Employees do not have a privacy right or property interest in their work computer or smartphones. As such, employees must be extremely careful about the information they store, the emails they send and the websites they visit while using their employers’ equipment.
To avoid any risk to their job and career, employees should refrain from using their work computer and other electronic equipment for anything but work. For a variety of reasons this may be easier said then done. However, if employees are not careful they will expose themselves to disciplinary action or termination, as most companies today have clear policies regarding the appropriate use of their computers and networks.
If you are going to conduct personal business on your work computer then please keep in mind the following advice:
- Stay away from controversial topics in emails and on websites you visit as more and more companies are monitoring such traffic.
- Do not search for a job or keep your resume or cover letters on your work computer.
- Do not store personal information you would not want the company to know about such as tax and investment information.
- Keep in mind that most companies have back up systems so even if you put something on your computer and delete it later the company may still have a record of it.
- If you are going to resign or you become aware that your termination is imminent, please make sure you clean up your work-station and delete all the personal information and emails that you may have stored. Do not, however, delete any company information or property.