How Your Employer Can See What You’re Doing Online
Are you concerned about what you employer can learn about what’s you’re doing online? Being worried about how much information your company can find out about you is a legitimate concern. The more information that’s public, of course, the more your employer, or prospective employer, can discover. Many employers check out candidates, and even employees, on social media, and what they find can hurt—or help—your career.
Whether they should be looking is another issue, but there is a lot of information they can find out about you online. In addition to what you’re doing on work computers or smartphones when you really shouldn’t be using them, there are also ways your employer can learn about what you’re doing off the clock. That’s important if, for example, you take a sick day when you’re not really sick or schedule a job interview but tell your boss it’s a doctor’s appointment.
5 Ways Your Company Can See What You’re Doing Online
Here are some of the ways your company can see what you’re doing at work and what you’re doing on your own time, and how to keep your personal life and information private.
1. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Other Social Media Sites
Remember whom you’re connected with and keep that in the back of your mind when you’re using social media. When you’re sharing posts, be aware of your privacy settings and be sure that only the people you want to see your posts can view them. Be careful about what you do post, especially if it’s not appropriate for your boss or coworkers to see.
If you are a member of a large professional, or even nonprofessional, group on Facebook or LinkedIn, check who’s in it, so you know who can view what you post or comment on. Avoid making these common LinkedIn mistakes that could hinder your career.
2. Work Email and Slack
If you’re job searching, it’s never a good idea to use your work email address to apply for jobs. When you’re using Slack, be careful what you’re discussing. If you’re using a work email or Slack account, the account administrator can read your messages.
If you’re using YouTube, make sure your personal account settings are private and don’t use your employer’s business channel to search. The admin can see searches and viewing history for the company’s channel. For example, you don’t want to be the employee whose company noticed you were browsing job interview videos and how to get hired at Facebook videos on YouTube.
4. Google Calendar
Check your calendar sharing settings. If personal events and appointments are on your calendar, coworkers may be able to see them. You can change specific events or your entire personal Google Calendar to private. If you’re using a work Google Calendar, the administrator sets the default for what’s viewable. Many administrators set the default to “See all event details.”
Be careful about check-ins via apps like Yelp and any other apps or sites, like Facebook, where you can “connect” with friends and they can see your activity. For example, you can add friends on ClassPass, but then they can see what classes you are doing and when. You can check in on Facebook, and your friends can see where you are. That’s obviously not a good idea if you’re somewhere you’re not expected to be.
Keep Your Personal Life as Private as Possible
Most people use a ton of apps and are always connected, so it can be a challenge to keep track of what you’re posting where and who’s viewing what you’re sharing. The best way to keep track is to adjust your privacy settings to make as much as possible private.
It’s much easier not to have to stress over what you’re sharing than it is to inadvertently post something you shouldn’t have and then have to try to undo it or fix it.