Human Interest

Don’t get too comfortable while you work from home during the pandemic, because your employers might be spying on you.

As the New York Post explains, this can be done if you “are using a computer that your company has issued and/or are signing into apps or applications for which the employer pays.” They add, “It’s important to note if you are using something like a company-paid Zoom account to talk to family or friends, your employer owns that content as well.”

Cybersecurity and privacy attorney Dorianne Van Dyke goes into detail, saying, “It is safe to assume that employers have access to browsing history, keystrokes entered [aggregating sentences and words], company provided programs, folders, applications and screenshots of your desktop taken every few minutes along with screenshots of e-mails that have been opened.”

The New York Post points out that in a 2018 study, 239 large corporations were surveyed and found that half were using nontraditional monitoring techniques such as these, as well as probing the text of e-mails, social media messages, and automated telephone transcripts.

They add that during the first eight weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a 16 percent rise in software purchased specifically to track remote employees.

Bahman Mahbod, CEO of Dtex Systems, warns people who work from home, saying, “One thing many workers may not realize is that they can be videoed throughout the workday regardless of whether they are on a call.” Leora Eisenstadt, assistant professor in the department of legal studies at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, adds that working from home opens up a “Pandora’s box of data.”