All Articles Clinical Career

Privacy And Your Work Computer/Cell Phone

Save Money By Using Your Work Laptop/Cell

The majority of our docs refuse to use their work laptop and work cell phone as their sole communication devices citing privacy as their main concern.

I recognize that protecting one’s privacy has become a new-age battle but as with any fear I like to understand the source of it and being the dissenting doc that I am an exploration of this is in order.

Your job gives you a phone, pays for all the data, text and minutes and even tells you that it’s okay if you wanted to use your phone as your main phone. You can stream videos and music as long as you are not connected to the secure company network.

Assuming you don’t care about having to change your phone number and having to possibly learn a new smartphone what would constitute validĀ fears about making the work phone your main phone thereby getting rid of your cell phone bill?

You are afraid that your company will spy on you with that phone.

Okay, let’s say they do actually spy on you by mobilizing their spy department to monitor your shit 24/7. What the fuck could they possibly find out? I mean, do you do such crazy shit online that you are afraid of going to jail? If so then by all means keep your own phone but realize that if you are doing something illegal then you aren’t much safer using a private carrier.

One of my colleagues actually was worried that the company would turn on the camera and watch her…. I …. I don’t know what to say to that. First of all, smartphone manufacturers are sensitive to that shit so it’s not like it’s just a little button for the spy team to press to activate your camera. And I’m sorry, why the hell would they want to look at you?? And isn’t your phone horizontal most of the time?

The first picture is with my phone on my desk snapping a pic of the desk with the lens stuck to it and the other with the front facing camera. I dunno, I would say my work doesn’t care for the cracks in my ceiling plaster.

Let’s say you are downloading porn, okay, I get that. Could be awkward to have to explain why you are the highest data user out of all your colleagues. But it’s not illegal, sure you haven’t come to terms with your fetish and are still in the closet about it but… like I said, not illegal so probably not something ya couldĀ get fired for.

Maybe you have some weird-ass apps you want to install. Or perhaps you are worried about your company finding out about your online accounts, your banking information or passwords.

I think it’s fairly valid to be worried about your private information getting hacked. But honestly it’s like being worried about getting cancer. There isn’t much you can do about it if you’re gonna get cancer but you certainly can be as healthy as possible to either stave it off or get through it much easier than another person.

I can make the same argument for the laptops. Sure, you might log into websites that contain banking information or other sensitive data. But your medical group has no right to access that which means they probably wouldn’t.

Could one of the rogue employees hack into your laptop, okay fine let’s say they could. But so could some other random hacker, like that nerdy dude who lives next door to you.

Why am I making such a fuss about your work electronics? There are several good reasons. For one, electronics are resource intensive to make so the less you own and depend on the better. If you don’t like the tree hugger argument then let’s try the financial argument. If your laptop breaks you probably gonna scrap it or pay good money to get it fixed. Your job will just give you a loaner until yours is serviced because most of their work laptops are serviceable which is more cost-effective for the company. If you lose your phone then it’s easily replaced by your company. Your data, minutes and texts are all free, that’s a huge plus.

For anyone who is terribly worried about losing their phone number I recommend porting your phone number over to Google and then having all calls forwarded to that number. My company cell phone has some (971) number that I don’t even recall, I have a (503) Google number which I’ve had for a while and I only give that out, easy. No matter what future numbers I get on communication devices my main number will remain the same.

I would go a step further and say that having your identity stolen is still something that happens but is getting harder and harder. There are only a few things you can do to prevent that, but if you are targeted by the right people then your chances are low.

The average person is unlikely to steal your information and even if they had it there isn’t much they could do with it. Credit cards these days need their 3-4 digit codes before processing larger sums. Large transfers or deposits from one account to the next require that you answer further security questions. The 2-step verification that many online companies now have is great for those with work computers/phones.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.