You may not want to admit it, but nearly everyone uses their employer’s Internet for their own personal uses while they’re at work.
You know, like checking your friends’ Facebook status updates, watching YouTube videos, or browsing for that new car you want to buy.
But, if you’re not careful, it could get you into big trouble.
Let me tell you a funny story about my friend who got caught using her company’s Internet for personal use. My friend had decided that she no longer wanted to work at her current job, and so she began browsing for other jobs online.
Now this is where it gets very interesting. She posted on Facebook that she received a job offer from another company and asked her friends for advice about what she should do next, and how she should leave her current job. And she did this from home.
But the next day when she went to work, she was called into the office. She was questioned if she was leaving her job. My friend tried to laugh it off and said, “What are you talking about?”
It turned out that her employer had been monitoring her Internet usage, including Facebook, and they even had screenshots to prove it all!
Well, from that day on, my friend has vowed to be very careful with her Internet usage. She now uses social media responsibly and wisely, and keeps her Facebook and LinkedIn accounts private and professional.
Be smart while using your employer’s Internet, and follow these simple dos and don’ts:
- Download files illegally (e.g., music, movies, books, etc.) or visit unsafe/inappropriate websites.
- Look for a job using your current employer’s Internet.
- Post opinions, negative or rude remarks about your employer or co-workers on social media sites.
- Send out personal emails using your professional email address.
- Store personal files on your work computer. Management and other staff may have the right to access any material in your email or on your computer at any time!
- Read your employer’s Internet usage and social media policy carefully. Some companies actually allow their employees 30 to 60 minutes of personal time on the company’s Internet daily.
- Use the Internet for your own personal use on your unpaid lunch break only.
- Use encryption and passwords to protect both work and personal data.
- Be honest if you’re confronted by your manager. Lying about your actions or intentions will only make the situation worse in the long run.