| By Jan Bultmann |
Many of us spend long hours at our workplaces and have little time to conduct the chores of our personal lives, so we bank or shop using the computer system at work.
But that relatively innocent use of company resources in minutes here or there is riskier than many people think — to our jobs and to our personal data.
The dangers of living your life at work
Even if our workplaces don’t explicitly prohibit any and all personal use of company-owned computer systems, many of us already know that browsing the Internet from work is problematic. Conducting too much of our personal lives at work won’t endear us to either our employers or our colleagues. It’s obvious that your mind isn’t altogether on your job when your browser window is focused on that upcoming shoe sale. And your chances of losing your job climb dramatically if images and other material show up that offend nearby co-workers.
So when we do use our computer systems at work for personal stuff, we do so carefully. We browse with our headphones on and keep other windows open that can quickly cover anything that might catch the attention of a co-worker.
We also know that anything we send over the e-mail account supplied by our employers technically belongs to our employer. And what we say in e-mail can be publicly embarrassing if our employer ends up in a nasty court case or picks a fight with Anonymous. So we’re judicious about what we say on the company mail system. We use our personal Hotmail, Gmail, or Skype accounts to converse with a friend.
These measures are not enough.