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Why you should stop using your work computers, phones for personal use

Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Many Utahans still work from home, spending a lot of time on their computers at work. That makes it easy to forget that it’s not a personal computer.

Many of us mix work and personal things; in fact, one study found over half of us use our work tools for personal use, too. But clearing browser history is not enough to hide signs of personal browsing, shopping or posting on our work machines. And there are many things that can get us in trouble.

At Nexus IT Consultants, they manage IT and cybersecurity for many Utah businesses. Owner Earl Foote says part of that means monitoring the activity of work devices provided by employees to their clients.

“We’re deploying technologies that help us monitor the activity that takes place on computers,” Foote said. “Activity that can be malicious, or bad or can cause weaknesses.”

So, Foote warns anyone who uses their work computers and phones for personal things: “It’s a bad idea.”

Rason Num. 1: You are endangering the security of your employer. Say you open a personal email with a link from a friend that says, “Hey, you need to see this!” Basically, it’s from a hacker and that link infects your work computer with malware or some kind of ransomware.

“This ransomware spread to dozens, maybe hundreds or even thousands of computers within a few hours, and locked the entire system,” Foote explained.

That can also put more sensitive information about your employer, your co -workers or your customers in the wrong hands.

Here’s another reason: You risk your own privacy. Personal things like accessing your bank account, checking Gmail, or paying a bill on a work computer can be found in IT. And while far away, there is always the possibility of an IT insider rogue with that information.

“It’s not very common, but there are situations sometimes where you have someone called a rogue insider in an internal IT department, who collects private data of other team members. in their personal Gmail account and implement phishing campaigns and things like that, ”Foote said. “Those malicious insiders, or rogue insiders, are the real deal.”

Rason Num. 3: What you do online can turn you back to hate or get fired. Whether it’s Ted Lasso, writing the famous American novel while on the clock, or spending time scrolling through social media – IT sees it all. Foote says it’s not about paranoid employers or micromanaging.

“We’re always looking at what’s going on and how we can reduce the risk, right, because that’s our job is to mitigate that risk.”

Foote says using your personal network devices in your workplace is equally risky. You can view any website or use any app you want, which opens up the potential for data theft, malware and other security dreams for any IT department.

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Matt Gephardt

Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is currently a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at

Sloan Schrage

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