My privacy best practices for work computer

Data Protection
Published on
April 29, 2023
📖  Table of content

    Being mindful of privacy on your work devices is essential, since employers may access your session and view most of your activities. While it's not about being paranoid, adopting best practices can help protect your personal information and prevent unintended data exposure. Here are 5 steps you can take to enhance your privacy.

    1. Don’t connect to your personal iCloud or Google Drive accounts locally
    2. as it would keep your personal accounts connected at all times and expose your most private data.

    3. Don’t install apps like Whatsapp, Telegram, Notion, etc. and exclusively use their web-based interfaces, for the same reason as above.
    4. Delete downloaded files daily: Make sure to erase any personal downloaded files every evening before signing off, and empty the trash. But be aware that even deleted files might be recovered with special tools, so don’t import any sensitive file.
    5. Create a dedicated space for personal browsing:
      • A private browsing window offers the best privacy, but comes with limitations, since you won’t have your usual bookmarks and extensions.
      • Alternatively, you can create a dedicated Chrome profile, but don’t synchronize it with your personal account.
      • Another option is using a separate browser, like Brave or Firefox, with minimal personalization and no sync.
      • On the other extreme, refrain from installing Tor or Mullvad browsers, they would surely draw attention to your activities.
    6. Secure a dedicated browsing space:
      • Don’t activate synchronization on your Chrome profile or dedicated private browser, to avoid exposing data from your other personal devices.
      • Install only absolutely required extensions. If you install a password manager extension (which is understandable), never opt-in to keep your session logged in on this device.
      • Only add minimal and “legit” bookmarks: avoid any NSFW websites, and pay attention to URLs that include information in the parameters (like https://online-tool.com/?resource_id=mydomain.com)
      • When available, configure the browser to automatically clear history upon exiting. Firefox and Brave permit it, not Chrome. Opt to erase everything: browsing and download history, cookies, cached files, passwords and sign-in data.
      • Personal sessions may be opened on your work browser if you use the same account for personal and professional purpose: think to Github, for example.
      • Erase your browser footprint each day before leaving work, whatever the browser option you chose: close the private window, or manually erase your tracks and quit the app, or just exit if you set up automatic history wipe.

    If you follow these guidelines, and someone takes control of your computer or steals it on your work-home journey, no personal account will be connected, and no browsing history will be accessible. The intruder will only see your bookmarks and extensions.