There’s a spy/surveillance/privacy theme running through these offerings:
In a delightfully tongue-in-cheek piece for the Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch column, Brett Arends quotes from disruptive tactics specified in a World War II-era U.S. intelligence manual for agents to identify 10 signs that your co-worker may be a government spy, with a mission to destroy productivity. For example:
- “They love committee meetings.”
- “They nitpick.”
- “They delay everything with endless worries.”
For each of the 10 signs, Arends quotes directly from the intelligence manual! It’s hilarious stuff, and the quotes really nail it. Hence Arends’s serious point: There is no justification for the maddening, crazy-making behaviors that undermine morale and productivity at work.
Recently Workplace Fairness updated its Q&A page on the legality of various potential surveillance practices at work, including monitoring of phone calls and e-mails and on-site videotaping. Here are some of the questions addressed:
- “Can my employer videotape me?”
- “Can my employer monitor my telephone calls?”
- “Can my employer monitor my computer and e-mail activities?”
There are 11 questions in all. To access the page, you may have to click a quick online legal disclaimer.
Here’s one for the do as I say, not as I do department: Betsy Mikel, blogging for Next Avenue, provides a very useful, detailed advice column on creating and storing secure online passwords. Here’s a piece of it:
There are some guidelines for creating a strong password as well as ways to remember all your new (or old) passwords. Online passwords should:
- Contain at least eight characters, preferably more.
- Be composed of a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (like * or $ or #).
- Include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters.
- Not be an actual word.
- Not use your real name, username or personal information, like your birthday, license plate number or address.
Not too long ago, I wouldn’t have considered this a work-related concern. But even for online information sources related to my work, the number of password-protected sites has grown exponentially. I’m sure I’m not alone in this regard.