Four Things That Will Get Your Computer Use Monitored At Work

If you weren't already aware, there are people in your company's IT department that can see all if they need to. Most of the time, they're busy with other things, but these four activities will likely put you under the microscope. Photo by Worldskills UK.

Jake Swearingen at New York Magazine's Select/All spoke with a few system and network administrators to find out what will get a typical employee on their watch list. For the most part, IT departments will do very little active monitoring because it costs them time and effort that's best spent elsewhere. But there are a few things that will raise some eyebrows and draw attention:

  • Low productivity output: If it looks like you're keeping busy, but always have very little to show for it, your boss may get IT to monitor your IM traffic, email traffic and application activity.
  • Saving personal files to a network: Many companies offer network storage for employees. If a system admin finds an area filling up too fast or performing slower than usual, they will probably look into it and find whatever you've put there. Best to keep the videos and music on your own drives if you don't want to raise any red flags.
  • NSFW files or web sites: Getting caught with anything that's clearly NSFW on company equipment will all but guarantee being reprimanded and/or being monitored.
  • Non-technical suspicious behaviour: Most of the time, system admins get called to monitor someone because of their behaviour around the workplace. Acting secretive, sneaky, aloof, dissonant or even lazy is sometimes enough to ping on their radar.

Remember, anything you do on company equipment can be seen. Files, messages and other data can be decrypted, intercepted in transit or captured via keylogger or screen-capture software. The only way to ensure your messages and other goings-on stay private is to use your personal phone not connected to the company Wi-Fi. The whole article is worth a read, so check it out at the link below.

The Things You Might Be Doing That Will Force Your IT Guy to Start Spying on You [New York Magazine]


Comments

    "Remember, anything you do on company equipment can be seen. "

    Remember , 99.5% of IT guy's/girls in all honesty don't give a shit.

    If they're the IT company the business I work for outsource to. They wouldn't know how to anyway.

    I used to do this at tafe:
    - Install your fav linux distro on a USB 3 HDD or FLASH drive.
    - Boot from said drive on your work PC.
    - Use a VPN (paid) of your choosing. Make sure you use UDP and port 443, 53 or 80 as these won't be blocked by your organizations firewall ,etc (you may need to use TCP only DNS(53) supports both TCP and UDP by default).
    This should bypass any monitoring, keylogging, screen cap, proxy that your company is using. Not just that but if you're booting off a flash drive or SSD it will be super fast, probably even faster the the windows 8/10 on your work comp.

    And yes you can even mount drives and authenticate via Active Directory (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/magazine/2008.12.linux.aspx)

    have fun!

    Last edited 31/08/16 11:31 pm

      That might have worked at TAFE, but organisations with modern firewalls (UTM) will more that likely have outgoing UDP 443 and 80 ports blocked. Even outgoing ports 80/443 on TCP will be blocked if the traffic is not legitimate HTTP/HTTPS traffic. If even your organisation has UDP 443/80 open it will more than likely be point to a specific list of IP addresses. Of course, the firewall admin has to know what they are doing and be using a modern UTM (not just a simple firewall) device. The other thing is that these devices now have much better reporting tools that take away the tedious task of looking through millions of lines in log files. So even if some outgoing ports are not blocked their use will show up as an anomaly in the aggregated reporting. (One example is the excellent Dimension reporting tool from WatchGuard.)

        That's a very good point. Not sure why they weren't blocked.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now