Q: I currently work in a large corporation and am concerned about my employer monitoring my Internet communications. I sometimes take part in personal e-mail correspondence and Web browsing, and I don’t know if they’re watching everything I do. Is this a reasonable concern?
A: Very much so. Quite frankly, your employer pays you to do a job, and they expect you to use your efforts to accomplish certain tasks. Granted, you may be allowed short breaks that you can use to catch up on personal business, but aside from that, they want you to be helping them make money. Countless people slack off at work and throw their ethics out the window by doing anything but work when on the computer. Many of them get away with this, but you should know that a growing number of the companies out there (both big and small) have monitoring software that reports everything that you are doing back to them. This includes e-mail, IM, Web browsing, and general computer usage. Don’t think that you’re not being watched by Big Brother, because you probably are. I’m not going to say that this monitoring is entirely wrong because it does help them to make sure that productivity is on the up and up, and it prevents them from paying people who just IM all day long.
Before you get lectured or fired for repeatedly slacking off, make sure that you only use your work computer for personal reasons when it’s allowed. Have you ever heard of work ethic?
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