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Technological Rules You Don’t Know You’re Violating at Work

There are many unspoken rules that one must adhere to within any work setting to maintain a respectful and professional relationship with their colleagues. These social norms are often implicit, and we may not be conscious of them until we break them.

While it is understandable that everyone makes mistakes, repeatedly breaking these unwritten rules can create tension and dissatisfaction amongst your co-workers. In extreme cases, it could even lead to disciplinary action from your employer.

Some of these rules include the use of technology. With the rise of the digital age, many workplaces have had to adapt and create new guidelines for device and software usage. Here are some technical rules you may not know you’re violating at work:

1. Refusing to Update Your Software

Like most people, you probably take for granted that your computer will always be up-to-date with the latest software. However, refusing to update your software at work is a rule violation with severe consequences.

Not only does it put your employer at risk of exploitation by hackers, but it also makes it difficult for you to stay productive and efficient. While it may be tempting to put off updating your software, doing so is ultimately a recipe for disaster.

Updating your software is vital for security in ensuring that you’re using the most recent and efficient version. By keeping your software up-to-date, you can help protect your employer’s network and ensure that you can always do your best work.

2. Using Smartwatches Inside the Office

If you work in an office, there’s a good chance that you’re not allowed to wear a smartwatch. That’s because smartwatches are often equipped with cameras and microphones, which you can use to record sensitive client information.

In some cases, people can use this information to blackmail or extort money from clients. Some could even use it to commit identity theft in the worst-case scenario. If your employer caught you wearing a smartwatch at work, you could face disciplinary action from them.

In extreme cases, you may face a court bailiff because you’re already at a trial for a security breach. So if you value your job, it’s best to leave your smartwatch at home when you head to the office.

Instagram on a work-issued phone

3. Downloading Unauthorised Applications

When you download applications onto your work computer or phone, you might not know that you could be breaking company rules. Many organisations have strict policies about what types of software you can install on work devices, and downloading unauthorised applications can violate these policies.

In some cases, unauthorised applications can pose a security risk to the organisation, and they may also be against the terms of use for specific business applications. As a result, it’s essential to check with your IT department before downloading any new software onto your work device.

4. Using Personal Devices for Work

If you use your personal computer or smartphone for work, you could be violating company rules. In many organisations, personal devices for employment are strictly prohibited.

This is because personal devices are often not as secure as work-issued devices, and they may not have the same level of encryption. If your personal device is lost or stolen, your employer’s confidential data could be at risk.

Additionally, using personal devices for work can make it difficult for your employer to track your work activity and ensure that you’re adhering to company policies. If you use your device for work, you could face disciplinary action from your employer.

5. Sharing Login Information

You might not know this, but it’s essential to check with your HR department first if it’s okay to share login information. Many companies have policies in place that forbid sharing login information.

The reason for this is that it can lead to security breaches. If someone gets a hold of your login information, they could gain access to sensitive company data. They could also change your password and lock you out of your account.

In addition, sharing login information can also lead to billing issues. If someone uses your login to make purchases, you could be held responsible for the charges. So, before you share your login information with anyone at work, make sure you check with HR first. Otherwise, you could be breaking company rules without even knowing it.

It’s easy to break the rules without realising it, but you can avoid these common traps with some knowledge. If you’re ever in doubt about what is and isn’t allowed at work, consult your company’s technology policy or speak to your IT department for clarification.

And remember, if you see someone breaking these rules, don’t be afraid to speak up. These tips should help you avoid potential problems down the road.

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