10 mistakes that could cost you your career


For most of us, the day starts with the computer booting up. But we don’t realize that one inappropriate move on a computer can cost us a job or a career. Sometimes the cause of the error is simple neglect. Regardless of the stringent security recommendations signed by employees during the recruitment process, they are often forgotten and the consequences of violating them are not thought about. So what cases are we talking about?

  1. Using a USB device for data transfer.  Using a USB drive to transfer business data to your home computer and vice versa may seem harmless, but this seemingly legitimate activity can potentially cause serious problems. Someone may lose a disk with corporate data (or worse, confidential data belonging to partners or customers) and be released for it the next day . Someone may inadvertently infect all PCs in the office with a virus or malware that steals data from your company. And here, a good example is Stuxnet , which made its way into Iranian manufacturing plants using a USB drive.
  2. Chat on social networks.  When talking to anyone on a social networking site, be aware of sensitive data and the information you are about to share: it may affect you and the company. Hackers often use social networks to conduct initial reconnaissance and penetrate the organization’s network. Therefore, watch out for people who ask you for a contact or e-mail address to other employees, send you files or links unexpectedly, etc.
  3. Another sin is the inappropriate tone of the conversation with customers or partners in social networks, i.e. in public. Undermining your employer’s reputation is always wrong and in the vast majority of cases ends with immediate dismissal . And one loosely made statement about a friend or a frivolous photo from a corporate event can not only spoil the relationship between colleagues, but also cause family problems.
  4. Sending company documents to private mail . Equally annoying is a situation where servers are temporarily down and you have an urgent message. However, using gmail.com to send business e-mail is a bad idea for a number of reasons. For example, if it is hacked, your data will end up in the hands of cybercriminals. The last example is the hacking of Arkady Dvorkovich’s mailbox . This Russian government official used Gmail for some part of his communication. Of course, this also works the other way around: try to avoid using corporate mail for private correspondence. It is unacceptable to register on third party websites using the company address. This can affect the company’s reputation.
  5. Sending encrypted personal information from a company computer could mean the end of your career and, ultimately, your job with your current company. A cautious security department may think that you are sharing sensitive information with outsiders, and even if you are not, you may be provoking the curious.
  6. Using unauthorized third party software while working, especially on laptops . Although many large organizations avoid granting administrator privileges to users, such errors are still very common. In addition to the risk of it being malware, unnecessary software can waste your company’s resources. Don’t forget that your PC is constantly monitored, so security experts don’t have to come to your desk to see what you are doing.
  7. Deliberate or accidental breach of security policy, i.e. password disclosure. Do you think there is anything to be proud of when you shout to your coworker, „I have a request, I’m going to breakfast, can you let me know when N e-mail me?” I remember today someone shouting at the bank: „What’s the password? I forgot!”. Sometimes it can cost us a career. Passwords are something that can be told for all eternity. Some people write them down in a notebook and stick them to the monitor, while the more inventive use the underside of the keyboard to „securely” store login information. But perhaps the most advanced keep the passwords written down on a piece of paper tucked somewhere at the end of the drawer. I don’t know why, but it still is! But the worst idea is to store your passwords in a „My Passwords” file on your computer.
  8. Downloading inappropriate content.  In the era of high-speed internet, it is popular to download music, movies, and other multimedia content at home. But people forget that their online activity at work is monitored. Unfortunately! They still do it, and are even disappointed to be punished for it.
  9. Mobile communication.  There are many mistakes and wrongdoing to mention, ranging from using a company phone for private purposes, exceeding your data limit, to entertainment. All the above-mentioned rules are 200% applicable also to mobile devices. If you want to use a device for business and personal purposes at the same time, ask your IT department about proper separation of these areas on your smartphone. There are many BYOD solutions that can make this happen.
  10. Last but also important:  Anything you say (and write!) Online can either make your career stronger or ruin it.