Just because you’re back to “work as usual” that doesn’t mean you should let everyone know what you’re doing on your computer. Your privacy is still your human right, and you should do your best to protect it.
With that in mind, we bring you a few tips on how you can protect your privacy while at work. Read on and let us know if you think we’ve missed something…
1. Install a wall behind you
We’re not sure you can do this, but if it’s an option – make sure to take advantage of it. This way, you will not only protect your screen from prying eyes but also benefit from extra noise installation from the back.
Mind you, your employer may not agree with this, and you may have to do some negotiating in order to “build that wall” — as the saying goes. I am personally totally against open spaces, as instead of encouraging collaboration; they tend to kill my productivity. And that’s bad.
Additionally, you may also want to dim your screen’s brightness so that the contents of your screen aren’t easily reflected off something else like your glasses.
2. Use a monitor privacy filter
Speaking of screens, there is also a low-cost piece of hardware you could use to make it harder for anyone to read from your screen. It’s a privacy filter, and it’s basically an additional screen that is placed on top of your monitor. When someone looks at your screen from an angle, he/she will see a black screen. As a result, no one can covertly observe what you’re doing on your computer.
3. Lock your screens when you’re not around
This could easily be done with a smart, password-protected screensaver. You just have to remember to turn it on once you leave your desk.
When you think about it, everyone is already doing this with their phones, but for some reason – that is not the case with computers. We’re not sure why that is the case and can only hope this article will push more people to lock their screens when they’re not in front of their computers.
What you ultimately want to find out from that document is the amount of information your company collects about you. And based on that information, perhaps, consider a different job. There is no need to settle for less if you can find a better job — one that will respect your privacy. Which happens to be your human right.
You should also know that in some locations, it is illegal to track employees’ activities. And despite that, some companies in those locations keep doing so.
5. Don’t save passwords on your company’s computers
Most modern web browsers have built-in password managers, which we advise everyone to avoid using. Instead, you should get a dedicated solution like the one provided by NordPass (makers of NordVPN) and 1Password. These tools are much better and will work across devices and platforms.
Because, when you leave the company at some point, your employer may still be able to access the services you’ve been using by utilizing the browser’s built-in password managers.
Sometimes, you’ll have to agree to this, if those are company-provided services; on the other hand, you may also use that same computer to access your personal email and even online banking service. So don’t save those passwords in your browser.
6. Browse the web in incognito mode
Pretty much all popular browsers — including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari — have a private browsing or incognito mode that doesn’t save internet browsing history, passwords, or cookies on your device.
While the company may still be able to see what you’re doing online, they can’t retrieve that information from the machine you’re using. It’s not a full-blown protection like VPN, but it’s something. And that’s better than nothing.
7. Disable notification previews
This one’s related to your phone, which can show previews of your messages — some of which you may use for logging purposes. That’s how two-factor authentication works on some web services.
Also, notification/message previews can share your personal details — and that is something you’ll want to avoid.
So go into Settings of your phone and search for “Notifications” and see how you can disable them. Then, do the same for your phone’s Lock Screen — cause it too can share stuff you don’t want to be shared.
There you have it folks. We can only hope you will adopt some of this advice to better protect your privacy while in the office. These are little things that can take you a long way. And remember, privacy is your right – and you shouldn’t take it for granted.