Employee Surveillance

Advances in Internet and computer technology have brought about increased surveillance in our lives, especially the workplace. Employers have the right to read our email, check what we’re surfing, and listen to our voicemails, without ever telling us. And that’s not the only place they’re watching.

Think about it for a moment. You arrive at work, put your security key card in the door and then sign in. Cameras watch and record you as you walk throughout the building, and how you interact with each other. Employers know how many photocopies and print outs you make a month (you have an employee code don’t you?), along with faxes, and long distance calls from your extension. They know if you’re in the building on a Saturday updating your resume on a company computer. And they can monitor everything you do with your handheld personal digital assistant, if they own it.

It seems that everything is being recorded in our lives. This includes, what we buy at Kroger, what we drive, where we shop, what we read, and where we work. Outside of the workplace, surveillance is a bit more voluntary. No one is forcing you to sign up for a Kroger Card, subscribe to LinkedIn, or Twitter your whereabouts. That’s your choice. But you need to know Twitter and MySpace make it much easier for your boss to track your personal activities.

Add podcasts, blogs, media coverage, government records, judgments, and death notices; and it’s clear to see that all of us will leave some sort of digital record behind after we depart the planet. It’s no wonder detectives track ATM, cell phone, and computer use, along with surveillance video to solve homicides. These folks can easily determine what we were doing just prior to getting whacked.

Don’t forget that anything you publish on the Internet (or in any form of writing for that matter) can come back to haunt you at a future date, especially during a job hunt. You are branding yourself; use careful consideration about everything you publish.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

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