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Old 04.04.2019, 21:23
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Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

Hi English Forum

I have been working in some larger banks in Switzerland and always wondered to what degree the management monitor employees computers? Do they monitor what websites & programs you are using with the goal to monitor productivity? Or is it only allowed in case they suspect you are doing criminal activity? They do have a military like management style so i wonder how far they can carry out this micro management.

In short does UBS, Credit Suisse and similar large employers monitor theirs employees daily activity?

Eg. Do they know how much time you are reading news, writing emails, programming, checking youtube ect.
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Old 04.04.2019, 21:52
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

I always think that if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about.


Not sure what your motive for this question is but all i can say is AFAIK they track things which you're not allowed / supposed to do, like


- visiting the wrong sort / inappropriate of websites
- email filtering for client / personal data
- installing uncertified software.




if one wants to basically go to work and, slack off, it wont be long before aLine Manager askes what that person has delivered and will soon realise they've done bugger all.
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Old 04.04.2019, 22:34
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

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Hi English Forum
Or is it only allowed in case they suspect you are doing criminal activity?
They have lawfully total access to anything that happens on their computers, servers, applications. They don't have to suspect anything before looking at all your keystrokes if they so desire.

Having said that, general monitoring usually extends to blocking websites, and surveilling for keywords in your email, although now they monitor patterns as well with dedicated software ("lets take this offline" being a tell tale )

Best to color within the lines, in every aspect.
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Old 04.04.2019, 23:21
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I spend a good amount of time checking very useful reference on youtube and other learning sites, but especially youtube could be considered as a bad IP to access even-though in my case used solve concrete issues in IT.

Often companies struggle to educate in new technologies but they expect you to know them all, so it's a way of keeping your knowledge up to par without having to spend the little free-time you have doing that.

Ofcourse, X-rated stuff, emails with personal data & custom software is a no go and i spend no time on such things, since it has no value for anyone and mainly damaging for the company.

But improving you knowledge might be considered as slacking because it has no short term gain for the company even-though it's usually pays back the company in the long term and keep employees motivated to stay.

Would just be sad if you get sacked for trying to improve yourself and the company.



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I always think that if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about.


Not sure what your motive for this question is but all i can say is AFAIK they track things which you're not allowed / supposed to do, like


- visiting the wrong sort / inappropriate of websites
- email filtering for client / personal data
- installing uncertified software.




if one wants to basically go to work and, slack off, it wont be long before aLine Manager askes what that person has delivered and will soon realise they've done bugger all.
Is it realtime monitoring or more general monitoring like block Facebook etc. (this is already like that at most companies).

Do you know what specific monitoring software the most big swiss companies use? And do line manger observe this data regularly? I would like to know how far micromanagement has gone these day and if there is any respect for an individuals privacy? If i was a line manager i would thing it was going to far monitoring an employee that has not shown irresponsible behaviour.

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They have lawfully total access to anything that happens on their computers, servers, applications. They don't have to suspect anything before looking at all your keystrokes if they so desire.

Having said that, general monitoring usually extends to blocking websites, and surveilling for keywords in your email, although now they monitor patterns as well with dedicated software ("lets take this offline" being a tell tale )

Best to color within the lines, in every aspect.
My delivery is above average. There is just many people doing alot of useless busywork that does not really benefit the company (actually holds back the company), but often high level manager does not understand what work is valuable in IT and might just say youtube = bad = fire. I'm worried for the mindless firing could happen since i see many high level manager don't understand how to real work is done.

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I always think that if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about.


Not sure what your motive for this question is but all i can say is AFAIK they track things which you're not allowed / supposed to do, like


- visiting the wrong sort / inappropriate of websites
- email filtering for client / personal data
- installing uncertified software.




if one wants to basically go to work and, slack off, it wont be long before aLine Manager askes what that person has delivered and will soon realise they've done bugger all.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 05.04.2019 at 09:42. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 04.04.2019, 23:59
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

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My delivery is above average. There is just many people doing alot of useless busywork that does not really benefit the company (actually holds back the company), but often high level manager does not understand what work is valuable in IT and might just say youtube = bad = fire. I'm worried for the mindless firing could happen since i see many high level manager don't understand how to real work is done.



I don't think there's any real monitoring like you say but yes there are some people in management who have a special idea about how employees should behave, be it internet usage or what time you get in in the morning, how long you have for lunch, etc.

In Banking I believe there is more monitoring than in other companies but it's to do with banking regulations and not to see who's slacking off.
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Old 05.04.2019, 00:24
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

Activity is logged, but seldom checked, unless there is a reason to do so.

CS also introduced tracking using the skype chat, your location and online activity. Not sure if UBS do the same.

In the end if you are doing your job well and not accessing dubious sites then you should remain under the radar.

Often dubious sites and activity is blocked anyhow i.e. no access to personnel email, dropbox etc.. Every email you send is kept for 10 years as this is a legal requirement.
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Old 05.04.2019, 00:48
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

Yes they can, and whenever they want. They also keep logs and there will be someone (several people) in compliance monitoring this as well as phone calls and emails.
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Old 05.04.2019, 00:58
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

Do they ever enforce this monitoring? I guess someone have had experience with this. Either worked there or been confronted with it yourself?

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Yes they can, and whenever they want. They also keep logs and there will be someone (several people) in compliance monitoring this as well as phone calls and emails.
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Old 05.04.2019, 01:00
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

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My delivery is above average. There is just many people doing alot of useless busywork that does not really benefit the company (actually holds back the company), but often high level manager does not understand what work is valuable in IT and might just say youtube = bad = fire. I'm worried for the mindless firing could happen since i see many high level manager don't understand how to real work is done.
Banks are normally relatively strict about what employees do online during work time, though obviously I don't know about your particular workplace rules.

In the last big corporate I worked in, YouTube was blocked except for marketing people, and anyone else who had a good reason to use it. If you use YouTube for training, you should have no worries. Your IT people can see what you've been watching, so you're in the clear. I hope.
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Old 05.04.2019, 01:06
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

I just found this link:

All the feature:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sky...ctivity-report

Setting up daily reports:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpaS6sscd9Q

So apparently the admin can generate a complete map of your activity. Active, away, meeting, etc. I do find this a bit disturbing and something i think people should be more clearly informed about when they take a job at such a place.
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Old 05.04.2019, 01:09
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

The company I work for definitely does not block facebook as there are is actually some tutorial stuff and such on facebook that is compulsory viewing.

It is easy to track activity but much more difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from it. For example, some private activity may typically be tolerated (in the same way that nobody minds if you use the company phone to tell your wife you're coming home a bit later), but it is a question of how far you stretch that priviledge, and also whether you are visiting websites that may infect company computers with malware and such.

Especially IT departments care much more about the second type of activity than the first.

But remember, if they want to fire you, they don't actually need a reason to fire you.
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Old 05.04.2019, 01:10
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

So we almost are under the same amount of monitoring as cattle in a farm. Not sure if i should laugh or cry?
https://www.allflex.global/livestock...d-intelligence
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Old 05.04.2019, 01:19
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

It shouldn't be a shock to learn that an IT department can see what you are doing on a company computer using the company network. It may be annoying or inconvenient, but it's perfectly understandable, surely? It's not 'Big Brother' as it's their time and their equipment. It's basic security.
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Old 05.04.2019, 01:23
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Mainly interested if these monitoring tools are started to be used as decision makers in management strategy. I guess it's not common yet, but seems to go that direction. Yes malicious activity i get that but easy to use a label for a underlying intention to do micro-management. Most people don't have access to sensitive client data anyways, but all get full monitoring. Hope this thread can give us an image of how far this monitoring is rolled out in the big banks and similar.

Yeah i get that, i just want to avoid working for companies that is going down this road. Sometimes good people get fired for political reasons and would like to know if tools like this will have an impact on top management decision making.

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The company I work for definitely does not block facebook as there are is actually some tutorial stuff and such on facebook that is compulsory viewing.

It is easy to track activity but much more difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from it. For example, some private activity may typically be tolerated (in the same way that nobody minds if you use the company phone to tell your wife you're coming home a bit later), but it is a question of how far you stretch that priviledge, and also whether you are visiting websites that may infect company computers with malware and such.

Especially IT departments care much more about the second type of activity than the first.

But remember, if they want to fire you, they don't actually need a reason to fire you.
I get if it's used for security only, that fine. It's more if they start sharing these stats to line-management as performance indicators i would get worried.

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It shouldn't be a shock to learn that an IT department can see what you are doing on a company computer using the company network. It may be annoying or inconvenient, but it's perfectly understandable, surely? It's not 'Big Brother' as it's their time and their equipment. It's basic security.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 05.04.2019 at 09:43. Reason: merging consecutive replies; please use the multi-quote feature
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Old 05.04.2019, 02:08
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

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I get if it's used for security only, that fine. It's more if they start sharing these stats to line-management as performance indicators i would get worried.
It really depends what you mean. Whatever the rulebook says, it's accepted by most companies that an employee may want to use Amazon in their lunch break, or check the news now and then. I'm sure HR do that themselves. But it's the old rule about not 'taking the p---', isn't it?

If someone is spending 50% of their work time watching football on YouTube then they are taking a risk, and yes, it may well get back to line management. That said, there may well be a good reason for it. You might be so good at your job, and work so quickly and efficiently, that you have loads of free time. So conceivably, watching football on YouTube could get you a promotion or a pay rise.

So it's worth getting your story right in case you're asked!
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Old 05.04.2019, 07:17
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

Social media sites will be blocked as they don’t want some dimwit accidentally pasting their clipboard that happens to contain a load of customer data into Facebook.
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Old 05.04.2019, 07:30
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

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Hi English Forum

I have been working in some larger banks in Switzerland and always wondered to what degree the management monitor employees computers? Do they monitor what websites & programs you are using with the goal to monitor productivity? Or is it only allowed in case they suspect you are doing criminal activity? They do have a military like management style so i wonder how far they can carry out this micro management.

In short does UBS, Credit Suisse and similar large employers monitor theirs employees daily activity?

Eg. Do they know how much time you are reading news, writing emails, programming, checking youtube ect.
Every website you visit is logged. If the website is considered in breach of company guidelines (illegal, porn etc) then usually at larger businesses an alert is raised or an exception logged by the internal content filter.

Usually to maintain ethical standards and privacy and avoid abuse of the information, Managers do not have access to such logs unless they have a very specific HR reason/permission for doing so and your daily activity would not be used against you unless serious concerns were raised about performance relative to how much time you spend on the internet.

If you want to browse stuff that is not work safe, do so on your phone using your cellular connection and NOT the company Wifi.

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Social media sites will be blocked as they don’t want some dimwit accidentally pasting their clipboard that happens to contain a load of customer data into Facebook.
I work for a large company and social media such as Facebook is not blocked. Webmail/file sharing sites are blocked, though.
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Old 05.04.2019, 08:34
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

Almost certainly and how they use it is probably entirely dependant on how you perform
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Old 05.04.2019, 09:28
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

I used to work for one of these banks and was told, whether it is true or not, that on the trading floor the IT department had the ability to a) block a mobile phone signal if needed and b) read the data on your phone including messages and WhatsApp.

It seems far fetched but I never got to the bottom of it.

In concrete terms, I know of cases where people using chat systems on applications such as bloomberg were disciplined based on that content which was scanned and flagged remotely.
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Old 05.04.2019, 09:39
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Re: Does UBS & Credit Suisse do employee monitoring?

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I used to work for one of these banks and was told, whether it is true or not, that on the trading floor the IT department had the ability to a) block a mobile phone signal if needed and b) read the data on your phone including messages and WhatsApp.

It seems far fetched but I never got to the bottom of it.

In concrete terms, I know of cases where people using chat systems on applications such as bloomberg were disciplined based on that content which was scanned and flagged remotely.



When you think what NSA/CIA could do when Edward Snowden spilled the beans, nothing surprises me anymore with what can be monitored or not
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