There has been a lot of redundancies at my workplace recently and I am not sure when the next one is coming. I do not have a lot of personal stuff on my company laptop; in fact everything I need is on Evernote and Dropbox. I know I can unlink those computers and they should not get any updates and vice-versa, but if they reset my password, they could get access to all my files. What could I do to remotely wipe those files and/or software from my laptop should I be made redundant? Cheers, Data conscious
Redundancy picture from Shutterstock
As a journalist, I've seen my fair share of redundancies (and even experienced one myself). While the axe can sometimes fall with little warning, your professional death-throes tend to last a wee bit longer.
In Australia, all full-time employees are legally entitled to a minimum of one week's notice before the redundancy takes effect, although you're not usually required to keep working during this period (indeed, the sooner you leave, the happier they usually are). Nevertheless, most employees are given at least 24 hours to sort out their affairs before they are shown the door -- the chief exception is if you work with sensitive data.
Assuming you don't fall into the above category, I don't think it's something you need to worry about. If you do get the chop, there should still be plenty of time to grab the files and contacts you need and wipe/unsync anything personnel from the company computer.
That said, if you're paranoid about a vindictive manager holding your accounts to ransom, simply ensure that you have two-factor authentication enabled. That way, anyone attempting to change your password will also require access to your mobile phone.
Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.