Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - June 2013

I’ve had fun these last couple of weeks visiting with family, seeing old friends, and renewing acquaintances at various graduation ceremonies and parties. It certainly makes for a busy launch into summer and I’m glad it’s winding down. While my kids are looking forward to some time off from their studies, at work we’re busy catching up on some projects we’ve intended to do all spring.

In this month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter I want to talk about keeping your time clock secure. We’ll mostly focus on the Pro Edition and next month we’ll spend some time with the Network Edition. Since Virtual TimeClock interacts directly with your computer's date and time settings, here are some ideas to ensure your employees are paid for the actual hours they work.

Restrict access to the computer’s clock
A simple way to prevent employees from tampering with the computer clock is to limit access to changing the clock settings.

To prevent changes to the computer clock on Mac OS X:
You need to lock the Date & Time preference pane found in System Preferences. After that, you’ll need to authenticate with an administrator name and password in order to unlock it, even if you're currently logged in under an administrator account.

To prevent changes to the computer clock on Windows XP:
There’s not a way to lock the Date and Time control panel if you're logged in under a computer administrator account but limited accounts won’t be able to change the computer time.

To prevent changes to the computer clock on Windows Vista, Windows 7 & 8:
There’s not a way to lock the Date and Time control panel if you're logged in under a computer administrator account. But if User Account Control (UAC) is turned on and you're using a standard account, you'll need to provide the administrator password in the User Account Control credential prompt to change the clock settings. If UAC is turned off, standard accounts won’t be able to change the computer time but they can still change the time zone.

Upgrade to Virtual TimeClock Network Edition
Another way to secure your time clock is to eliminate the effect that changing the computer’s clock has on your employee's time clock punches. This can be accomplished by using Virtual TimeClock Network Edition, our server-client based time and attendance system. This is 100% effective because the time clock server computer provides the timestamp for all clock in and outs. So changing the time on the time clock client computers has no effect on the actual time that is recorded.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Let us know if you’re interested in upgrading to networked time clocks, or request an upgrade discount code on the Store page of our website.

Use an Internet time server
The final way to secure your employee time clock software is to get the timestamp for punches from an impartial Internet time server. Virtual TimeClock will use the local computer time zone settings to determine the appropriate offset to use. The time source setting can by changed in the Time & Rounding Configure panel.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If the computer loses connectivity to the Internet, it will use the local computer clock until connectivity is reestablished.

Change your time clock interface
If you’re more concerned about employee privacy or use your time clock in a confidential environment like a day care or tutoring lab, then you’ll want to experiment with some of the interface options available within Virtual TimeClock. If you like the In/Out Board because it’s so handy to know if people are clocked in, at lunch, on break, or already gone for the day but don’t like employees being able to see what time staff members are arriving and departing, then you can have the best of both worlds by selecting what columns you want to have display in the In & Out Board. If you need absolute privacy and confidentiality, then try using the PIN or Passcode interface. These settings can by changed in the Display Groups Configure panel.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Some businesses are at the other extreme. They don’t want employees wasting time entering a password to clock in and out. Maybe it’s a family run business, or they have long term employees that are just like family. User passwords can be turned off by going to the Display Groups Configure panel and clicking User Actions.


By taking a couple of easy steps, you can make sure your employee time clock software is always secure, holding employees accountable for the actual hours they work.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow