Time Doctor is a powerful employee productivity management software solution used by high-performing teams in large companies like RE/MAX and Ericsson and small businesses like Thrive Market to boost productivity and accountability.
But is Time Doctor safe for your workplace?
The short answer: yes.
This Article Contains:
(click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- Is Time Doctor Safe?
- How Time Doctor Handles User Information
- How to make Time Doctor More Employee Friendly
Is Time Doctor Safe?
Time Doctor is 100% safe.
Time Doctor only tracks your computer activity when you select a task and track time for it.
It stops recording your activities when you’re on a break and doesn’t record anything if you sign out of the software.
At Time Doctor, we believe that a company has the right to know what its employees are doing during work hours. But at the same time, they have no right to know what employees do during breaks or outside working hours — whether it’s an in-house or remote team.
And if an employee is worried about the recorded data, they can access the same reports and data about their work as their manager.
So what can you do with Time Doctor?
Managers and employees can use this productivity tracking tool to:
- Track time spent on tasks and projects through manual and automatic time tracking modes.
- Create efficient employee scheduling with work schedules.
- Categorize websites and applications based on their productivity levels with productivity ratings.
- Get a breakdown of how employees spend time in the form of comprehensive performance reports.
- Receive alerts when the computer is idle for too long through the idle time pop-up.
- Determine work activity using the optional screencasts functionality.
- Track time spent on other online apps with the Chrome browser extension.
- Quickly process payments through payroll integration with tools like Paypal and Payoneer.
- Manage productivity using a powerful desktop app for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome operating systems and mobile app for Android devices.
Now that you know about Time Doctor’s key features, let’s explore its privacy and security policies.
How Time Doctor Handles User Information
Let’s take a look at various aspects of data handling in the Time Doctor Platform:
Note: In this article, Time Doctor apps, websites, features, and other services are collectively referred to as Time Doctor Platform.
1. Information Collection
Here’s how Time Doctor collects user information:
A. Information Provided by Users
Users provide information during:
- Account Registration: Data like name, email address, and payment information, or any other additional information that a user may choose to share during account registration.
- Communications: Any information provided when a person contacts Time Doctor or vice versa. This may include the contents of the messages or attachments shared.
B. Information Collected through Application Usage
The user and device information collected is categorized as follows:
a. Website Visitor Information
Like most website operators, the Time Doctor Platform collects basic non-personally-identifying information from website visitors like language preference, browser type, and the date and time of each visitor request.
This helps the team behind Time Doctor better understand how visitors use the website — helping them improve the visitor experience and website security.
b. Device Information
Device information like device model, IP address, and operating system version, collected from the device used to access the Time Doctor Platform.
c. App Usage Information
The time Doctor Platform collects information related to the use of the software like:
- The time a person started and finished work.
- Tasks and projects worked on.
- Names of applications and websites used.
- Screenshots of your desktop screen, if enabled by the owner or admin.
- Pages and content viewed.
- Date and time of use.
The Time Doctor desktop application records the number of keystrokes and mouse movements made by a user to determine inactivity. It does not record where a user clicked on the screen nor which key was pressed.
Note: The information is only collected while the application is running on your device.
d. Cookies and Third-Party Technologies
The Time Doctor Platform collects information through cookies, tracking pixels, and data analytics tools like Google Analytics, SDKs, and other third-party technologies.
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that contain basic information to help websites and apps recognize a web browser.
This helps us understand how users navigate through the Time Doctor Platform and interact with our advertisements. We also use this information to learn what content is popular among users, improve user experience, and save their preferences.
Visitors who don’t wish to have cookies on their browsers can refuse them before using the website. However, disabling cookies can cause certain features to not function properly.
2. Information Usage
The Time Doctor Platform uses user information for the following purposes:
A. Time Doctor Software
We use users’ personal information to:
- Verify user identity.
- Maintain account, settings, and preferences.
- Process payments.
- Collect feedback.
- Provide information on your work activity.
This helps us provide an intuitive, efficient, and useful experience to our customers.
B. Safety and Security
To maintain user safety and security, we use personal information for:
- Authenticating users.
- Finding and preventing fraud incidents.
- Blocking and removing suspicious users.
C. Customer Support
Users’ information helps us better investigate and assist in resolving queries and issues.
D. Improving the Time Doctor Platform
We aim to improve the user experience and provide useful and efficient features.
To do so, we use your information to:
- Perform research, testing, and analysis.
- Develop new products, features, and services.
- Find and resolve software or hardware issues.
- Monitor and improve our workflows.
E. Legal Proceedings and Requirements
The law, government entities, and other regulatory bodies might impose demands and obligations concerning the services we seek to provide. We might use personal information to respond to those obligations in such cases.
3. Information Sharing
Let’s explore when and why we share your information.
However, it’s important to note that we do not sell your personal information.
We share your personal information with:
A. Your Company and Managers
The website and app usage and screenshot information is shared with your company admin and managers.
And while website and application monitoring is active for all users, admins and owners can manually activate or deactivate the screenshot feature for all or some team members.
B. Third-Party Service Providers
Depending on if you’re an admin or user, we may share the following categories of your personal information:
- Personal identifiers like name, email address, and phone number.
- Financial information like bank routing numbers and tax information.
- Commercial information like feedback and transaction history.
- Internet or other network activity information like IP address and type of browser.
We disclose these categories of information to service providers for:
- Maintaining and servicing user accounts.
- Processing orders.
- Providing customer service.
- Verifying user identity.
- Detecting and eliminating fraud.
- Providing marketing, advertising, and analytics services to Time Doctor.
- Providing financing.
- Conducting internal research to develop the Time Doctor Platform.
C. Legal Reasons
We might share your personal information in response to a legal obligation or if we determine that it’s reasonably necessary or appropriate.
This includes activities such as:
- Compliance with any applicable federal, state, or local law or regulations.
- Response to a legal process like search warrant and court order.
- Enforcement of our Terms of Service.
- Cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
- Exercise or defend legal claims.
D. Sale or Merger
We may use user data for negotiation or a change of corporate control like restructuring, merger, or sale of our assets.
E. Further Discretion
We may use user data to interact with a third party or for other business purposes — with the user’s permission or direction.
4. Information Storage
Time Doctor platform backups are done daily. This maintains consistency and allows us to quickly step-in in case data restoration is required.
All users’ personal information is protected through various security measures like:
- Encrypted data transfer (HTTPS).
- Email verification.
- Password management policy.
- Internal system logging.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA).
Moreover, to provide the best security to our customers, we integrate and work with external companies like NetSparker. They help us carry out regular penetration testing and security scans.
Additionally, Time Doctor retains user information for as long as a user maintains their account.
Upon account deletion, we might retain certain information for legitimate business purposes or to comply with legal or regulatory obligations.
For example, we may be obligated to retain your information due to an open legal claim.
Time Doctor also retains transactional information for at least seven years for legitimate business functions like accounting for tax obligations.
5. User Rights and Choices
Time Doctor offers several ways for users to access and delete their personal information. They can also exercise other data rights that give them absolute control over their personal information.
Let’s take a closer look:
- Email Subscriptions: Unsubscribe from commercial or promotional emails at any time by clicking unsubscribe in the emails. This will not affect the transactional and relational emails users receive about using the Time Doctor platform.
- Push Notifications: Disable push notifications through your device settings. This may impact the use of the platform.
- Profile Information: Review and edit your profile in the account settings and profile.
- Location Information: Configure your device’s system settings to prevent your device from sharing location information.
- Cookie Tracking: You can modify, delete, or refuse to accept cookies. However, you may face trouble using certain features of the platform.
- Do Not Track: Set “Do Not Track” in your browser if you don’t want online services to collect and share information about your online activity through third-party tracking services.
- Deleting Your Account: Speak with your company administrator if you’d like to delete your Time Doctor account.
However, in some cases, like an ongoing legal dispute or fraud, we will be unable to delete your account. When we delete your account, we may retain certain information for legitimate business purposes or to comply with legal or regulatory obligations.
How to Make Time Doctor More Employee Friendly
Sure, Time Doctor is safe.
But if implemented improperly, an employer can use Time Doctor for micromanagement. And in-house or remote work employees might not be comfortable with the idea of being monitored.
However, Time Doctor is actually built to eliminate micromanagement.
With this productivity tracking tool, managers/employers can easily see who’s working on what in real-time. You should only delve deeper if you want to track performance issues or conduct focused training.
You can also implement the following settings to make this productivity and time tracking software more employee-friendly:
1. Edit Time
It’s easy to forget to start the time tracker while starting work for the day or resuming after breaks.
In such cases, employees can easily edit their own time. They can also provide the reason for editing time, offering more context to managers.
2. Manage Screenshots
The screencasts functionality allows employers to capture employees’ computer screens at random intervals during work hours.
These captures can be in the form of:
- Screenshots: Screen captures at specified time intervals.
- Videos: A continuous video, broken down into three-minute clips.
Screencasts can help identify inefficient processes, spot training opportunities, and provide proof of work for workers.
And while it’s a useful employee monitoring feature and at times necessary for some job roles, it can intimidate employees.
Let’s check out how you can make the most out of this feature without compromising remote work employee privacy:
Screencasts are completely optional, and admins have the option to enable or disable this feature.
Disabling this employee monitoring feature can often help build trust with your employees.
However, we recommend employers communicate with their employees and get their consent before enabling the screenshot feature. Employers can also educate them on how monitoring performance will help them and avoid micromanaging.
Blurred screenshots act as a middle path for business owners and employees. It provides the employer the accountability they need while ensuring privacy and protection of employee information.
You can enable blur screenshots for all your employees, or only for a specific remote worker, on the company settings page.
Note: For security reasons, screenshots are blurred in a way that makes un-blurring them impossible.
You can also allow employees to delete the captured screenshots.
They’ll be able to see all screenshots that were taken during working hours and can delete any screenshot they choose. Allowing employees to delete screenshots provides more privacy and freedom to be in control of their workday.
However, any deleted screenshots will show up as inactive time on reports, so managers will be able to easily identify if their remote team members were working or not.
3. Disable Auto-Start
The auto-start option allows admins to enable automatic time tracking in the desktop app as soon as the computer starts.
Companies might implement this feature if they find that many of their employees forget to start the timer before tackling their daily tasks.
However, this option can seem unfriendly to employees. Disabling the auto-start option allows employees more freedom to start their morning routine however they like.
4. Extended Web & App Usage Setting
Time Doctor’s Web & App Usage report tracks the total time spent on websites and applications for each user.
Depending on the Web & App privacy settings you choose, this report even provides more in-depth details like:
- Complete website URL.
- Page titles.
- App window titles.
However, if you don’t require this level of detail, you can simply choose the Basic setting for this report.
Using the Basic setting will help you effortlessly monitor the productivity levels of your workers without invading their privacy.
It displays the poor time use data tracked for any date range, based on the productivity ratings (productive, unproductive, and neutral) for an individual user or group.
You can view the report for a specific date, week, month, etc., and even timezone.
5. Work-Life Balance Report
A healthy work-life balance allows employees to be at peak performance and feel engaged with their teams and the company as a whole.
Employees can also use these reports to:
- See total work time in a day or week and how much they spend working late or outside their regular schedule.
- Track how much time they spend working over the weekends and take measures to reduce it.
- Review their daily timeline breakdown to ensure they are taking enough breaks during the day.
Additionally, the team behind Time Doctor is developing a dedicated Work-Life Balance Report to help managers quickly identify when employees are getting burned out. This will allow them to step in early on and take measures to prevent burnout.
So is Time Doctor safe?
Time Doctor respects user privacy and uses state-of-the-art tech and policies to ensure the safety and security of its users. Additionally, it offers a host of settings like manual time edits and disabling screenshots, making the tool even more employee-friendly.
So if you’re looking to boost remote worker productivity the safe way — especially after the transition to remote work due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Time Doctor could be the tool for you!