How easy is it for an employer to find out

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Gadfly, Nov 4, 2006.

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  1. Gadfly

    Gadfly Registered Member

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    Hi. My first post. Hope this is the appropriate forum.

    I need an answer...someone. If you send an annonymous email to your boss at work using an external email provider (like Yahoo)....how easy is it for him to track down your identity?

    I imagine he would have to contact Yahoo and complain about the content of the email. If Yahoo was willing, they could provide the name of your ISP to your boss. Then your boss could, in theory, go to your ISP. The request of Yahoo and the ISP would have to meet the terms of their privacy policy. Correct?

    Would this be an easy thing for the boss (employer) to do? What if the employer is fairly large and with good technical people?
     
  2. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Welcome to Wilders Gadfly. Yes it is an appropriate forum.

    Under normal conditions, it would not be that easy to track down your identity.
    It would normally need some legal action to obtain the logs from Yahoo and then the logs from your ISP.

    Correct. Companies don't always honor their privacy policy, but it would normally require legal action. Unless...

    It depends.
    The bigger the company, the more likely legal action is possible depending on the email you send.

    Do not forget corporate relationships that can bypass legal restrictions.
    For example, if your ISP is SWBell/Yahoo DSL and your company has some business connection with them, all it would take is a phone call to identify you.

    Also, when you log in to Yahoo mail, does it show the IP address of the most recent login in the user interface anywhere?
    If yes, and they are able to hack your Yahoo account, they will be able to see your IP address.
    They may also be able to identify you based on the content of your other emails in the account.

    Think hard before you email about all possible repercussions if you are identified.

    Maybe learn about proxies and anonymous remailers first.
     
  3. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Well, 4 points here from an old guy been around a long time was a boss and an employee.
    1. probably not so easy but not imposible in todays world
    2. for you it's not a good idea is it?
    3. Would you be proud of your self if it worked?
    4. Would you brag about this to your children?

    The boss may guess it is from you and start monitoring ALL your activities very closely.

    Don't do it.
     
  4. Gadfly

    Gadfly Registered Member

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    True wisdom indeed. And thanks for everyone who has replied. Good for me to talk about it.

    Problem is...already did it...and was definitely not proud immediately after. Upon reflection it was just an immature venting of steam on my part for which I truly regret. I guess things have been very stressful lately with lots of change at work and my mental health has suffered. Still can't believe what I said in the email.

    It's not so much about the fear of the employer finding out (it's a large oganization). I just wish I could now come clean and offer a sincere apology in person. If I was single, with no family to support, I probably would risk getting fired...just to get this off my conscience.

    Thanks again for listening.
     
  5. phasechange

    phasechange Registered Member

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    To be honest as long as the email doesn't break any laws the chances are next to none that your identity will be revealed. (As long as you didn't set up the email using an online name you use a lot (and which isn't widely used by others) in which case the chances of tracking you rise significantly).

    If you did break any laws and IF it was sufficiently upsetting to your boss that he would pursue it through the police then you have an issue. However I think this is all highly unlikely.

    Do not worry about it or act "wound up" as this will raise suspicion. Forget about it and move on. Especially if you have been feeling under pressure lately.

    Try going for long walks. Take a dog if you have one, otherwise a wife will do :D
     
  6. Gadfly

    Gadfly Registered Member

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    Thanks for your positive words of encouragement. No, I certainly did not break any external laws. However, the employer would likely view the content of the email as contrary to organizational harrassment policy. And even if my computer identity was revealed, there's always the "shared computer" issue, who's email account was it? etc etc.

    Thank you. Think I will.
     
  7. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    Those organisations which require employees to log on to a domain, the guy in charge of all the computer stuff can monitor what goes in/goes out by intercepting it at the server level.
     
  8. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    nadirah:

    Based on Gadfly's post a specific domain by the employer was not used. I used to email into my employer on their email server and in that case ALL email was completly viewable by everyone. I didn't care but it is a privacy issue.

    However, as has been mentioned if employer has strong influence with Yahoo then Gadfly may have a serious problem.

    So much for free speech.:'(
     
  9. Gadfly

    Gadfly Registered Member

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    I simply used my home computer. Really wish I could come clean and apologize cuz the derogatory email was completely out of character for me. Unfortunately, I've learnt that the world is unforgiving.

    Wonder how much influence government has with Yahoo? Anyway, cancelled the email account with Yahoo...should cover tracks a bit...although Yahoo apparently retains the info for 90 days after cancellation in case of "fraud" cases. Even if my employer wanted to pursue it, I figure, knowing how slow they work with the process, the info could be gone from Yahoo's database.

    And I wonder if I cancel my ISP account with Cable and then re-start under a new account a few days later if they would bother retaining previous internet log records...given the thousands upon thousands of subscribers they have.
     
  10. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    It's spilt milk, forget about it. We all say things we later regret sometimes.
    Dwelling on it only makes it worse. Coming clean may temporarily make you feel a little better, but will do more harm than good in the long run.
    Live with it and move on.
    If they find out, deal with it then.

    A lot of influence depending on the branch of government.
    There is talk of retaining records in the US for 2 years.
    Also, government can now request the entire database when they are only interested in one individual.
    Lots of good info here
    But since there was nothing illegal going on, just an angry email, there is little incentive.

    I don't think that will make a difference.
    Don't worry about it.
     
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