But can they monitor your IMing at home?
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You mentioned that you connect through your company’s server for email. Well, depending on what that really means, it’s quite possible that your IM conversation is traveling over the company’s equipment. For example if your company has you establish a VPN or Virtual Private Network connection to the corporate network in order to access your email, while you have that VPN connection established then it’s quite possible that your IM conversation is hitting the corporate servers, and possibly being logged.
On the other hand, if all you are doing is POP3 mail, or even better, web mail provided by your corporation, then it’s highly unlikely that you have a problem.
If you are concerned, I would take three steps, now:
- Use different IM accounts for your personal and business conversations. Keep the conversations to their appropriate topics – business or personal – and use only one at work, and the other at home. Don’t mix.
- In any case, but especially on your business account, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your boss to read. Or his boss. Or the entire IT department.
- Connect to your company’s equipment from home only when you actually need it.
It’s a fine line between privacy and responsibility in any case, but the bottom line is that when using your company’s equipment they have every right to examine all the data thereon including your email, IM conversations, documents, browsing history and whatever else you might have.
It’s something that’s worth remembering next time you’re surfing the net over your lunch break.