Friday, May 25, 2012

My Paranoia Realised

Maybe I'm just IT-illiterate or plain paranoid, but I have always had an insecurity issue about office email accounts - that Big Brother is watching every word you type somewhere out there...

My company is in transition of phasing out MS Outlook and moving the whole organisation to the Google Apps platform. Personally, as an avid Google user (Gmail, Gtalk, Chrome, Android, Blogger, Analytics, Google Maps, Google Translate, Goggles) I was excited about this change. I knew that there would be some teething problems and it would take some time to get used to doing things differently. I was pretty concerned about linking my personal Gmail to the office Gmail (but that's another issue altogether).

Usually my paranoia just stops at me having an overactive imagination. However this time, it materialised - to my horror! I was just discussing about email privacy issues with our ICT manager after our Google Apps training session and boom, it happened to me! Some of my emails (about 10 or more) went into a fellow colleague's inbox. I suspect that this glitch happened when they were trying to troubleshoot the problem I had with my Gmail inbox not updating (Outlook was working fine).

I was pretty upset as I had some personal correspondence involved the mix-up. (I know this is considered misuse of office email - but for the record, I am very careful with not sharing any confidential company info with unauthorised parties) Although my colleague swore that she didn't open those emails, but the fact that the content has been potentially exposed heightened my paranoia.

Obviously I couldn't do anything about it, so I just thanked my lucky star that although I had mentioned some "plans" in my personal correspondence, I did not state the details of the same.

My email issue got the whole ICT team puzzled and trying to troubleshoot how such an event could occur. Even the Google Apps consultant/trainer stayed back trying to figure it out. In the end, it was getting late and no one could find a definitive answer, just speculations. But one thing for sure, they assured me, was that no more of my emails were getting copied into my colleague's inbox (or any other person's inbox). I hope that its true. 

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