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#1 Rocket

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:08 PM

Ok so I was just informed that our IT guy can see a log of all the sites we visit on our work computer (it was brought up because a coworker wanted to see if she knew a potential new employee by looking them up on Facebook).

I visit loads of sites during the day when I'm supposed to be working lol.

So far nothing has been brought up, but I'm just like nope, close all Windows, delete all history.

For you smartypants out there, is there a way to get around this? Or a program I can secretly delete?

Edit: I posted this from my phone, because I'm scurred now

Edited by Rocket, 27 March 2014 - 02:08 PM.


#2 Sweeney

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:12 PM

Not really. The log will be stored somewhere you're not allowed to access, and attempting to get to it will be criminal.

#3 Waser Lave

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:15 PM

It's likely to be done at a network level so anything going through the company connection will be able to be tracked. The only decent ways around that would be to encrypt your traffic (which would be suspicious in itself) or use your phone and bypass the business connection altogether.



#4 Dan

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:17 PM

Yep.

 

You should know that the history in your browser isn't the only history that's stored. There are logs for every request you send out.

 

Realistically, if you've been browsing at work for a while now without issue, I wouldn't worry. Only if they found you to be negligent / ignoring your work would they really start looking into the sites you've been browsing -- and as long as they aren't illegal or adult, I'm sure they probably wouldn't care.

 

If you're really worried, you could take one of Waser's options.



#5 Rocket

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:22 PM

It was just a moment of oh shit they can see! The IT guy is really weird so he probably stalks me, lol just kidding...

I mean I get my work done, I just multi-task browsing reddit and other forums and facebook. Nothing too incriminating. I'll probably cut back to just a few sites and stick to my phone for Facebook

I don't know how closely it's looked at, it was more of "He can run a report and see how much you visit Facebook".

#6 Applepi

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:48 PM

I feel like most places will only check into stuff like that if they think you're doing something illegal, or if you are not getting your work done. 



#7 Rocket

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:54 PM

I feel like most places will only check into stuff like that if they think you're doing something illegal, or if you are not getting your work done.


A little stress has been lifted, phew. I've been here 5 months and not had anyone say anything, plus i spy other coworkers browsing other sites too.

I'll probs be paranoid for a week and then resume my normal schedule lol.

#8 Sweeney

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:57 PM

A little stress has been lifted, phew. I've been here 5 months and not had anyone say anything, plus i spy other coworkers browsing other sites too.
I'll probs be paranoid for a week and then resume my normal schedule lol.


They will probably just use it as an excuse to deny you promotions.

#9 Rocket

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:21 PM

They will probably just use it as an excuse to deny you promotions.

 

I'm the highest I can get without being manager ATM (and i dont want to be manager), brought in to replace someone who left.



#10 Peaches

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 04:36 PM

You're lucky! My workplace was extremely restricted and we were only able to browse during lunch - anybody who was doing so during work times was considered slacking and that would be brought up immediately (we had a lot of nosy people).

 

In any case an "error - restricted" page would come up when attempting to use networking sites...or just generally anything other than what they considered news. Though the error page never stated anything about logs, we know they were always watching.

 

Most people just used phones, but that was not allowed unless on lunch.

 

Basically we couldn't wait til lunch.



#11 Eefi

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:18 AM

Why would it be suspicious to encrypt your traffic? I'd totally do that :x It's not okay to spy on your employees.



#12 Dan

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:35 AM

Why would it be suspicious to encrypt your traffic? I'd totally do that :x It's not okay to spy on your employees.

 

Because you're actively trying to hide something :p

 

Also, it's not really 'spying', they're just trying to cover their bases. I'd log traffic too ;)



#13 redlion

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:38 AM

Why would it be suspicious to encrypt your traffic? I'd totally do that :x It's not okay to spy on your employees.

Look at it from their perspective: you're doing something other than working while you're being paid to work. You shouldn't need privacy if all you're doing is working ;) I don't particularly agree with that perspective, but I'll play the devil's advocate.

It's suspicious because nearly everyone's first thoughts of encrypted traffic are a) governments, b) espionage agents, and/or c) pirates. You won't be seen as someone protecting your anonymity. You'll look like a lawbreaker regardless of what you're encrypting.

My old man used to work for the federal government, and even as recently as a couple years ago they wouldn't allow personal email on work machines. They blocked access to yahoo and gmail at the network level. Too much of a security risk of getting malware on a networked machine.

Most large operations (large enough to have an IT guy) will have this sort of capability, I'd think, even if they use the technology sparingly. It's probably more effective if you never hear about an actual case, but rather hear constant rumors of "the IT guy is watching you browse facebook!" like Big Brother or something.

#14 Eefi

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 12:50 AM

Because you're actively trying to hide something :p

 

Also, it's not really 'spying', they're just trying to cover their bases. I'd log traffic too ;)

The logs are there, sure. It doesn't mean they have to look at them but if they say they do (and even if it's just the IT guy trying to exert power), I'll tunnel my traffic. This is not about having something to hide, this is about privacy and of course you need privacy even if you're working. They shouldn't be interested in anything else than the work I do. People were outraged when a supermarket chain here used cameras and other tactics to control their employees and rightfully so. Imo, checking logs isn't much different if you have an office job. As an employer, you have to trust your employees at least that much or why are you even employing them.


Edited by Eefi, 28 March 2014 - 12:53 AM.


#15 Dan

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:43 AM

The logs are there, sure. It doesn't mean they have to look at them but if they say they do (and even if it's just the IT guy trying to exert power), I'll tunnel my traffic. This is not about having something to hide, this is about privacy and of course you need privacy even if you're working. They shouldn't be interested in anything else than the work I do. People were outraged when a supermarket chain here used cameras and other tactics to control their employees and rightfully so. Imo, checking logs isn't much different if you have an office job. As an employer, you have to trust your employees at least that much or why are you even employing them.

 

Whaaaaaat? No, you don't get any privacy as far as connection use goes at work. You're at work, to work and do the job you're paid to do.

 

Some employers might need to monitor outgoing traffic to ensure that workers are spending their time working and not spending their time on Facebook. Just because you have a computer with access to the internet doesn't give you any privacy rights.

 

These two scenarios are pretty synonymous from a company POV:

If I ran a builders company, I'd want to make sure the workers stayed on the building site and didn't spend all day on coffee breaks instead of working.

If I ran a call centre, I'd want to make sure the workers kept taking / making calls didn't spend all day facebook / twitter instead of working.

 

Personally, at the technology companies I worked at there wasn't any real monitoring of traffic, but at all of the investment banks there is a filter and a number of security restrictions (including: social networks, web mail services, in some cases all https traffic)

 

As mentioned, you're obviously well within your rights to go ahead and use the internet connection on your phone or invest in a dongle to allow you to use a separated connection, but if you think you're entitled to any privacy on your usage of a work computer on a work internet connection, you're dead wrong. :/

 

 

My old man used to work for the federal government, and even as recently as a couple years ago they wouldn't allow personal email on work machines. They blocked access to yahoo and gmail at the network level. Too much of a security risk of getting malware on a networked machine.

 

This is common practice for any regulated financial services company here in the UK too.



#16 Eefi

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:56 AM

If you spend your entire day surfing on Facebook, that influences your work and I understand employers have a say in that. That you're just slacking off can be noticed with other means than monitoring how much time you spend on which site. >_>

I don't see a big difference to using my own phone connection if it's just about checking my mail and other petty things.

 

I'm not saying that employees should be free to do whatever they want but I also believe that restricting them in all possible ways does not increase productivity. In any case as web traffic goes, if you don't want to give them access, be clear about it and block all traffic that has nothing to do with work but letting them surf and then monitor them is underhanded.


Edited by Eefi, 28 March 2014 - 03:09 AM.


#17 Peaches

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 05:03 AM

Man, if we had access to networking websites during work hours - nothing would get done  :nono:



#18 Rocket

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:27 AM

I'm surprised that most of social network sites aren't blocked tbh. But I have access every site I've tried. I know they have the capability to block, but maybe it's not important right now.

I'd like to mention that I don't slack off, I'm a great multi-tasked, I'll be doing various work things while I'm on codex. Not to mention that my boss is always surprised that I get things done so quickly (the previous person was a huge slacker).

I think a company has every right to monitor everything you do on a work computer. I know all my emails are monitored and the president of the company gets a copy of everything. I don't think I'm doing anything too bad, as I said earlier nothing has been brought ip and it's not affecting how I work, in fact it keeps me sane, lol.

#19 Grandmaster

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:42 PM

Yeah, I think they don't really care. It's only until something goes wrong, then they will look back at the logs. If they care so much about employees spending time on social media, they would have directly block those websites.



#20 Bones

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 12:27 AM

Most companies do this now but unless a person is really falling behind in work I would not expect them to be to concerned about it.

 

The company I work for is a head office of 30odd companies with over 300 staff member and we monitor all computers but we only use the information if a reason for bad work is found or for gross miss conduct such as downloading movies music and such.

 

If your browsing is general and legal you will be fine.



#21 Doomsday

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 04:55 PM

@Eefi most companies would have a general user agreement for computer access which the employee would sign before being given access. In this it would state that all traffic is monitored so they're not really "spying when they've actively told you that all traffic is monitored...

As a boss, I'd be pissed off if you're spending time on the internet and not working regardless if you get your work done or not. If you're finished your already assigned work ahead of schedule be pro-active and let me know and I would give you more because I'm not paying you to sit there and browse the internet.

When I was a production manager I gave several of my staff warnings for using their phones / browsing the internet during their work hours when there was more work they could have done. Even though they got their own initially assigned work completed, it's not like the was nothing else for them to do they just didn't want to do it.


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