Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

They ARE reading your mail

I am constantly surprised by how many people are dumbfounded to learn that their boss knows everything they’ve ever done on their computer, and are shocked when called into their office to explain the “18.7 hours they spent playing Solitaire last week.” So I feel compelled to repeat this fact — someone at your job is watching you. That’s their job.

Tip of the day: When you are in a business environment, behave as if some disapproving Authority Figure is looking over your shoulder every second.
Because they are.

Part of an IT department’s job is to monitor computer usage: primarily to monitor inbound and outbound Internet traffic. This is done to prevent employees from downloading viruses, which could wipe out company data or cause server and/or PC crashes which would cost them money to repair. Also, they want to prevent employees from downloading spyware, which could steal company information.. which could also cause a monetary loss. This is understandable and “good”.

But they also monitor outbound traffic– they have to. They are looking for data “leaks”, in case a trojan horse has slipped through and is transmitting the corporate database back out to a hacker. They monitor your email, IM, and attachments to make sure a spy — or disgruntled employee — isn’t sending out vital company info or secrets. Because of simple efficiency reasons, the folks responsible for securing the network and the company’s data set up automatic logging and monitoring devices that work all day every day.
Please think about that.

Then there’s efficiency: any smart business manager will want their employees to be actually working while they’re at work. They will want the expensive computers, and network, and Internet service to be used for business purposes and business purposes only. They do not want to be paying you to be secretly running your own auction business on Ebay, watching stupid human tricks on You Tube, or have you tying up the bandwidth playing WoW online…

A smart manager will also want to know which of his employees is sending out resumes, and which are bad-mouthing the company or its employees to outsiders. Here’s the truth — they do.

Please don’t think that because you’re in a very small shop and there is no “IT Department”, there’s not even a “network”, that you’re not being watched. It is very easy to tell a computer to log (record) events, for a manager to check your Sent folder, and otherwise see how long you’re playing Solitaire. They install Parental Control software which runs invisibly to you. This takes a ‘snapshot’ of your screen at certain intervals and logs your keystrokes. This records what you’re looking at, what you’re typing, and what websites you visit. (BTW-suspicious spouses have been know to install this software too.)

If you aren’t stealing corporate secrets, watching porno, wasting hours playing games, bad-mouthing your boss to a chat buddy, etc., these facts probably should not bother you. If you are… may I suggest that you may want to change your ways? Fast. (You really don’t believe in a Right to Privacy anymore, do you?)

Today’s free link: Want to find out just how fast and powerful your PC really is? Visit 3D Mark and put it through their free benchmarking tests.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul, All Rights Reserved.

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September 6, 2007 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, privacy, security, tech, Windows


  1. I am typing this into Excel and then copying an pasting into the message to you.. See the stuff I typed in that came out BACKWARDS. This is more interesting than my original question.. Do you know what is going on? I can type into all my other windows, like into email or other browser pages

    ?si siht ywh em llet uoy nac ,diputs tub looc ,,,,sdrawkcab tuo semoc ti ,yaw thgir eth ni siht gnipyt ma I


    Comment by sselhceT | May 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Techless,
      There is a formula you can enter into Excel which will reverse entry strings. This formula can be saved as a “macro”. It is possible that you’ve imported this Macro from some other spreadsheet… either intentionally or someone did it to you maliciously.

      Try disabling Macros (in Excel) and see if it goes away.

      If it does, remove the Macro and start a malware removal regimen.

      * I’m curious.. why did you post this on this article?


      Comment by techpaul | May 15, 2009 | Reply

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