100 thoughts on “Can Your Boss Spy On Your Internet Use?

  1. If it is during the employee's work hours (breaks being outside of this realm) AND you are using workplace equipment to access the internet then I agree that employers should be allowed to spy on employees. If an employee is not using company equipment to access the internet during their work hours then the employer should have no right to spy on internet use.

  2. adblock, ghostery, firefox,deteckt, search shields from antivirus programs,the onion router. the tools are out there, some of them even work.

  3. I don't see how employers watching employees computer and internet use is an issue anymore.

    Everyone has a smartphone these days. When using mobile data, an employer has no way of tracking what is done on an employee's personal cell phone.

  4. "Why do I always fell like… Somebody's watching me?" That's Google, Julia. Google likely knows more about you than your own friends and family. They have your browsing history, your private conversations. And every location you've ever taken your phone. (On Google maps, I could see everywhere I've been for the past five years, at any point of the day, with my old phone)

  5. We have free wifi at work and pretty much everyone uses their smart phones on it at break times. When it first became available I was sitting at a table on break with a boss within earshot when a lot of us were sitting signing up and I asked "I wonder if they are able to track what we are looking at or where we go online?" and while my colleagues stopped what they were doing to think about it the boss jumped right in suspiciously quickly and said "No! don't be silly, they can't do that!" but I still have my doubts and only go onto FB and Ebay at work.

  6. This is why you should bring your phone with cellular data or bring your iPad/laptop connected to your phone's hotspot.

  7. I don't really think the government are too interested in who you are and what your interests are, but rather whether or not you pose a certain threat to them, or the people around you. They're only interested in Mr. Smith's purchase of a table lamp if they believe it to be related to some form of "criminal activity". If they were to act on this, the information gathered previously about Mr. Smith could be consolidated to form a picture as to what type of an individual he is, and whether or not it is likely that he would be involved in "criminal activity".

    Ultimately I think internet privacy and the likes is important to protect oneself from those who would intercept your data and then abuse it to further their own selfish goals (e.g. Theft).

    But why did I place criminal activity in inverted commas?

  8. Can't you just download a VPN extension on the chrome store for free turn it on and do everything using the VPN?

  9. This isn't new information…there has been network monitoring software for years, used by network administrators for years, most CEO's or managers in medium sized to large businesses have access to a computer with such software, gaining easy access into the employees computer, whether they be seeing the screen to controlling the mouse.

  10. The NSA can only dream of the quantity and quality of personal data Google collects. It's a little inconsistent we're voluntarily giving Google gigabytes of the same kind of intimate knowledge about ourselves we're so vehemently denying the NSA.

  11. It's a breach of personal space or something. To look at someone else's emails or messages, is illegal last time I checked

  12. this video is using euphemisms. to fire employees for writing company secrets is not why you get fired after you use a moment on youtube

  13. I think it's fair enough that you aren't allowed to browse the web on personal issues or send receive emails during work hours, but they shouldn't be allowed to read your emails only reprimand you for not working while being paid. After all, you don't get paid to hang out with your mates, on-line or otherwise.

    That said, doing the same during lunch and coffee breaks (if you're allowed to use work computers and bandwidth privately) should be classed the same as hacking into your computer at home.

    I used to work at a place where they let you use their WiFi network with your own laptop or tablet, but mine had 3G/4G so I used "my own" network. That meant that if they wanted to monitor emails they would have to literally tap my phone, which is illegal.

  14. This was…not a very good script.

    1. Of course your internet activity is not just your business. That's pretty much true by definition. The thing about almost every site on the internet is that you don't own and operate it. The internet is a public space, and so you've got to be clear about what you even mean by "privacy" from the outset, because we're not talking about you being able to do things that affect and involve only you. That doesn't make this a non-issue, but it does require a much clearer definition than what you're leading off with here, as evidenced by the baffling assertion that any significant amount of internet activity would be truly "private."

    2. While we're on the subject of definitions, define "internet monitoring." True fact – I'm an IT professional and I've worked at companies of various sizes and degrees of paranoia. I've actually never worked anywhere where anybody conducted anything like actual surveillance like some of the worst implications of what you're suggesting. However, everywhere that I've worked that happened to be of any size did run firewalls and some basic security on connections, and for good reason – if nothing else, browsing porn on your work computer is a good way to get yourself at least into the neighborhood of workplace sexual harassment trouble and those sites are a pretty solid vector for digital disease. Most people, I suspect, would not be shocked to learn that their traffic was being checked against a blacklist of sites that had been positively identified as hazardous, so if that's the standard for "internet monitoring," then yeah, it happens a lot, but it's not like there's some Chief Asshole in Charge of Reading Your Personal Email.

    3. As a general rule – and I hope that this makes anybody actually worried about this sort of thing feel better – you're not important enough to justify the expense of that kind of directed monitoring. It's not that your workplace wants you to go browsing sites to find a different job, but as a general rule you're not going to improve your retention much by trying to stop people from doing it, and the only practical reason why you would want to do that sort of thing in the first place is so that you could find workers that had a problem and try to fix that problem so that you DIDN'T lose them, and most workers are not nearly important enough to make that level of observation profitable in the long term, so companies aren't going to do it.

    The problem here isn't that any of the information you're reporting is wrong so much as that it gives the wrong impression. As a person with some technical knowledge of how this stuff works, I can sit here and listen to this and recognize that the vast and sweeping body of what you're talking about is a robot sitting on a network and checking outgoing traffic for particularly hazardous sites, and maybe scanning some correspondence for keywords if a company has a lot of trade secrets or confidential data that it has to keep locked down. I'm not precisely thrilled about that, but I've also figured out ways around it if I really want to use them and it's not entirely irrational for a company to do those sorts of things. All of that can be done in good faith and doesn't involve some technological Snidely Whiplash planning on tying your privacy to the railroad tracks. I worry, though, that that isn't the implication that somebody without my technical knowledge would take away, and that's not good – that's just feeding paranoia to no particularly good end and making people's lives worse for no good reason. The company you work for probably isn't your best friend, but it's also not your enemy – it's mostly just a faceless entity with whom you conduct commercial activities, like hundreds of other such entities that you'll deal with throughout the course of your life. In cases where its interests and your interests do not align there's certainly the possibility of friction, but generally speaking very few entities ever go out of their way to make life worse for other entities unless there is some sort of significant profit to be had, and here there just isn't any.

  15. can they spy on our internet usage when at our homes? because if that was true, then my boss would have reported me to the police for they type of porn I watch 🙂

  16. It is bad to monitor workers because a company could fire an employ investigating illegal actions done by the company, or fire an possible whistleblowers

  17. It's in their right for companies to know how you use the time for which they pay you.
    But also, companies should understand humans can not focus 8 hours straight, not even 4, if you take the launch break.
    People need breaks. If smokers can go practice their vice every hour, non-smokers should be allowed to practice their vice (social media maybe) regularly.
    Either that, or the work day should be shortened.

  18. Don't be a digital Bigfoot. Though, it is near impossible in this day and age.

    I lol'd at the NoSuchAgency joke. (They're everywhere.)

  19. here at the office: open dns + connect to any PC without them knowing, the good thing?, i control it and of course i dont have any of those 😉

  20. Easy fix:
    – Use end-to-end encrypted messaging clients such as Signal for ultimate privacy,
    – Tor for Internet browsing or set up a VPN at home you can connect to at work.

    Voilà, they aren't allowed to scan your home VPN, if you use Tor everything is encrypted.

  21. If you're a n the clock and on company computers, you should probably be careful with what you say. Isn't that obvious? My phone is more powerful than my work pc. Why bother..

  22. It's your companies internet connection, they can do what they like with it. If they want to monitor your use of their network then they have every right to do so. If they want to forbid you from using their network for specific uses then they have very right to do so.

    If you get in trouble, you have no one to blame but yourself. You agreed to the companies internet policy when you signed your contract. Anyone who tries to sue their company for "spying" on them is beyond stupid and will just get laughed out of court. It's like posting your greatest secret over every wall of the town and then trying to sue the town for invading your privacy, you are throwing personal data into someone's private network. You lost all right to privacy the second you started using your companies private connection.

  23. How is this news to anybody? You're using their internet, their computer, their electricity, on their time. facepalm

    Even if it wasn't against the rules, it's unprofessional as all hell to use all of the above for personal fun or to look for another job. Now if they can search my history for what I do outside of work, that's a different argument.

  24. Employers are too stupid to monitor subtly without giving it away. They could fire you for any legitimate reason, if they were smart. Too bad the majority of employers and employees are dumb as shit.

  25. Amazing that even with all this snooping people can still go missing without a trace.

    I have one thing to hide and that's my porn history lol and I think I have the right to that privacy. Not that I would be searching that stuff at work. I believe I have the right to view it at home in the privacy of my bedroom without having to worry about outside agencies snooping on me.

  26. The company is totally right. If you are using their network or VPN, they have the right to monitor it. Plus, they should know what type of people they are employing and be able to protect intellectual property owned by the company. Besides, you choose to use search engines, phones with GPS, etc.

  27. As a highschool student, it seems obvious that an employer has every right to observe internet use. At schools, all computer use is monitored, not just internet use. If it were for whatever reason made illegal for an employer to view your internet use, then it should immediately follow with schools not being allowed to watch computer use, which is simply not reasonable.

  28. As an IT professional, your boss can spy on everything you do on the computer.

    Not sure about all the legality, but the technology is there to spy on everything you do on work property and during work time.

  29. Use your own device. That being said it would be too far if you were videotaped without your permission or tried to capture information from your private devices.

  30. I've been in the computer science field since before the Internet was a true public network. I watched as all the protocols and services came in to existence so I am very aware of how your network activity can be traced to you. In the world of the Internet, being truly anonymous is difficult… but not impossible.
    The primary way that most online entities try to find out who you really are is through your online social activity and your financial transactions in paying for your Internet services and for other "trackable" transactions. In other words, your ISP and your purchases online are the primary link to your real identity.
    Your IP address in combination with your computers device addresses is another link.
    I have a real online identity and a false online persona.
    Any online activity I engage in that has my name involved in any way is done over my real Internet identity. Understandably, I don't use that identity for anything I don't fully expect to be seen by others in some way and have associated with my real identity. My false online persona is even on a different computer that was obtained through means that involved my real identity in absolutely no way. Any records of the addresses and identifiers that that computer uses are not linked to my real name.
    This identity is as close to true anonymization as I need. The only people who can really figure out my true identity using my false persona is federal law enforcement and they would have to work at it and take some time and specific efforts to do so. Some actual cyber-warfare.
    Any activity I would seek to hide from even them is done in yet another way that I will not go in to.
    .
    Remember: No internet service or offering is truly free. In any online service or activity you receive for free, you are the product.

  31. Am I the only person who doesn't care at all if the government or advertisers can see my search history? I don't have anything particularly disturbing, I would imagine whoever looks through people's search history has a super boring job. Also, if you're using wifi in a public place, you should expect that people are able to see what you're doing. As long as my friends & family aren't snooping through my search history, and instead some random guy across the country, I honestly don't care.

  32. If you're using the work provided computer, or connecting using the work network, an employer has every right to monitor your usage. You're there to work during working hours. Using the work network takes up bandwidth. I don't understand why anyone would question this. If you want to do personal things, wait until your break, use your own computer/phone/etc., and connect through a private connection.

    If I found someone using work resources on work time for personal matters, I'd give them a warning and fire them on the second offense. I'm not paying them to check their Facebook account or email.

    However, your off work time is your own. What you post is none of my business. You like to go to porn sites off hours? Good for you. I don't care. The employer has no right whatsoever to monitor your private computer use.

    Some employers will allow you to use work resources on a break or on your lunch time. Frankly, it's still a dumb thing to do. Keep work at work, and keep your personal internet use away from work. Even though they allow it, they still have a right to monitor the use while using their equipment and network.

    Real internet privacy is dead. Everyone monitors it. The question is what are they allowed to do with the information, and how long they can keep it stored.

  33. shit you said an employer can look at your internet I'm thinking….. yea any employer would tell me in better off working as a sex toy tester :3

  34. Well… I say whoever pays for the internet connection can do what they want with it. If that's monitor the network users, then that's their choice. If you dont want to be monitored, wait until you get home. Thats why I never deal with personal information on open networks.

  35. Is there anyway to know if your boss is spying on you while working? I have a feeling he watches on his screen where and what I browse.

  36. …so what happens when a right to work employer doesn't like the political views of your cookies?? (which may not even reflect yours)

  37. I live in eu i had this feeling that shit like this might be going on but lisen if i would like to spy on my boss read his private shit emails whatsapp it becomes iligal so i see some hypocritism going on here. Why is this legal when did we vote ore here about it its one of those sneaky thinks they do and bam its there wont go away

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