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I use Citrix when working from home, can my employer spy on my home computer?

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Why Should You Secretly Spy at Work Premises and Home

As more businesses employ remote/work-from-home monitoring software, there is increasing concern about the types of data that can be accessed through such tools. It all boils down to the solution or service that your company utilizes.

What is Citrix?

Citrix is a remote connection device that enables the hosting of resources and applications in a single location. It is sophisticated software for remotely connecting to Windows desktops or servers. Citrix enables you to function as if you were at your office. You will have access to your work desktop and all of your applications via a virtual desktop hosted on the office’s Citrix server. 

What is the purpose of monitoring Citrix environments?

Citrix environments can be complex to manage. That is why, in a Citrix setting, companies need tools such as employee monitoring software to ensure efficiency and security. While monitoring applications via Citrix environments, companies can build a highly productive remote workforce.

Using Citrix and worried about whether your employer is spying on your home computer or not?

Don’t be!

Your employer cannot spy on your home computer via Citrix/Terminal Server sessions. Remote Desktop, Citrix, and Terminal server sessions are not intended to connect to your personal computer. Moreso, you are only connecting via Citrix remote apps/desktops, not a VPN connection; therefore, nothing from your home computer can be transferred back to your session; this is done to protect both you and your boss. 

Your boss, on the other hand, can see your computer or device hostname. They cannot, however, access any data on your home device other than your IP address, receiver version, operating system, and browser. That’s about it.

Your bosses can only see within the Citrix session; they have no access outside of it.

Even if your employer installs employee monitoring software to monitor work-related activity and you’re logged into Citrix to work remotely, they cannot monitor your home pc and your internet or other sensitive details, including banking information, passwords, and so on.

Citrix remote desktop sessions are not intended for access to your personal computer.

You do not need to be concerned about being spied on via Citrix on your personal home computer.

Furthermore, your employer is not permitted to monitor your home computer without your permission.

If the employer owns the equipment, that’s a different story. 

What can my employer monitor if I work from home using Citrix?

When you connect to your work computer through Citrix, everything you do inside the application’s window occurs on the computer in your office. This indicates that your boss will have computer access as well. This ensures that the boss can keep track of work-related activity and maintain a highly efficient workforce. Most of the time, this necessitates the use of employee monitoring software. This technology gives businesses insight into remote/work-from-home teams’ activities by tracking employee behavior via a Citrix session, but not anything else you do. 

Employee monitoring software, once installed, records any element of a remote employee’s engagement with the Citrix environment, including:

  • Login/logout 
  • Username (Passwords should not be recorded)
  • Websites/URLs visited
  • Active/Idle time
  • Apps/software that is used during the session
  • Documents (Work-related files)

During a remote Citrix session, only the activities mentioned above should be tracked.

Suppose your employer implements invasive employee monitoring software with features that allow them to capture screenshots, keystrokes, or even video recordings of a user’s session – with and without consent. In that case, this sounds like using a spyware program and is considered an infringement of privacy.

Wrap Up

Your employer can not “spy’’ on your home computer via a Citrix environment. However, if you’re working for a company, it is within your employer’s rights to ensure work efficiency as you work from home. To do this, your employer may choose to incorporate employee computer monitoring software to ensure productivity and security in a Citrix environment. That said,  employee monitoring software can be designed only to keep track of certain types of data during working hours, allowing them to maintain productivity while protecting employees’ privacy. The employee monitoring tool of choice should be non -invasive. It shouldn’t collect confidential information. It should only obtain comprehensive real-time reports indicating the following:

  •  Log in and log out to ensure that workers are on schedule, etc.
  • Reports displaying specific websites as well as users who use these websites during the Citrix session.
  • User activity and inactivity allow managers to see whether workers are active or inactive during allocated working hours.
  • Insights into application use, allowing managers to see which applications are being used the most often, where they are spending the most time, and so on.

A great example of non-intrusive employee monitoring software is WorkTime. WorkTime provides businesses comprehensive insights into what remote employees are doing within a Citrix session without ‘’spying’’ on them or invading their privacy.

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