General Question

steve22's avatar

How can I access Hotmail and Gmail from work if they are banned?

Asked by steve22 (53 points ) July 13th, 2010

I work at a company where they have tons of banned websites. I get to access to the internet through the network of the company using a proxy, port, user name, and password.
So any idea on how I can access in to Hotmail and Gmail?

Many thanks.

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62 Answers

chyna's avatar

I wouldn’t do it if it’s banned. Is it worth losing your job to look at your email accounts? Your best bet would be to get a phone with internet access.

steve22's avatar

But they don’t really check on us, and see what websites we visit…

desmodus's avatar

Maybe they are not blocking http://www.mail2web.com/ .

That seems to work with gmail.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If they’re blocking websites, they’re checking on you. Sites are blocked to protect the intranet and infrastructure of the company form malware attacks and viruses. The surest way to end up fired is to violate IT security.

You’re hired to do a job, not screw around on the internet and check your e-mail. If you need to do it for some reason, check it on your phone, or bring a laptop to work and check it during lunch.

We just had 127 fired at work for violating IT terms; companies don’t fool around with this. Our largest amount of incoming mail at work is spam – 45 million messages a day compared to 524,000 legit messages.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

You can probably add Gmail as a widget for various homepages like netvibes.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Don’t do it. It is so easy for them to do a quick search and find you. Better to use your own iPhone, crackberry or any other system. The chance of getting caught is too great. After all, they are paying you and you are using their system.

Andreas's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I agree with your sentiments about management checking.

@steve22 That would be one of the first things they’d do knowing how people are thinking and trying to pull the wool over management’s eyes.

steve22's avatar

Please, don’t give me advices to not do it, If you have any useful info to add it here go ahead, otherwise go away.

steve22's avatar

@papayalily what do you mean by “add Gmail as a widget for various homepages like netvibes.” Does it work with Mac?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@steve22 Ok, go to netvibes.com, create an account (it’s free) then click add content in the upper-left-hand corner. Gmail might already be there though.

janbb's avatar

Smartphone on breaks and lunchtime?

steve22's avatar

@janbb I don’t have a smartphone.

jazmina88's avatar

sweetie, they have ways of checking on computer. if you like your job, behave.
use your phone for internet. but play by the rules.

we only say not to do it, because we have seen people lose their jobs and we are trying to keep you from doing something stupid. Ignore answers, if you wish, but this is a free country, and I’ll put in my 2 cents.

and if this your internship, you will learn something fast!!!

escapedone7's avatar

One thing you may possibly be able to do is use another email service that is allowed and then have your gmail forwarded. Hotmail only offers forwarding to premium members (paid accounts).
However hotmail is allowing pop access now. Perhaps that could be used to your advantage in some way.

BoBo1946's avatar

don’t risk your job over that!

MaryW's avatar

You might try thinking like a business owner and reason why the rules are there. The company can not risk spam and virus’ and the loss of your work time. You are not taking the risks as an employee. You could use your cell on break and or get another job.

phaedryx's avatar

On a mac? You might be able to use the mail app to access gmail with imap.

(since you seem determined to do it, but I personally wouldn’t if I were you)

theichibun's avatar

If it’s a legitimate reason, talk to someone and get the mail banning lifted. I’ve known of teachers that got Facebook banning at schools changed to only school hours and email bans lifted because they proved how they were missing out on communicating with people during break periods after giving out a different email address.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I think it would be useful for you to invest in an IPhone. It may be expensive….but it is a heck of a lot less expensive than losing your job.

Definitely get a phone with internet capabilities. I think that is the safest way to go.

aniisback's avatar

You can use proxy sites. But i would personally suggest not cheating during work hours. not at all worth risking your job in my opnion.

truecomedian's avatar

Easy, just go through www.ctunnel.com, that should work.

Pandora's avatar

—I’m sorry but I can’t help wonder if the real reason you want to do this its to be able to send some info out via an email that you may think not traceable. Because I can’t fathom what would be all so important on any email account worth taking the risk of losing your job. Unless you hate your job so much that your hoping they will fire you and you can collect unemployment?—

wgallios's avatar

You can always try setting up an e-mail client and try connecting using the IP address (64.233.181.83) rather than the domain name (gmail.com). Perhaps they only blocked the domain?

bob_'s avatar

You can ask the IT guys to please unblock the sites.

If they don’t, you can quit your job and check your e-mail from home.

evandad's avatar

On your cell phone

dynamicduo's avatar

But they don’t really check on us, and see what websites we visit…
Do you know this for a fact? Because if they have enough dedication to install filters to eliminate sites it’s pretty much given that they will check on you and see what sites you visit, not one-to-one but certainly by doing searches to see what sites are being visited constantly or by problem users like you who have been seen prior to the filters going to these sites. The entire purpose for their choice is to increase their company’s security, so of course they are going to look to see if their actions are having the proper results. And any system administrator worth their salt knows exactly the different ways to get around filters and is waiting with a smile on their face and an email ready to their boss to see who wants to try it. Suggestions like “access ctunnel.com” is what a newbie does, it’s the first thing the sysadmin looks for, the first thing that gets you caught.

In many companies, trying to circumnavigate such computer policies is grounds for immediate termination. It’s pretty much indicating to the company that you are a security problem, that you will access whatever site you want to without any work-related purpose (cause I guarantee you accessing your personal email on work time and property is not for their benefit at all) and you could very well be a corporate spy. In today’s economy actions like what you want to do are your golden ticket to the unemployment line.

If that’s where you want to be, then by all means give it a shot. But if you want to have your job, while you are at work, do your job and your job alone. Bring your own internet-enabled cell phone if you want to check your own sites on your break. Do not expect to succeed in your desired task. You cannot outsmart a sysadmin unless you are the sysadmin yourself.

janbb's avatar

Are you trying to get around the internet blocks at the company you are just interning at? Not cool at all.

YARNLADY's avatar

You could try what @truecomedian suggests, that would probably work.

Based on your other question about being an intern, I respectfully suggest that if you are engaging in acts that could harm the company, you would be lucky if the only thing you got was fired. They could charge you for trying to sabotage the company computers or willful acts against the company.

martijn86's avatar

If you want to acces everything, anyone might have blocked, completely anonymous and without the risk of anyone being able to trace the datatraffic back to you. Learn what the Tor Project has to offer for you.
http://www.torproject.org/

People who communicate outside of the laws of corrupt government even visit special ONION sites that act like a completely different internet and are only accessible through a secure Tor connection. If anything is letting you acces blocked sites safely, it’s Tor.

martijn86's avatar

And on a side note, in the Netherlands, it is forbidden for commercial companies to lay censorship upon their workers. They can only ask their workers not to visit specific sites if they have a vallid argument. NONE of those sites will ever be a workers communication to the outside world (e-mail,social,news,etc). It’s morally wrong to deny someone acces to their personal mail, you are not a modern slave. You offer a profession in trade of money, not your personal life.

YARNLADY's avatar

@martijn86 The employer pays for the service, pays for the electricity, pays for the computers, and pays the employee, yet cannot control their own equipment? That just doesn’t make any sense. By that way of thinking, the employees can also help themselves to the stationery, the postage machines, make long distance telephone calls to relatives, take home or make personal use of the office machines, all on company time?

bob_'s avatar

@martijn86 The laws of the Netherlands don’t apply elsewhere.

@YARNLADY You mean that’s frowned upon? Uh oh…

MissA's avatar

@steve22 The curious part of me just HAS to ask, after all of this.

What is the reasoning behind your wanting to risk your already fragile (being an intern) employment with attempts to undermine your company’s security? Do you see it as something else?

By the way you told fellow flutherers to stay away if we only wanted to talk you out of it, I think that perhaps you might be youthful with a misplaced air of invincibility.

Don’t ask others to be your accomplices, have enough ‘hangy down parts’ to resign first.

Character is everything…at least to me.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Please, don’t give me advices to not do it, If you have any useful info to add it here go ahead, otherwise go away

@steve22, if you’re projecting this type of attitude at work, no wonder they’re not giving you anything interesting to do. You might want to give yourself the reality check of “do I come across as a pompous jerk?”

Quite frankly, I’m old enough to have friends in management in a lot of places, and I would be more than happy to escalate this message to Ernst & Young’s HR department. The fact that you mentioned where you work, are bypassing their internet security and are soliciting ways to bypass e-mail strictures would make you a poor fit for working in an audit and assurance environment.

I might want to add, that as a global assurance company, its likely that E&Y monitors sites like this and other social media sites for mention of the company. So they will probably see it before the week is out anyways. We’ve had one regular poster who lost his job because of his postings about his company, which were quite tame compared to this message.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@PandoraBoxx It’s really not unreasonable to ask jellies to answer the questions that was asked instead of lecturing. And your attitude seems a little overly sensitive – if you’re getting so worked up over a random person online trying to bypass IT, what are you like when someone gets murdered or a kid gets raped? You may not agree with what @steve22 is doing, but I have yet to meet an employee that didn’t bend the rules a little bit – be it stealing the occasional highlighter, wearing open toed shoes, or conversing with their spouse a bit more than need be on company time and company phones, everyone does it. Besides, is this really the way to welcome a new member to Fluther?

YARNLADY's avatar

@papayalily I’m with @PandoraBoxx on this one, illegal activity at any level is not acceptable.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@YARNLADY But it isn’t illegal – violating a company’s rules and violating the law are two totally different things.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

At a company where the primary business is assurance, ethics are very serious business. You are expected to follow the code of ethics of the company. Perhaps it’s because I work in a regulated industry, and we are a client of E&Y that I am sensitive about this.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@papayalily, violation of the company code of ethics is terms for dismissal.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I understand. It’s the same way with stealing highlighters from a doctor’s office (another place where ethics are big). That doesn’t mean you should feel free to lecture a random person.

Most people know that they are taking a risk by bypassing company censors. They understand, and have chosen to do it anyway. Since it’s already been mentioned once in this thread, and isn’t helpful, why are you insisting on continuing to lecture him? Sometimes, people will do things you don’t agree with. That’s life.

janbb's avatar

@papayalily I think we are talking to a young person here since he is an intern. It might be worth his while to learn about corporate ethics.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@janbb Maybe he’s young, but maybe he’s older and starting in a new career – you don’t know. Either way, unless you are his parent, it really isn’t appropriate.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@papayalily, that’s a weird analogy, not exactly the same. But you’re entirely correct. Why exactly should I care? Why even bother to answer questions on fluther at all?

janbb's avatar

@papayalily What’s your dog in this fight?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@janbb I don’t know what that phrase means.

janbb's avatar

What’s your investment in the issue of what @PandoraBoxx has to say?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@janbb I’ve come to think of Fluther as a wonderful place where people are friendly and helpful and reserve judgments. Since @steve22 is new, it really bums me out to think that his first – and possibly only – impression of such an awesome community is one in which members are exhibiting some of the worst behavior I’ve seen here. It’s always possible that @steve22 is trying to take down the company from the inside, although most people who do that don’t go looking for rudimentary advice on an internet forum. But more likely, he’s just looking to goof off a bit at a boring job, and I don’t think he deserves to be treated like he is asking for help murdering a litter of kittens.

janbb's avatar

@papayalily Oh – that was clear and well thought out. I see where you’re coming from. I still do think if @steve22 is new to the working world, it is worth his being exposed to these ideas but I understand how you feel.

MissA's avatar

@papayalily I disagree with you. We have been friendly and helpful here, to a newby. Perhaps much more helpful than many.

As a general rule in life, I don’t try to save someone from themselves. But, I believe this fellow to be of an age whereby he might be oblivious to “cause and effect issues” that we are acutely aware of…simply by the living of life.

It saddens me that you don’t feel that to be friendly and helpful. What would YOU expect good answers to look like?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@MissA I’d expect good answers to not involve threatening to get a random internet user fired in real life.

MissA's avatar

@papayalily I missed that one, I guess. I don’t believe in threats, so we would not disagree there. But, that one comment does not reflect the sentiment of most. At least to me.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@MissA In general, I’m not big on random people giving others unsolicited advice – partially because I think it is rude, but also because people seem to think they are the first person to ever tell someone not to do something, which then becomes boring and repetitive. However, unless they are lecturing me, I just let it go, although I do think it isn’t unreasonable to ask that people answer the question asked instead of telling someone how to live their life.

However, my main objection was to @PandoraBoxx ‘s berating and threatening of the member – in another thread @PandoraBoxx accused him of being a thief.

Andreas's avatar

@papayalily The fact that @steve22 asked advice on this matter means he WILL get varying opinions, some of which will be “unsolicited advice”, to quote you. That’s a by-product of asking a group of “random people” questions on a site like Fluther. Isn’t it?

It’s said that experience is the best teacher, however, in cases of negative and harmful experiences, isn’t someone else’s experience better to learn from than we repeating their mistakes? And isn’t the whole point of Fluther to gain the experience from others who have it?

When children ask parents for something, GOOD parents will weigh the pro’s and cons of their request and only grant it IF it’s in the child’s best interest(s). Correct?

In this case @steve22 is LIKE a child asking for advice and direction. However the information he’s received isn’t to his liking, it seems to me, and so he seems to be rejecting it. What’s the point in asking for advice and direction if there is no intent in considering it. After all, common to all Internet forums, we are not paid for our input, but give it in a spirit of helpfulness for our fellow human’s benefit. Don’t we?

@PandoraBoxx‘s comment, “I might want to add, that as a global assurance company, its likely that E&Y monitors sites like this and other social media sites for mention of the company. So they will probably see it before the week is out anyways. We’ve had one regular poster who lost his job because of his postings about his company, which were quite tame compared to this message.” is simply telling Steve a very real point of fact, that he could LOSE his job by these questions. It’s a simple warning: nothing more.

Further, you quote @PandoraBoxx from another thread ”...accused him of being a thief.”

When on company time, company work is what needs to be done. To the extent that unauthorised and unpermitted activities are done on COMPANY time: to that extent it is TIME theft.

I look forward to your rebuttal.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Andreas
1) Of course there will be – but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. You could also say there will always be trolls, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t flag them.

2) There’s are a few different types of questions. There are questions that, more or less, have one answer – will I die if I chop off my head? Only if you do it properly. Then there are questions about how-to and everyday tips – how should I clean the bugs off my window? There’s more than one right answer, but definitely not an infinite number of answers. This is where @steve22 ‘s question would be categorized. Then there are the “what’s your opinion” questions. Those often do look for the experience of others. However, it should be pointed out that if life was as simple as using the experience of others, everyone’s life would be sooooooo much easier. It’s because we do have to make our own mistakes, and because there are almost no rules or words of wisdom that fit 100% for everyone that we must figure out our own wisdom. And @steve22 didn’t ask for your experience, he asked for a how-to. Would you tell someone who just found out their spouse is cheating what to do without being asked? No, because it’s not appropriate.

3) But… @steve22 isn’t your child, and you aren’t his parent. Just because a person is young doesn’t mean you can act as their parent, especially if they haven’t asked for that. Also, you can either lecture a person as a kid, or hold them up to the responsibilities of an adult – but both is a double standard wrapped up in mixed messages and deep fried in impossible standards.

4) How is asking for instructions like a child asking for advice? If you take out any ethical issues, I thought it was phrased the same way my mother asks me how to check her Amazon.com cart. Had he said “do you think I should”, I could see the advice, but he didn’t.

5) Here’s the threat: Quite frankly, I’m old enough to have friends in management in a lot of places, and I would be more than happy to escalate this message to Ernst & Young’s HR department.

6) The other thread was one in which @steve22 asked how to jailbreak an iPhone. Despite the term, jailbreaking a phone isn’t illegal or even unethical – it’s the iPhone equivalent of ripping the tags off your mattress.

7) Yes, I suppose you could consider stealing a companies time to be an act of thievery – although, let’s not act like there aren’t tons of people we would otherwise consider model citizens who facebook or Fluther at work. However, checking your email on the companies time isn’t quite of the same degree of theft as, say, embezzlement, which I got the impression was more where @PandoraBoxx was going.

Andreas's avatar

@papayalily Now we’re both on record with our opinions, time will tell everyone to the extent that we were right or wrong, and whether @steve22 gains positive information from our inputs or any other inputs.

aniisback's avatar

hey i am not sure about g mail n Hotmail. but if it is facebook, first enter the link www. facebook.com. once the error is shown correct the link as pa-in.facebook.com.I am not sure whether it will work with g mail. but do give it a try

odali's avatar

Alright guys come on. Let’s get back to the question.

Proxy server.

You could set one up at home, if you have a static IP, but if you’re not a complete nerd like me, you might want to consider using a web based proxy like hidefast.net

There will be a text box, put the site in there and it will run the information through their servers so it looks as though you are visiting their site.

For a good list of them, shoot on over to proxy.org and try a few out, see which are the fastest for your area. The bad thing(s) about proxy servers is:

1. They can be pretty damn slow.
2. Depending on the sites you visit, they can be a potential security risk. (all information is sent through them, they could potentially log it, however if you are using Gmail and Hotmail, they probably have client-side MD5 or other encryption)

ALWAYS use secure login/SSL, etc when using a proxy server.

IT can still see that you are visiting the proxy sites, just not what sites they are requesting and relaying – however if they are particularly crafty they can find out (view your monitor, cookies, etc etc) so be careful! =)

actuallery's avatar

Yes, they do monitor everything that is done on all of the computers, including internet access. Even if you think nothing is done, you will find that, one day, a little pink slip will appear on your desk. If you surf sites that are prohibited, you might find the local gendarmes visiting you, at your home.

It’s better to access from an internet cafe or use your own personal mobile phone, not a cvompany phone either, to do your internet messaging.

dabbler's avatar

I think @papayalily and @PandoraBoxx and others are being helpful and kind to point out just how big a hammer is hanging over @steve22 naive head.

In many jurisdictions “Unauthorized Use of Computing System” is in fact a crime (whether we like it or not). And using a company system in a manner that is explicitly forbidden by the company falls into that category.

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