Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Watch Where You Write 

This article verifies what several have said for some time. When you work for a company, the company controls your machine and work product you produce. You don't, so watch what you say. In this case, a man was using an organization's computer for pornography searches. The organization allowed the authorities to take the computer and use it to convict the man. The Washington State appeals court upheld the seizure and conviction.

I don't expect many readers of this blog will be downloading pornography, but you could be writing unflattering e-mails about your bosses to friends, or you could be storing confidential data on your hard drive that should not be on your machine. Either way, you have put yourself in jeopardy, if you have done so. Criminal cases that have been made with e-mail evidence have grown significantly. So too, secret company documents on hard drives have a way of finding themselves in the public eye -- e.g. Enron.

The old rule still applies. If you won't want it exposed, don't write it in the first place. PR practitioners often handle sensitive data, and it is easy to become lackadaisical about it.



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