Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leaving the door unlocked

Do you check your personal or school email at work? I bet that you do. Many workplaces will certainly allow you to do so, especially if you are on your break, but if you are checking your email at work, do you remember to close it afterward?

There are several terminals in my workplace that are shared terminals, meaning that they are not open to the public, but that many workers use the same terminal. And some of these workers leave their email open, including actual messages that they were replying to, or they have chat windows open. In fact, a little feud started a few years ago amongst a person who had left their email open, and the person who sent out email, pretending to be the owner, from their opened email account. Just fun messages, nothing mean. Now, I'm not condoning the emailing masquerade, but I think that the account owner should have been more careful and guarded their privacy by shutting down the account. Not to mention the fact that the person rather callously assumed that their business was so important that it deserved to remain, as is, on the terminal, as if no one else could possibly need that computer.

It doesn't matter if you will be right back--someone is going to read what is on your screen. They are going to find about your marks, how unhappy you are with a professor or your boss, and your pet names for your hunk o'burning love.

During a job search, it is better to act with greater discretion, so either avoid emailing from shared terminals or make darn sure that you never walk away--for a coffee or to the bathroom--with your email, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts open for all and sundry. Protect your business a little better, and remember that your workplace is letting you use that terminal, it's not yours.

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