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5 Things Not To Do When Using Your Work Computer

Even if it’s a hassle to have different devices for professional and personal use, it’s important to have some boundaries. Here’s why.

It’s easy to blur our professional and personal worlds, since most people spend the majority of their days in an office, surrounded by coworkers. It doesn’t get much more private than your computer, which, when it’s work-issued, becomes a problem of sorts. This device, which we use to access everything, is also one of the easiest to trace and keep tabs on.

You don’t have to be doing anything scandalous or crazy to want to have some sort of privacy on the digital realm, especially when it comes to sensitive information such as your passwords and log ins. Here are 5 tips you should follow if you want to keep your data safe and private (from your employer, at least):

Avoid Google Docs, Slack, Teams, etc.

Some of these sites, which are online and not stored as apps on your computer, can be accessed by your employer. Wirecutter explains that administrative users of G Suite, popular software that includes services like Gmail and Google Docs, can look and search through emails and documents. Although it’s unlikely that your employer will be actively looking through your stuff, it’s embarrassing if someone were to stumble upon your texts whining about work. Use your personal device for all of that personal stuff and save yourself the hassle.

Don’t save personal passwords

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Although it’s tempting to save your log ins and passwords in the computer you spend eight hours of the day interacting with, security experts advice against this. Glassdoor explains that many companies have a clause in their computer, email and internet policies that explain that employers have the right to look through all the communications and data stored in the device.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

Public wi-fi is always problematic, but it’s even more troublesome when you’re using your work laptop and are accessing sensitive information. You could install a VPN, which will protect your browsing and internet activity from third parties, and, of course, lock your computer when you’re away from it.

Don’t store personal files

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This is like the case with personal passwords and log ins, only it makes even more common sense. There’s no need to store your personal documents, photos and data in your work laptop. Why would you want anyone to see them? Also, if you get fired or quit you’ll likely have to return your devices; transporting this data to your personal laptop or phone is a pain. Save yourself the worry and create some boundaries as soon as you can.

Don’t work on your side job while at the office

Nowadays, it’s very common to have several jobs that can be accessed remotely, but it’s important to not fulfill these duties while in your primary work office. Most of the activity you do on your work computer can be monitored and accessed by your IT department, creating a possible problem if your superiors feel that you’re slacking off at work of if you work for someone who is not very nice.

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