After hours, the same theory applies. Take care when using your employer’s devices and inquire what expectations and rules surround your usage of them.
I opened an inappropriate website on my work computer. What do I do?
“If you were there for five seconds and closed it and they are not monitoring closely, it won’t trigger any issues probably,” Dr. Cranor said. Consider telling someone what happened. “If you click a link that’s legitimate and it takes you somewhere that’s not legitimate, you should think about reporting it to your tech people,” Ms. Ettari said. “You could have been the victim of a phishing scam that introduced malware into your company system.”
If you’re concerned about how private your browser is, review its security settings, and check out these protective add-ons from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
While we’re here, someone please explain “incognito mode.”
Dr. Cranor said there is a lot of confusion around “incognito mode.”
“The main thing it gets you is that it doesn’t store the list of websites you’ve visited on your computer,” she said. Incognito mode does not provide a shield of anonymity. “If your employer is tracking you, they’ll still be able to track you if you’re using incognito mode.”
What should I definitely not do on my work devices?
“We are all responsible for setting boundaries between our personal and professional lives,” Dr. Haritos Tsamitis said. She suggested taking broad steps to separate different parts of your life. “This means sticking to scheduled work hours, creating a designated work space, restricting your work email to work-related communication and using your personal email for everything else,” she said.
But generally, you can be sure that some things are no-nos, such as anything that is illegal.
Do not spam people, do not harass anyone, do not download movies and shows illegally, and definitely, “don’t look at pornography,” Dr. Cranor said.
As a general rule of thumb, Dr. Haritos Tsamitis wrote, “behave as though you are physically in the office even when working from home.”