Hi…here’s my situation. I have been using a work computer (used by a few employees) for recreational use during our downtime but it seems to have gotten a Trojan virus and now will not start up at all….prior to its non start up I had deleted all of the cookies, temp Internet files and history on a daily basis after I surfed the web (mostly poker sites, some adult sites, eBay and Craigslist) each and every time…So now they are removing the tower to get fixed…..My question is this: if I have deleted all of the cookies, etc. will the computer tech be able to detect the sites that were visited, see the pics I looked at, etc? It’s not a high profile job nor was I told not to use the Web but I’m just curious because of some of the content of the web sites I visited may be of poor taste.
Everybody does a little bit of surfing at work - and those that say they don't are lying. That said, I hope I don't have to tell you how not-smart it was to visit "adult content" sites on your work computer. Do I?
Cookies are small text files that are stored on the hard drive. These give a unique identifier that is pertinent to a particular website to each computer that visits a site. First party cookies keep your IP address and a list of pages that you have visited within the website. You can make sure that you delete first party cookies by opening your browser's Advanced Privacy Setup and under First Party Cookies choose Prompt. This will show you when first party cookies have been detected.
Deleting your cookies and Internet history is a good way to cover your tracks, but it is not foolproof. If your employer has an idea that you are misusing company computers, they can install a program like Track4Win, which will give them Internet data even if you have deleted the history and cookies. Not only that, but every time you delete this information, little bits and pieces of it are left behind - pieces that can be put back together to give them a history of what you have visited even long after you have deleted the evidence. It is totally legal for your employer to "spy" on you this way and the law will back them up every time. Do I have you panicking now?
Actually, you can probably relax. Unless they are specifically looking for this information, it is unlikely that your tech department will accidentally stumble upon your Internet history. Because you have deleted the cookies and history, it won't come up when they are fixing the malware problem. Traces of websites that you visit may still be present - You can use Filetonic's Privacy Controls Scan to see what remains viewable on your PC. The full featured version of Privacy Controls will shred all Web tracks. There is a difference between deleting information and ‘shredding' it. Disc and data shredding programs like Privacy Controls and Data Shredder will recover and put together information that you have deleted and ‘shred' it so that it can't be viewed. This requires a software purchase, and of course, your employer might be interested about why you have installed this on their computer, if you can do it at all.
While you can probably breathe easy about your past Internet activity at work, your only guarantee that you won't get caught is to stop visiting questionable Internet sites from your work computer.