Tech – for Everyone

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

Using The Computer At Your Job

• The computer at your place of employment is not yours, it is the company’s. You are using it as a guest would.

• Everything you do it on it can be (and probably is being) watched (aka “monitored”).

This week (Monday and Tuesday) I have already had to explain this fact to three callers to my Tech Support biz.

They wanted to make changes, and install programs, and were puzzled by the fact the machines were not letting them, or failing to show menus, that their machines at home would let them make.

One wanted to install Hulu’s desktop app.

At work.

I was polite to these people, and explained to them that business machines are often ‘locked down’ by the IT department: that I could not/would not help them. And though it pained me (biting one’s tongue can hurt) I did not say anything other than they needed to ask their boss or IT department. (Which I knew they were not going to do: that’s why they had called me.)

• Every word you type can be read – even the log in to your webmail

Please think about that.

Every chat. Every email. Everything.

If you have checked your personal email while at work, your employers now know how to read your mail. Facebook. Whatever. I suggest that when you get home, you change your passwords, and stop doing personal stuff, and/or “recreational” stuff, when you are at work, getting paid to do the company’s business activities (aka “work”).

If they bother to look, yes, they can tell exactly (to the millisecond) how many minutes a week you play solitaire and Angry Birds. That might be a factor in their thinking when it’s time for the next round of layoffs. (I know it would be if I were boss and had to cut employees..)

Once again, I can’t believe I have to write this stuff…

Hulu? At work?

Today’s “Don’t miss out“: on the chance to enter my latest software license giveaway drawing!

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To enter the drawing, please see: Backup4all License Giveaway Drawing

Today’s quote: “You will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” ~ P.T. Barnum

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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August 17, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers | , , , , , , ,


  1. TechPaul,

    I managed a network… It all can be captured and seen. I would tell folks that and they still would do it! Great article…



    Comment by Ramblinrick | August 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Rick,
      Kinda amazing, isn’t it? But there you go.
      (Explains the practice of the Pour Encourager les Autres method.)

      Folks, Rick (inadvertently?) brought up another point, as I was simply referring to the workstation itself (and what it can reveal): network traffic monitoring. Think you’ve found a way around (a “workaround”) the workstation’s settings? Okay. I (as an admin) still know exactly what you’re doing online and when you’re doing it.
      But.. maybe your admin is the boss’s brother-in-law, and doesn’t know a firewall from a fire door.


      Comment by techpaul | August 17, 2011 | Reply

  2. I swear Paul, it never ceases to amaze me how many people do that kind of thing. I saw excellent workers get laid off simply because the recreational usage of “their” computer/workstation was in excess of the average. It’s just plain stupid.

    Oh yeah… and that “funny” email that someone sent to your work email address? Take my advise and don’t forward it to your co-workers. I received a formal reprimand at an embarrassing meeting with my boss and HR for doing that. Oops…


    Comment by kstinman | August 17, 2011 | Reply

    • kstinman,
      You too?

      Just kidding. And good point, there, about forwarding jokes, or other (improper) use of the company’s email system.

      I hope readers will heed the warnings and avoid getting burned. From what I understand, getting another job ain’t as easy as it once was…


      Comment by techpaul | August 17, 2011 | Reply

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