Skip to main content

Companies are cracking down on mouse jigglers

Vaydeer Mouse Jiggler in use.

Ever since the proliferation of remote work, there’s been a growing demand for ways for employees to appear productive to their managers when away from their computers.

But now, we’re starting to see some high-profile cases of companies cracking down on this kind of workplace deception. Bloomberg reports that Wells Fargo recently fired over a dozen employees last month who used “mouse jigglers” to fake productivity. The fired employees were in the bank’s wealth and investment management unit. They were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating the impression of active work,” according to disclosures filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

So far, there is no information on how long the employees were using the technology before getting caught or if the terminated employees were caught using the mouse movers while working remotely or on-site. The strategy used by the bank to come to this conclusion remains unclear. These mouse movers simulate mouse movements, so your computer will always appear active to software that monitors activity.

The prevalence of mouse jugglers raises questions about how well current monitoring tools assess actual productivity in specific roles. Hopefully, more information will become available on how the employees acquired jobs requiring their productivity to be measured by mouse movements and why such monitoring was necessary.

This technology is nothing new, but it became increasingly popular during the pandemic. Since many remote jobs persist to this day, the monitoring tools have improved, making it more difficult for workers to fake effectiveness. The technology is readily available for less than $20 at Amazon and can fake keyboard inputs, making the monitoring software think someone is at their desk.

Wells Fargo requires its employees to go to the office, but it didn’t need them to begin until early 2022. It’s easier for remote workers to fake productivity, but even so, there is software that will ensure they are at their desks and working. As these two technologies continue to improve, time will tell who gets the upper hand.

Judy Sanhz
Judy Sanhz is a Digital Trends computing writer covering all computing news. Loves all operating systems and devices.
6 mice you should buy instead of Apple’s Magic Mouse
Magic Mouse next to a Mac keyboard on a desk.

Apple’s Magic Mouse has plenty of fans, but it’s definitely not for everyone. For every person who loves its gesture-control surface and sleek design, you’ll find another who’s fed up with its uncomfortable shape and upside-down charging. If that sounds familiar, you might be looking for an alternative mouse for your Mac.

To help, we’ve found six of the best options to replace the Magic Mouse. From productivity masters to gaming aces, these are some of the best mice you can pair with your Apple computer.
Logitech MX Master 3S for Mac

Read more
This smartphone company made a shockingly small watercooled gaming PC
The Tecno Mega Mini Gaming G1 mini-gaming PC showcased at MWC 2024.

Tecno, renowned in the smartphone industry, is branching out into the realm of computing with the launch of its latest innovation, the Mega Mini Gaming G1. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, this tiny PC claims the title of the world’s smallest gaming PC featuring watercooling. While its claim awaits thorough validation, the device does look promising on paper.

Powered by an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU, the Mega Mini Gaming G1 will also be available with the latest Intel Core Ultra processors. Paired with an Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU, likely the laptop variant, the standout feature is its distinctive custom watercooling solution. Tecno asserts that it can effectively maintain optimal temperatures, ensuring consistent performance.

Read more
What are mouse jigglers, and can they keep statuses active?
Undetectable Mouse Mover at a computer.

It makes sense that mouse jigglers have gained prominence alongside the recent rise in jobs becoming remote positions. If more workers are working from home and away from employers' direct supervision, employers are going to try to find new ways to supervise their remote employees. And those employees are going to push back against being monitored by their employers. Which is how you end up with products like mouse jigglers becoming popular.

This odd little tech solution is being used to thwart some types of micromanagement and help employees manage time on their own terms, among other solutions. But do mouse jigglers work? Are jigglers allowed in the workplace? Here’s everything you should know.
What are mouse jigglers?

Read more