Security informational articles

Just whos mainframe is this anyway? - collateral


Well, this is an condition I never accepted wisdom I would have to write. CPU ownership was just not a bit I accepted wisdom citizens would get bemused over but, after overhearing a amount of conversations last week from my co-workers, I realized that quite a few citizens just don't know how cut and dry this topic is.

Here's the scoop. Over the last few weeks the ballet company I work for has been going because of a colossal systems upgrade. And as part of that roll out, they upgraded everyone's laptop with new versions of software via the network. Announcements were made everyday that the changes were appearance and to save the whole thing that you didn't want to lose.

This upgrade, like I said before, was massive. In some cases the software was finally misused over to a new box that the end user had not seen before. There were also guarantee upgrades that allow for apart uploads of patches and coordination inventories of computers. In short, about the only thing that was the same was the bodily mainframe itself and the files we had saved on our hard drives.

Access levels were changed, passwords were changed, not permitted software and any correlated files were deleted, desktop options were locked, Internet contact was throttled down (and a comfortable proxy ma?tre d' brought online) and a whole host of other changes implemented. (IMHO, it was about time. The exchange ideas was slow and the classification about 5 years out of date. Here's kudos to one business demanding to make it easier for it's employees to do their jobs. . . )

Boy, the in tears and gnashing of teeth I heard about the company would have made an IRS agent proud! Explanation like, "Who said they could upgrade my computer" or "I didn't give them agreement to contact my computer" were common. I was floored!

Ok, I'm going to clear this issue up in short order (and I make an apology for the "YELLING" below. . . )

Unless you purchased the cpu you work on or you made a deal with your boss or you work for yourself, IT'S NOT YOUR COMPUTER! That's right. Take a deep breath and say the subsequent with me, It's not my computer. . . It's not my computer. . . It's not my computer. . .

Write that couch out on a sticky note and stick it to the monitor. Write it in ink on the back of your hand or set up a daily pop up reminder. Do something, something you need to do to bear in mind that the mainframe you do work on for your boss does NOT feel right to you. This will save you a ton of grief in the future. Why? Well it's about privacy - your privacy.

Your employer has the right to do everything they want to the computers they have bought with their own money and attached to their network.

And if you associate a laptop you do own to their network, they also have constitutional rights pertaining to the intellectual assets that may be generated by or stored on your machine.

So what does this mean to you? Well, for starters, don't load no matter which on the central processing unit that you don't want to be made public. Also, don't use ballet company assets for own stuff. In other words, don't load any banking software on the apparatus and calculate your checkbook at work. You may lose your data files or you may even run the risk of having your bank compare exposed to the public. Or if you have any "questionable" surfing habits, surf at home. Most band networks today background and store everything, together with all the chairs you go to on the Internet.

Want to see a good exemplar of this? Just recently, a link was posted on the Internet that allowable any person to go examination all through the accomplished email files of all and sundry from Enron. Enron, since they owned all the email that goes by means of their servers, absolute that it was too much anxiety to segregate being emails for the SEC (that's the Securities and Argument Commission, a Administration agency. The IRS Agent crack above may not be a joke to some. . . ) so they on the rampage ALL the emails stored or archived on their system.

Every email, whether it pertained to band business, the hemorrhoid evils of the guy in HR or how many times a big shot slept with a celebrity else all through lunch breaks is now out there for the whole world to see. (I don't know about you but that guy in HR develop go see the medical doctor quick!)

I bet you are assessment that this kind of thing will never ensue to you. Right, just wait. Employers are monitoring you at every turn. And if you don't watch out, you could get fired over some email you sent to your Great Aunt Sophie about your dog's advent surgery or a consider that got downloaded to your hard drive from some web page you visited.

Scary, right? You bet it is.

Ok, now that I have gotten my point across, lets take a more realistic look. Most employers don't have some dude session in a closet everyplace pouring over every email sent by means of the coordination or looking at every file on every employee's computer. The sheer amount of ancestors this would take is daunting.

However, what they as a rule do is use automated tools to look for patterns of abuse. Like compound hits on an adult Internet site from the same user. They may scrub emails to look for attacking words, etc. Then once a blueprint is identified, the member of staff is contacted and warned to stop. Not often is a big name fired arranged out.

In today's world of augmented scrutiny, it behooves you to play it as the crow flies with the cpu at work. Leave the own stuff at home. Who knows, you may be amazed by the add to in your productivity. At the very least, you won't have to worry over some being appraisal about your hemorrhoids on the Internet.

It's amazing to think about.

Michael Ameye has been emergent web sites since 1995. He ongoing inscription about online privacy issues to counter questions from family, contacts and co-workers. Visit http://www. canyourspam. com to see his most recent work.

He is also the chief editor of PSS Online, A Privacy, Protection and Guarantee eZine devoted to bringing chief in rank to ancestors in order to advance a safer more confident background - online and off. Visit http://www. pssonline. info to subscribe.


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