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Thread: Who's reading your email?

  1. #1
    ZaZu's Avatar I know stuff ...
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    Chances are very high that your boss--and even your boss's boss--is reading your e-mail. Privacy at work? You don't have any!

    California recently tried to pass a law to enforce employee privacy, but it was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The measure would have protected the privacy of employees' Internet and e-mail usage at work. Had it passed, the state's employers would have been required to provide "clear and conspicuous" notice before electronically monitoring the e-mail or Internet usage of employees.

    But Schwarzenegger shot down the bill, insisting companies need the prerogative of monitoring their employee activities. Welcome to the land of Big Brother.

    PCWorld.com reporter Daniel Tynan warns that work space is not private space. "In fact, if you think you have any real privacy on the job, you're laboring under a delusion," he writes.

    Tynan has identified 10 common myths about electronic privacy at work. Here are five of them:
    1. Companies don't spy on employees.
    According to the American Management Association, nearly two-thirds of companies actively monitor where their employees go on the Web, 52 percent scan e-mail, and one in five keeps an eye on instant messaging.

    2. I would know if the company were spying on me.
    Since such electronic monitoring is done at the network level, employers are not under a legal obligation to tell you it's being done. The one exception: Connecticut. State law requires employers to notify workers. Your best bet is to ask your boss for a written policy.

    3. As long as I don't visit the "wrong kind" of sites, surfing at work is fine.
    Tynan urges caution, advising employees to find out the company policy on what is considered reasonable personal use of the Web at work. Also, you might want to try to get a specific definition of what's safe for work and what's not. If in doubt, don't go there!

    4. My e-mail conversations are none of my boss's business.
    Well, they are if you're using your company's computer and your company's e-mail system and your company's Internet connection. The AMA says that 60 percent of companies that monitor e-mail usage, scan messages for keywords and then block sensitive material from going out. Almost half of big companies have actually hired people to read corporate e-mail.

    5. I can do anything I want, as long as I delete the evidence from my computer.
    That's not likely to work. The "evidence" is still in your Recycle Bin and even if you delete it from there, the files can easily be recovered unless they've been overwritten with other data. And if you use the corporate network, your e-mail and the contents of your hard drive are probably archived on backup media--where they can sit for years.

    Here's the takeaway: Get caught doing something naughty on the Net or in e-mail and you can be terminated for it. The AMA warns that 25 percent of the companies it surveyed in 2004 fired employees for violating corporate e-mail policies, up from 22 percent in 2003 and 17 percent in 2001.

    Source

    Not a problem for me,the only email/web access I have is from my own computer


    If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.
    -- Art Buchwald --

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    RPerry's Avatar Synergy BT Rep: Bad Rep
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    I thought it was a well known fact there there was no privacy at work. I know the production manager ( from my job) has the ability to recall all emails sent or recieved from the server. I saw him do this about 3 yrs ago, always was careful about what I did ever since

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Where I used to work, the (external) email system could get a bit flaky at times. Consequently if anything went missing it was always blamed on that, so I had to search through logs and archives to see if I could find the missing file (I almost always found them and could even show them what time it was delivered to their pc if necessary). Usually it turned out that the office mangeress had deleted it, even though she used to try to blame the juniors.

    The amount of stuffed that was logged as default by the proxy and email servers was staggering. Of course, when you are searching for missing emails it is inevitable that you "accidentally" see some of the other stuff. Not that I read any of them of course.

    Strange thing is, even though everyone was warned that this could happen, it didn't seem to inhibit them from visiting some dodgy sites, and revealing extremely personal details in their emails. I could have made a fortune.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    The bottom line is that you are being paid by a company to work for them. You have no business using their facilities to privately access the internet. You have no come back whatsoever. You should be logged on with a company name, then you will not receive private E-Mails.

    In some colleges they have at least two full time technicians monitoring all interweb activity as part of their job. It is more to do with safeguarding the college against being sued etc. For illegal activities when on the internet. As you can imagine there are plenty students trying all sorts of things. On what they think is the anonymity of the college internet.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Gemby!'s Avatar Poster
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    I'm not even reading my email :confused: I can't get into my hotmail
    Single handedly destroying the NHS from the inside

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Afronaut's Avatar Xenu
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboab
    The bottom line is that you are being paid by a company to work for them. You have no business using their facilities to privately access the internet. You have no come back whatsoever. You should be logged on with a company name, then you will not receive private E-Mails.

    In some colleges they have at least two full time technicians monitoring all interweb activity as part of their job. It is more to do with safeguarding the college against being sued etc. For illegal activities when on the internet. As you can imagine there are plenty students trying all sorts of things. On what they think is the anonymity of the college internet.
    Heh. we got some topics here in this very board about
    "how to use p2p in schools" and similar.

    I guess the schools might get the trouble, hence the precautions.


    The Net from Work or School is basically not the users to do whatever they like.
    It can be bad bisnes for the company if a user spreads porn etc.
    that is, if the user gets busted.

    Spoiler: Show

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Keikan's Avatar ........
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    what abotu canada?
    Ohh noo!!! I make dribbles!!!

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    NikkiD's Avatar Yen?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keikan
    what abotu canada?
    As far as I know, it is the same in Canada. I totally agree with the policy. If you're at work, there is no reason you need to be using your email for questionable activity, or your internet connection for that matter. Most companies allow you to access your personal email from work, so why use the company email to do anything but work? It's their computer, their email system, their internet connection and their network. They have every right to know what's going on.

    It is a little bit different for government agencies in Canada, at least in Ontario, because of union agreements. The ministry in question logs all internet activity, but unless it's something terribly bad, the IT department keeps this information to themselves. If it is established by the IT department that someone is abusing this privilege, then a report of visited web sites/questionable emails/questionable documents on a network drive is sent to the employees manager to allow them to deal with it.

    Having worked in IT, it's amazing what people will do on the internet while they're at work. I don't know how many times I have been sitting at someone's computer to fix it and seen a ton of porn on it.

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