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By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 09-13-2011

8 Tech Secrets: What Workers Hide from IT

I let my friend use my corporate deviceWhether it's for placing calls on a smartphone or surfing the Web on a laptop, you can bet that friends do let friends use their corporate tools.

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Why they won't tell youUsers most likely don't see any problem with lending out their corporate device to a friend. Unless you've made them aware of the potential dangers, why would they worry?

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I accessed company email from my personal deviceYou have security solutions in place to stop malicious hackers from gaining access to your network and data. You have Email security settings designed to keep information private. And yet, employees can easily set up access to their company Email from a personal handset.

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Why they won't tell youUsers will argue that they circumvented your careful security setup in order to do their jobs more easily by forwarding work Email to personal accounts, or setting up their personal device to access work Email. Why tell IT?

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I spent hours circumventing filtersYou have filters in place on your network so employees can't access malicious sites and other content deemed inappropriate for the office. The most determined among them will figure out how to bypass these.

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Why they won't tell youEmployees who engage in activities know that they're doing something wrong. So, why would they tell you, and risk losing their jobs?

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I left my computer in the bar (but got it back)Whether it's at a client's office, or at a restaurant or bar, your employees are capable of leaving their computers in an array of scary places. The good news (sort of) is that many times they luck out and get them back.

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Why they won't tell youThey know you'll want to remotely wipe that device as soon as you hear that it's lost. So, the only time you'll hear from employees is when the devices are truly gone for good. If they've been temporarily misplaced and recovered, you'll never know a thing.

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I accessed corporate data on an open, unprotected network If there is any rule that you care about over most others, it's that employees do not access corporate data from open networks. Going to Starbucks or "borrowing" the neighbor's WiFi to view confidential information is not a good idea. Too bad employees don't agree.

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Why they won't tell youChances are, they don't know any better. Most folks don't realize how dangerous open networks can be. When they access such services, they don't think twice about the potential security problems that can arise.

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I just installed this cool new softwareOne of the cardinal rules of security is to not allow employees to install software on company-provided computers. Too often, they download files they think are safe, only to find that they're malicious.

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Why they won't tell youThey probably don't know they've done wrong. Unfortunately, malicious files can be doing damage without their knowledge. So, employees don't know that anything is wrong until it's too late.

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I clicked a link from my social network siteSocial networks have increasingly become a target of hackers who get people to click on a link that appears to be from a trusted contact. These can cause real security problems.

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Why they won't tell youUnless you have a social-media policy in place, your employees probably don't think they're doing anything wrong until they download malware and discover they've been hacked.

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I copied my filesMany times, it's an innocent effort to get work down by bringing files home or on the road. But some employees have less scrupulous reasons for doing so, such as stealing competitive information.

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Why they won't tell youThe innocent employee may not be aware that there's anything wrong with loading a few confidential files on a USB drive to get some work done during downtime. The malicious one doesn't want to get caught. Either way, a simple USB drive gives employees all the storage they need to take whatever data they want.