Found VNC installed at work - bosses spying?

  gembob 14:36 06 Mar 2008
Locked

I recently asked IT support at work, for a program that would enable me to look at the desktop of some junior colleagues, whom I thought were browsing the web instead of working, when I wasn't looking.

He said he'd install VNC for me.

I then realised to my horror that VNC was alraedy installed on my machine....a vnc icon was in my icon try, and clicking it brought up some sort of control panel....

...I have since "stopped the vnc service", as option found from the "Start" menu...

...is it likely my bosses were spying on me, or are their other, valid uses for this being installed on a work pc?

  DieSse 16:42 06 Mar 2008

The normal use for VNC is to enable someone else (IT support?) to control your PC. Since your IT support seemed well acquainted with it, it isn't so surprising that it's installed on your PC then is it.

And since you realised how it might enable you to monitor juniors - it's not a huge step to imagine someone might want to at least have the facility to monitor you, I would have thought.

Though in all likelihood, IMO it sounds like it's simply an "IT thing" to have it available if needed.

  crosstrainer 16:44 06 Mar 2008

Common practice these day's.

  Devil Fish 16:46 06 Mar 2008

yep vnc i quite widley used in the it industry more for remote access than spying i would think

used similar when i was working at the hospital a big time saver as you didnt have to go on site unless absolutly nesscasery

  rossgolf 16:47 06 Mar 2008

mainly for remote access but if you havent got anything worth hiding then you have no problem. if you have then pointless doing it on works computers

  daba 11:09 07 Mar 2008

Be aware.....

By disabling VNC yourself, you may well be acting contrary to your company's IT policies, and could face disciplinary action yourself.

IMO there should be absolutely no reason to disable it, because you shouldn't be doing anything on the company's PC that you need to hide from them.

Most companies these days allow "personal use" to a degree, but DO monitor and/or enable/disable sites that you can and can't visit. After all, it is their PC, their betwork, and their Internet bandwidth.

  woodchip 11:20 07 Mar 2008

As I am aware you should not spy on your Employees at work on the PC. It,s Illegal

  daba 13:25 07 Mar 2008

I believe it's only illegal if you don't tell them you are.

A company has the right to protect itself, so have policies in place that says they will monitor usage.

For instance, attempting to visit some sites is blocked, and logged. That's not classed as "spying" if you are told in advance that is what the system will do. Here's some quotes from a typical (actual) company policy...


All messages/communications composed, sent, or received remain the property of the Company.

The E-mail, Computer, Internet/Intranet and Voice Mail shall not be used to view or access inappropriate materilas or messages.

XXXXXXXXXX reserves the right to monitor any use of its computing resource, whether business or personal.

E-mail, Computer, Intranet/Internet and Voice Mail messages will be stored and retained in accordance with records management procedures.

{for e-mail, sent or received, retained 1 year}

... and finally,

All employess are ACCOUNTABLE for the proper use of computing resources.

Any company that allows some private use of their facilities is doing a favour, its not a right.

  woodchip 13:39 07 Mar 2008

I fully Agree with your post, but think that the Law is the Problem. In some cases there is too much protection for wrong doers. Like letting killers out, then they go on to murder again. Or as you say misusing Property

  daba 13:57 07 Mar 2008

Usually you will be asked to sign a document to say you concur with the company IT policy. And because they tell you they will monitor usage, they are working within the law.

I think it's also important to note that accessing your own personal webmail on the company PC is probably the most dangerous, as the content of the web-pages themselves is classed as "communication". This can be (and usually is) retained by the company. That is their right, it was transmitted through their systems to get to you.

In my view, the company's computing infrastructure is theirs to do what they like with, and it is not worth using it for personal use at all.

  Widow's Son 15:03 07 Mar 2008

Don't do anything you wouldn't want your boss to read because one day you may be standing in his office while he does so! It's a pain I know but its today's world. Play it safe and leave it until you get home to your own system

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