It is very important that you have a personal laptop since keeping your work and personal files on one device might put your privacy at risk. It may seem like an easy decision to make. You’ve got yourself a new job and were provided with a brand-new ThinkPad. This is great! Perhaps you might think that it is time to get rid of your MacBook Air which you have been using for 10 years now.
Based on surveys, more than half of employees have been using their work-issued devices for their personal files and online activities. Sometimes they use it for shopping online, reading the news, sending personal messages, accessing social media, and other personal online activities. The idea of using your work laptop not only for work but also for paying bills, chat messaging, Netflixing, etc., can be very tempting. This is especially prevalent nowadays since most people are working from home due to the pandemic. Keeping your personal tasks and work tasks in one device is an easy way of simplifying your life. Additionally, it can even save you space on your work desk. Best of all, it is cost-effective. However, no matter how tempting it can be, relying on a work-issued laptop for your personal online activities is not something that you should do.
Should You Use Your Work Laptop for Your Personal Tasks?
It is important to remember that every time you use your work laptop, always assume IT can see all the things that you are doing. Most companies use different types of tools such as biometric tracking, keyloggers, and other software so they can monitor their workers’ devices. These monitoring techniques are now becoming more popular throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Obviously, your company can also see the things that you have been doing with company-run programs such as G-Suite Enterprise and Slack. For instance, the Slack messages that you’ve sent to your co-workers regarding your complaints about your boss can be accessed by the company. The book that you have been writing at night and other things can also be seen. Your company’s IT Department can see all of that. Regardless if you are using separate personal accounts for these programs, it is still possible that you could mix them up since you are logging into both accounts on the same computer.
Your IT Department Can See Everything
According to Ryan Toohil, CTO of Aura, a digital security company, if you are on your work laptop, then you should assume that your IT will be able to see everything. Don’t forget that it is your company’s laptop, so they have the right to monitor any activity on it. It is registered in a corporate IT product where they can track you down wherever you go on the internet. While Toohil revealed that not all IT departments will regularly check their workers’ web history, there is always a huge risk if they would.
Aside from seeing all the activities that you have done, they can also access all the things that you download. Uploading text messages or personal photos into your work laptop for safekeeping might seem fine. Obviously, you can simply delete them before handing over the device, right? However, there are some companies that do not permit you to clean your device before handing it in, regardless if you have personal content on them. Even if your company does not implement this kind of policy, there is still a possibility that you could be laid-off or get fired for using your work laptop for unauthorized activities.
During these situations, you might still have some time to remove your files from your laptop before you turn them in. However, it will likely depend on the circumstances of your termination. What if you are locked out of it before you even have the chance to do so? In some companies, the moment that they let go of their employees, they also automatically disable all their access.
Consequences of Mixing Work and Pleasure on One Device
Even if you remove a lot of things from your work device during the last days of your tenure, don’t forget that IT has seen everything that you were doing on the device. For example, if you have been working with a competitor, your current company decides to conduct a huge audit trail, and they discover that you have moved a lot of data from the laptop before you left. This can cause an enormous liability for you personally. First, you will be asked to explain what you were doing. The worst case is if you have taken corporate information.
If things go wrong, then there will be endless embarrassing possibilities that could happen. If you combine work and pleasure in one laptop, then an incorrect copy/paste or an incorrect email attachment could likely result in embarrassing scenarios. Aside from this, it could likely affect your relationship with your colleagues or jeopardize your job.
Benefits of Buying Your Own Personal Laptop
It is a known fact that you can save a lot when you are using your work laptop as your personal laptop, especially if you are one of those employees who work from home. The good news is a personal laptop does not actually have to cost a lot. This is especially true if you are only planning to use it for emailing, tweeting, or Netflix. Nowadays, you can buy a good personal laptop below $1,000. If you want to try Chrome OS, then you can buy a Chromebook for less than $400. There are great devices out there that you can use as your personal device. An iPad can even do most of the things that a laptop can do, particularly if you purchase a keyboard case. Budget laptops have come a long way. Aside from being well made, these devices are also fast.
When it comes to searching for a personal laptop, it will depend on your budget and the features that you prefer. This is one of the great benefits of a personal device since you can customize your device according to your needs and preferences. This is something that your IT department cannot provide you with. You can check the specifications such as the screen resolution, processor, memory, storage, and weight. If you are not very particular, then you can go for 1080p screen resolution. If you use your laptop mostly for Netflix and web browsing, then you can choose an AMD Ryzen 5 or an Intel Core i5 for the processor. Affordable laptops are very light and only weigh two pounds. With these specifications, you can likely find a good combination that fits your lifestyle.
What Is the Best Personal Laptop for You?
Additionally, there are great perks that you can get from personal laptops which you cannot enjoy from a run-of-the-mill office notebook. If you want to try out some games, then go for something with a GPU. If you prefer a tablet that can keep on playing your piano music, then look for a detachable screen. If you are an aspiring artist, then go for something with a stylus. Do you love attractive lights? Then choose something with an RGB keyboard. You can cover your device with stickers, skins, and other decorations. You can even go for something that looks extremely ridiculous if that’s what you want. After all, it is your laptop, and you are the boss!
Most remote workers are having difficulty logging off. This is what most employees feel when they mix their professional and personal lives. Now, that your work and leisure are happening on the same device, it’s hard to ignore your work, even if you are off the clock. Most, probably, there are more that you could be doing.
Having a personal laptop can be a big help. This is because you will be less tempted to peek at your work email since you are not logged into your work computer. You can have a sense of freedom knowing that Slack notifications won’t keep on popping up while you are watching Netflix since Slack is not installed on your personal device. A personal laptop is a great investment, not only for your security but also for your mental health. Because of this, it is crucial that you should get one.
Why Choose Laptops Over Desktops?
When it comes to resale value, laptops are more advantageous than desktop PCs. Even obsolete laptops can be worth something if they are in good condition. The resale value of desktops tends to go down quickly.
Laptops are also more portable compared to desktops. Aside from sitting in Starbucks enjoying their free wi-fi, you can also bring your laptop to any part of your home. You can watch movies while sitting in your bed or in the kitchen while sipping your coffee. These are some things that you cannot do with a desktop PC.
Laptops are a great space-saver. All you need to set up is the laptop and possibly a mouse and pad. That’s it! And you will have a lot of available space. They also use less energy compared to desktop PCs. Laptops are the best choice if you want to reduce your electric bill.
Derek Enterprises, LLC offers quality Apple Products. Whether you are looking for new or refurbished laptops, we have something for you. For more information, you can call us at (541) 255-2310.