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Use Net at work for personal use? Beware admin

May 13, 2008 04:20 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Every time you log on while in your office, you are being watched.

It isn't just your Internet history that your network administrator can see; he can even read your personal emails, your posts on Facebook and Orkut.

Are you flirting in a chat window? Checking your bank balance? Your administrator can seen absolutely everything that you do, a fact confirmed by one of them.

“Yes, we can go into e-mails and we have seen some funny stuff that I can't tell you here,” said R Systems’ Senior Manager (Networks), Sanjay Chouhan.

Understandably, many were up in arms over it.

“That's invasion of privacy,” exclaimed a user while another said, “I hope there is a law against that!”

Unfortunately for those who use the ‘Net for personal purposes at work, this kind of monitoring is legal and there is even a reason for it

Twenty eight thousand working hours and Rs 1,60,000 are lost every year, per employee, because of surfing non-work related websites.

What's more, companies lost Rs 6 crore in 2007 after employees stole confidential data. The new IT Acts are rather hard on companies that lose client data.

“Companies will be held liable and can pay upto a value of Rs 5 crore,” explained cyber lawyer, Karnika Seth.

It is no wonder, then, that companies are paranoid about security. And if that means invading your privacy, well, big deal!

The question remains – how safe are you? When your most private details are so easily available, what is preventing the IT guy from crossing the line and resorting to harassment or blackmail? Even the security software experts had no answer to that.

“Well, if you have hired an administrator who wants to hack, then God save you because I can't think of a way out of that,” admitted regional director, Websense, Surendra Singh.

So till there is a law to protect you, it is best to avoid personal work on the company computer. And if that proves hard to resist, cover your tracks for which there are tutorials available on YouTube.