Sunday, August 10, 2008

Company-Issued Laptops

A recent thing i've always vaguely known is that company-issued laptops, or any computer/gadget for that matter, is really the company's. Which is why, even if we use it at home surfing the web using our own internet connection, it's still the company's property. So yes, the company has a right to inspect it at will, and ban certain programs from being installed (like Yahoo Messenger). And yes, companies have the right to go berserk when they find out that you've installed programs using pirated or hacked licenses.

After all, it will be their necks on the line if they, in turn, get audited/found out.

What I have never fully appreciated though is the fact that we do put our companies at risk of security threats when we use our computers to download stuff from the net, or when we visit unsafe sites (like porn sites). After all, we might have really important files in our computers that when hacked, may be used to the detriment of the company. It could even be a way for people to get to the business performance management software you're currently developing, or use your license number to install their hacked versions.

And keeping really personal files in company-issued laptops also might result in hackers posting your incriminating pictures/video with enough details to identify you, your company and your position.

I have actually been at the receiving end of indecent proposals from people who used their company e-mail to send those, complete with their contact information. Had I been crazy, I could have gone to their bosses and gotten them in trouble.

So, treat company-issued anything as an office space, something you don't want to mix with your persnal endeavors.

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