can my employer see what web sites I visit

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iphonehead, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. iphonehead macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    I have a corporate iPhone 3g. Can my employer track what web sites I visit? Can they read my text messages?
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Yes - and likely even legally! Avoid all that tempting donkey-human interaction media. At least, until you're at home on your own computer with your own interweb connection. :)
  3. PoitNarf macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    Text messages? Only if they have physical access to the device.

    Websites? Yes, but only if you go through your employers network or are VPN'd into work on the iPhone. When you're on a network not managed by your employer they can't monitor what sites you're going to.

    Good practice is to always leave the personal stuff off of your work phone or computer.
  4. iphonehead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    I don't work in an office. All my browsing is done on 3g network or my home network. I'm not sure what VPN is. I don't put personal things on the device. However I'm concerned about my privacy while browsing.
  5. iMetalG5 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2005

    meaning you are connected to your company's network. The company I work for has an IT security dept. but they have better things to do than play big bro. Can they do it, of course, will they? nah. there is red tape to get permission to "spy" on an employee, you'd have to be doing some really bad things. It goes through Concerned Manager -----> HR -----> Internal Investigations -----> IT Security -----> Internal Investigations ----> HR

    so to play it safe NEVER use your companies network for personal things. sure surf the web at work, do some banking, check stocks, emails but the thing is don't do anything you don't mind letting the world to see/know.
  6. PoitNarf macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    You should be fine, they have no way of remotely reading data that is only stored on your iPhone.
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Yes, but since it's their device they have every right to show up tomorrow and say "give me the phone" and "what's the passcode?"

    I mean, is it likely? I dunno. But they have the right to do it.
  8. Opie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2008
  9. veeco3110 macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2007
    brick nj
  10. PoitNarf macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    Absolutely. It all goes back to this though, don't use a company owned phone or computer with any data that anyone has potential privacy concerns about.
  11. wackymacky macrumors 65832


    What is your concen? What are you doing? Looking for a new job or something.

    Jokes aside.

    Within the wireless network they know exactly what you're looking at.

    Outside that your cellular data goes though the cell providers APN server.

    Given your boss is paying, I'm sure the telco will provide it for them if they wanted. But why would they.
  12. calvy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2007
    I disagree with this. There's no red tape involved where I work. If you are using a company owned asset on company property on company time, you have no right to privacy. Then again, I do work at AT&T.

    And to the OP, the bottom line is that your iPhone is a company owned asset that is provided to you for your job functions. Legally, they have every right to monitor it and watch what you are doing on it. However, technically, you'd have to be going through their network for them to monitor it. If you are going over 3g or your wifi connection at home, don't worry about. However, don't go through a VPN or otherwise company owned network to your favorite porn site unless you want the IT department and president(s) all knowing about it. And if they have phsyical access to it, just make sure you delete any texts or safari history you don't want them to see.
  13. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Depends on whether you use the companies network, how bad they want the information, and/or whether any serious criminal activity is suspected.

    If you use the companies wifi or VPN, everything is probably already logged on their servers.

    If they want it bad enough, they can have computer forensics experts take apart your (actually their) iPhone, remove the flash chip(s) from the circuit board, and suck out contents of all the files, even partially erased browser cache files, internal logs, and the like.

    If you use the cell phone network, it might be possible to have the phone company tap SMS and cell data, given a court subpoena, depending on the country in which you're located.

    And if you have a jailbroken iPhone, they could have installed a back door app relaying information back to them.

  14. iphonehead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    I'm not doing anything illegal or criminal. I just occasionally check out a xxx site.
  15. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    If you are on 3G or your personal network you should be fine. unless they physically have access to the device.
  16. LDB macrumors member


    Oct 13, 2008
    Houston area
    Don't do anything you know you shouldn't and you'll be fine. If you even wonder about doing it for a second then you know you shouldn't be doing it.
  17. wackymacky macrumors 65832


    At least you're honest.

    Don't look at these sites connected to your companies wireless connection.
    If the data is coming in via a proxy it likely knows the URL's you're going to. There is likely NO WAY you can justify your self to your boss.

    They might not say anything now, but it may just slip into your HR file for latter use.

    If your really can't help yourself maybe use a program like teleport to connect to your home computer, then let your home computers browser do the dirty work. Make sure you create a VPN bewteen your iPhone and home computer to tunnel your data.

    This should be safe as the URLs/Cookies etc will on your home computer.

    (I guess this presumes there is no one at home that you don't want to know what you're upto.)

    Remember most companies consider using there nextwork for looking at this kind of stuff serious misconduct.
  18. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Wrong on the text messages. They can get access to them thru your cellular carrier. Just ask Kwame Kilpatrick (ex-mayor of Detroit)
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    That is something I would not do on a work phone. Ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? I'd say worst case is out of a job without a reference.
  20. Inukami macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    websites you visit gets pinged as IPs on w/e machine they use to check that stuff. So yeah all they have to do is type in w/e you visited xD
  21. markgamber macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2005
    Redneck, PA
    Yeah, I wouldn't go visiting any pr0n sites on a company phone BUT, on the other hand, I would think that if you were going thru a vpn or something where they could directly monitor you, you probably wouldn't be able to access said pr0n site in the first place. I've heard of people getting busted for watching pr0n using company equipment but I never heard of companies running stings to catch employees. Unless, of course, that company is the gub'ment. Anyway, keep the pr0n off the phone and you won't have any problems. How great could it possibly be on that tiny screen, anyway?
  22. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Some IT people *do* monitor what web sites you visit. I had a job about 10 years ago where the guy approached me about the websites I was on. Luckily, no porn but some dating sites and non-work related stuff. :) He was kind of a jerk and no one really liked him. I visited the sites on my lunch break mostly but since then my personal practice is to never used any work owned device for personal reasons. I never got in trouble or anything but people *do* monitor stuff like that--I think mostly for their own fun. I have separate phones and computers. I don't even use my personal devices on my organizations wireless network.

    I know it sounds nutty, but if I were you I'd get a separate phone for yourself. I've had more than a few friends called into offices to explain a record of personal calls. The whole idea of "corporate phones" and whatnot just encourages a blur between personal and work life which I don't like at all.
  23. PowerFullMac macrumors 601


    Oct 16, 2006
    My advice would be to only watch pr0n when connected to a WiFi hotspot.
  24. bredell macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
    Uppsala, Sweden
    This entire discussion is of course highly dependent on where you are, different countries have different laws. Here in Sweden, and I think most of Europe, the employer is not allowed to do any monitoring of an employee's personal information unless the employer has explicitly said that he will do such monitoring. The employer also must have a very good reason for doing this. Doing this kind of monitoring of employees is very uncommon and regulated by very strict laws. There have been a few incidents published by media where an employer had had to pay damages to an employee for reading that person's private email or checking web logs. This is true even if the email in question was sent to the person's work account using equipment owner by the employer.
  25. milani macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2008
    Yes and if your employer gave you the phone (and you live in North America) chances are they already are. But that shouldn't be surprising to you. You're computer usage is already monitored, I'm sure, so there is no reason your smart phone would be any different.

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