Privacy at work? Don't bet on it

Clark Behind The Headlines

From HLN's Money Expert Clark Howard

I've been talking for a couple years about a case that eventually made it to the Supreme Court, about what rights to privacy you have a reason to expect from your employer.  Very rarely today do they take a major, high-profile case and decide it unanimously.  But in this case, they did, 9 to 0. And if you believe you have any right to privacy with your employer, you're crazy.

 One case specifically involved a person who had a pager. It was partly paid for by the employer and partly paid for by the employee.  But because even part of it was paid for by the employer, the Supreme Court ruled that nothing received on it was private.

 Now, I've talked over the years about how if you accept a cell phone from your employer, know that they have the right to know everything you do with it.  If you use a computer at work, every website you visit, every keystroke you type, every email you send is fair game for the employer.

 I have never, in all the years I’ve been in broadcasting, accepted a cell phone from any company I’ve worked for.  I have never used any broadcaster's email server. Instead, I use public email.  If I'm ever sending or receiving email of a sensitive nature, I never do it from a computer at a studio. I always do it from my home or on my own phone that will send and receive email.

 Now, some employers use software that tracks everything you do, surfing or on email. They use systems that look for keywords, names of competitors, curse words, anything that might be of a sexual nature. And they will then kick your email out and send it to be reviewed. And your career could come to a screeching halt right then and there.

 If you are doing anything in your personal life that might seem fine to you, but might seem not fine to your employer, never, ever, ever post it on Facebook. Do not Tweet about it. I realize I'm saying you have to be a robot at work. Yes, you do - because your employer is the one that issues the paychecks. It's that simple.
 

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