DESKTOP: Secrets of office politics

It's a chess game, really: You test your wiles against some corporate wanna-be big shot, who sees you as just another stepping stone to traipse over in his/her climb to the top.

By DAVID SHAMAH
June 7, 2007 13:32
2 minute read.
computer 88

computer 88. (photo credit: )

 
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It's a chess game, really: You test your wiles against some corporate wanna-be big shot, who sees you as just another stepping stone to traipse over in his/her climb to the top. To make it even worse, this person has access to all your secrets - at least the ones you commit to digital storage on your office desktop - and all you can do is try not to get caught holding the bag. "What, me - secrets?" Yeah, you. Not that there's anything wrong with it - everyone's got them. For various reasons, you might find yourself storing sensitive personal data - like your own resume, for example - on your computer's desktop. You might think that what's on your office desktop - as opposed to the company's servers - is your business, but I wouldn't be so sure; workplace surveillance is at an all-time high, and many large companies, fearful of lawsuits and government investigation, are no longer taking any chances. The market for programs like the one at http://tinyurl.com/34jzvn has exploded, and a good system administrator can easily set up simple spying routines to report on the state of your computer. Your secrets are sensitive, but so is the invasion of privacy on the part of management - and not necessarily top management, either. What starts out as a legitimate effort to stem corporate spying can end up as a vehicle for some middle manager to justify his or her job, by seeking out information s/he can use against you and bringing it to the higher ups. But this is where it turns into a contest of wiles. Nobody told this person to check out your resume, for example, so s/he's got to be somewhat surreptitious when it comes to checking out your private information. In other words, s/he can't just walk up to you and say something like "I suspect you of doing x, and I'm going to check out your computer until I find what I'm looking for." I mean, what business is it of his or hers? Of course, if s/he does find evidence, you can be sure s/he's going to run to the boss to show just how important s/he to the company. (Hey - I used to be one; I know how they think!) Don't let some wanna-be hero use you to make his or her career; fight fire with fire. If s/he can run some quiet background programs to trip you up, you can run one to cover your tracks. Surf on over to http://www.axantum.com/AxCrypt/ and download the free AxCrypt program, which will let you create on the fly password protected files out of anything on your computer. Right click on your mouse and encrypt away. You can rename files, and even hide the AxCrypt file extension on protected files (.axx) - so that it doesn't even appear as an Axcrypt file. With AxCrypt, your secrets are safe - even from nosy sysadmins looking to advance their careers. http://www.newzgeek.com

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