2 Must-Avoids on Your Work Computer

If you use your employer’s computers – laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone – for work, you’ve been entrusted with both hardware and brand investments. The quickest way to the unemployment line, and the best way to ensure a long stay on that line, is to cheapen those investments. Here are the two must-avoids that you must avoid at all costs unless you’d like a long – possibly very long – unpaid vacation.

#1 Must-Avoid: Porn

We don’t think that there’s anything you could do with a work computer that would be worse than downloading or viewing X-rated content. First, there’s the “privacy of your own room” thing. As in: it’s a work computer. Unless you work in the adult film industry, there is no time and no place that’s appropriate for adult entertainment on a work machine. That would be “no” and “no”, in case you didn’t get the message in the previous sentence. 

In addition to making you look like a questionable investment for your employer, downloading or viewing this stuff puts your company’s entire IT infrastructure at risk. Which could include having the entire technology inventory seized by law enforcement if there are any illegal images included in your viewing history.

If you lose a job for activity like this, how are you going to explain that on your resume, or in an interview? We rest our case.

#2 Must-Avoid: Negative social networking

You work for Acme, Inc. – that means you’re a brand representative for Acme, Inc. If you’re not happy with Acme’s vacation policy, or your current project, or your current supervisor, talking about that on Facebook or Twitter would be a bad idea. First, you’d be damaging your own reputation; second, you’d be damaging the reputation of the company that pays your salary. Either of those outcomes can have a negative impact on your financial health: getting you fired, putting your employer in damage-control mode, or both.

Complaining about your job online is the equivalent of shouting, through a bullhorn, how much you hate your employer. Facebook isn’t the place to air your grievances – make an appointment with your boss to talk about your issues, make an appointment with a recruiter to talk about your options, or make an appointment with a good shrink to help you get a grip. Keep it offline, and keep it real. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a short memo that looks something like this:

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