Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why I Avoid Using Company Resources for Personal Use!

For the past week I was on business travel attending a workshop and meeting colleagues in my new workgroup.  The workshop was well-organized, filled with valuable information, and included group dinners with team members and some of the presenters.  This made for long days – particularly since my husband and I are committed to completing our Power 90 boot camp – which resulted in early rising to exercise together via Face Time. 

That is my excuse for not posting on my Blog the past week. Well, it is part of the reason. If I am traveling by train or automobile, I am inclined to take my personal laptop as well as my corporate technology. But if I am flying and want to avoid checking baggage, I try to keep clothes, makeup, and technology to a minimum. For those of you that remember me in my formative years - lugging sofa sized bags to even a weekend retreat – I am reformed! My preference for ease of traversing post 9/11 airports combined with the prohibitive cost of overweight luggage – contributed to my modern travel paradigm.  And I WILL NOT USE MY COMPANY LAPTOP FOR PERSONAL BUSINESS!

I am aware that hordes of folks use their employer issued computers or cell phones to conduct personal business. Most companies allow an employee to use company resources for limited personal business. But I make a concerted effort to keep my business life and personal life completely separate. That is why I always carry two cell phones. While there are a few business contacts that call me on my personal cell, I do not give my personal contacts my business cell.

REMEMBER THIS!  If you use a company asset for personal business, the information transmitted is no longer your personal business! The IT department can search your emails, the websites you visited, the telephone numbers you called, and log the amount of time spent on your personal business. Any exchanges, exploring, searches or documents you write on your company laptop belongs to the company. Every number you dial or every text or email you send or receive on the company cell phone is saved and can be investigated. The litigation environment in the USA requires companies to save all documents for potential use as evidence in a lawsuit or government investigation. Every email you send or receive on corporate technology can be read, saved, and made available for subpoena.  If a company is looking for a reason to terminate an employee, misuse of company assets is a good reason. Emails and texts can be used as evidence.

While I do not write anything on my Blog that I would not want the people I work with to read, what I write is my personal opinion or observation and not the business of my employer. I do not identify my employer or any individuals with whom I work. The opinions I voice are my own. Maintaining the separation of business and personal is an important concept to me.  So, I do not write my Blog on my company laptop. I don’t conduct my online banking, shopping, or personal business on my company technology.

So if anybody reviewing my web searches or emails finds anything odd, I can state with absolute certainty that it was work related.  And I can affirm that my job has taught me thoroughly that life is stranger than fiction – so I’ve had cause to research some odd topics.

I digress – but I digress on my personal MacBook!

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