Social Question

MAcha82's avatar

Email Privacy on work phone?

Asked by MAcha82 (12points) 2 months ago

If I send an email using a personal email account from my personal computer using my personal network, can an employer see my email if the email app is also installed on a work phone?

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10 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Probably not, but maybe, depending on what spyware they use, whether they have access to your phone after hours, etc.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Probably not; however, in my paranoia, I’d assume that YES they can & I’d be careful with what I was sending from that account!!!

RayaHope's avatar

Wouldn’t your password keep them from opening your email? Regardless, be careful of what you send like @LadyMarissa said.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

50 years ago in aerospace the old fashion phone was always suspected to be “tapped’, assume the same today.

RocketGuy's avatar

Yep, companies (like mine) state that they reserve the right to poke around your device while you are using it. I doubt you would get in trouble if they got into your every day e-mail, though. They are looking for unsavory activities like gambling and porn. And don’t try to mine Bitcoin. That’s a high profile activity.

MAcha82's avatar

Thank you all for insightful answers. one point of clarification -Even if the e mail is not sent or received from e mail app on work phone, the employer can still see the e mail just because the app is installed on the phone?

Zaku's avatar

If you really only have an email app on your work phone, and never log into it on that phone, then no, not unless you also told them your login and password for that account.

On the other hand, if you log into your account on that app on that phone, and have it remember your login info, then if they have access to your phone (either physically at any time, or remotely, via some remote access program), then they could open the app and use the saved login info to see your account.

If you log into your account on that phone, don’t have it remember your login info, and they have no other way to get your password, and if the email software doesn’t store a copy of your email on the phone, then I expect it’s very unlikely they will access your email.

Extremely unlikely, but IF they have and use some sort of recording software that can show them what your screen looked like while you were using it (unlikely that even if they had that, that they’d bother unless you’ve given them some reason to study all your activity) OR if the email app doesn’t encrypt your email traffic, and they have a network sniffer that records all traffic on their local network, then it’s theoretically possible they could discover your communications there. But that seems to me really unlikely unless they have very strong security and are for some reason bothering to try to spy on all communications. That’s not likely at all unless you’re working for the military, CIA, hyper-paranoid gits, or something.

Zaku's avatar

Oh, actually, the other possibility is that the employer has installed a keylogger app on the phone. Sadly, those exist even for virtual keyboards on mobile devices (because &%#@ privacy, right?), so in that case, unless the email app nicely doesn’t use the phone’s virtual keyboard (like, if it draws its own keyboard for you to enter your info), or if it otherwise manages to block a keylogger app, an evil employer might be able to get your password that way.

Some of these spy behaviors might possibly be worth suing an employer over, if they did use them to read your private non-work email, even on a work-supplied phone. Not that they couldn’t perhaps rightly fire you for violating their rules (if they have such rules), but if they actually read your private email.

Forever_Free's avatar

Never mix personal data and use on a work device.
You have more than likely signed a corporate policy related to usage on you company devices.
Don’t do it. Period, the end.
I don’t even have to go into the technology aspect of MDM (Mobile Device Management) Software.

RocketGuy's avatar

And they can take your device (with your data) and delete it at any time.

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