The computer that sits on your desk or the mail with which you send things to your customers are the new company car: can be monitored by your bosses or the IT department.
Nobody questions that, no matter how putated we are in our workplace, we have the right to have a private life that is truly private. However, we have a problem if we like that idea but we mix personal life with professional life, because our superiors can spy on the information we deal with in our work.
Wait, how do they spy on the office?
No, it’s not a joke: your boss can access the digital tools you use at work, such as the user account of your office computer or the email you use to talk to your customers. The only important rule – usually – is that it has to warn you clearly about it, like when you want to install security cameras or record a phone call.
To better understand this we are going to use a server, David, as an example. Right now David has a company mail used for business purposes, and that is from the cut firstname.lastname@example.org. David is the only one who has the password for this email, but through Google Apps (our email provider) Your boss Let’s call him Kiwi you can access your email and view emailswho has sent, those who have received, the contacts of his list everything there, in other words.
The legal jargon is explained by Google better than I am in one of its Help pages, and the warning that our superiors or system administrators can control us comes in two ways in this case: by creating the account -making it clear that you accept this condition- and a little yellow reminder every time we open the profile.
All of this to monitor employees it’s not a carte blanche So you can see all our information: There are already convictions in cases like that of a manager who was convicted of revealing data about the sexual orientation of two of his employees. In other words, the barrier is between our professional information and our personal information. The key is that we don’t mix the two in the first place to avoid disappointment.
In any case, the best is assume you’re always going to be monitored at work, even when you think it’s not happening. From the email that the company gave you when you entered, to the user account that you use when you sit down at the office computer and get to work: everything is under the control of the company, and they can review it. It is like when they give you a company car, they can set conditions and check that they are met.
And what can sound the alarms?
Jake Swearingen for New York Mag has interviewed several system administrators from different areas with the aim of find out what is suspiciousAnd it can cause us to monitor:
- Underperforming, poor performance, or looking lazy It can make management wonder what the hell you’re doing in front of the computer while you work, which is why they send monitoring to the IT department.
- If your activity on the network begins to affect the systems, system administrators will want to know why. For example, using your work network as a personal backup can get out of the ordinary behavior, and can make the administrator check what you are uploading to their network.
- We will agree that it is part of common sense, but it still exists people who combine pornography with work computers. No, don’t do it if you want to continue with work, literally.
- Others suspicions nothing related to computing -like having an elusive behavior, a bad attitude or an extremely reserved personality- it can cause the first thing of all: that those at the top want to know what you are doing, and send computer science to investigate.
In any case, and as the administrators interviewed themselves comment, this only occurs when it is an order from their superiors or they suspect that something is happening. Getting control of all the users of a company is a waste of resources and enormous time, so only done with these exceptionsAnd some even joke that people’s lives are too boring to be hungry for.
How can I prevent this control?
And how do we separate professional information from personal, as we have said before? For starters, if you’re connected to your network, a competent system administrator has an open bar on the data you’re sending to the Internet, so start there: don’t use the work network for personal things or matters that you want to keep private. By reducing this advice to the minimum expression, Avoid WiFi in the officeto talk to your partner or a colleague on the mobile, use your personal rate data.
Do not use the company computer or mobile phone, or company user accounts – such as emails – for personal purposes, all of this can also be monitored without much difficulty. For example, don’t use professional email for personal emailsthat have nothing to do with your work. Or to tell the rival company that you love it very much, that is to have few lights. As we have already told you before, the key is not to use things from work for personal purposes.
And if what you want is ensure the integrity of your personal dataMake sure that all your communications are encrypted, that you use good – and different – passwords on all your accounts, and activate two-step verification where possible. Although if you have that level of fear in your job, it may be worth looking for another job that gives you less stress.