't overwhelm the senses and make it easy to find the tool you're looking for. It's also easy to add new users and groups to the system, as well as to set parameters on prohibited content and behavioral alerts.
A central dashboard brings together the highlights collected by all these tools in one location. It is easy to access your organization's usage statistics at a glance. You can also use this overview to monitor a specific employee's activity. While inspecting each individual tool is necessary for reviewing the details of usage, the dashboard tool is a good way to see if anything appears amiss, whether with regard to one user, multiple users or the entire organization.
For employee monitoring software, it can be difficult to balance comprehensive features with usability, but CleverControl achieves this with the best of them. If you're still concerned about the learning curve, though, you can try the software out for free for 14 days with no purchasing commitment or credit card information required.
CleverControl offers admins a lot of features, but it is somewhat less customizable than some of the other leading solutions we reviewed. For example, the alerts and notifications function is a bit more restrictive than this tool in other software. However, CleverControl keeps tabs on so many aspects of employee usage that the dashboard contains most of the information you could request through alerts anyway. It is also a bit more difficult to navigate to a page where you can set the specific parameters, rules and policies that are essential to employee monitoring.