How to keep your private data personal at the office.

Did you know your employer might be accessing your data, using it to create a profile of your peers' work habits? You expect your company-owned work devices to be tracked and monitored – that’s just good business – but your boss might also be mining information you send to personal devices if you use the office wifi.


Most use it to better understand employee culture and make proactive decisions on hiring, promotions, and vulnerabilities issues of the day, but there could be a bigger price to pay if you’re not careful. Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind even if you’re not doing anything to be concerned about:

When was the last time you took a good look at your information on your resume and the various professional networking sites? Do you have direct contact numbers or addresses on them? You could open an internet-based phone number and a P.O. box, but removing that information if the site allows and offering to be contacted only through that site might be a safer option.


Purchase a USB data-blocker. They cost less than $20 and provide an extra layer of protection between your data and potential hacks if you use rental cars with wifi hotspots, public charging stations, or other public use internet providers. For something the size of a thumb drive, it could be worth its weight in gold to your privacy.

Stop posting highly personal and work-related information on social media. Locking these accounts from public view can provide some measure of privacy, but you’re still making yourself vulnerable if you post about engaging in activities your employer might not want to be associated with your adventurous behavior at Mardi Gras, bachelor parties, etc.

Finally, separate your work and personal life and endeavor every day to keep it that way. Your work devices are not for personal texting, online shopping, or photos of things unrelated to business.

Hopefully this demarcation between the two will give your life more balance at home and keep you out of trouble at the office.