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Can my employer see what I do on Evernote?

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I would like to use Evernote at work but am worried about privacy. Can my employer see my files? Can they see what I work on or access through Evernote?

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HI.  How do you access Evernote?  Did you install it on a work computer,  or do you use the web version via a browser?

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I have the app on my desktop at work and that's how I'm accessing it right now. I have access to a browser too.

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OK well if you installed the desktop client,  your Evernote database is saved on your local hard drive.  Your access is protected by your user name and password,  but if you leave your Evernote open on your desktop - while you get a drink say - someone could look at the contents that way.  The database is also saved on your local hard drive as well as Evernote's remote server,  and the content of that database is going to be readable if someone technical looks at it. 

 

Depending on how your internet access is set up,  an employer may have access to the traffic that gets sent to and from the Evernote servers,  but that's encrypted.  If you use a browser to use the web version of Evernote though,  some IT departments monitor internet browsing so may get some information from that.

 

Broadly speaking,  the only way to ensure your content is completely secure is to use a mobile access - your personal phone or a tablet - or just put every day stuff into Evernote desktop and keep the confidential stuff in a local (unsynced) notebook on your home machine.

 

It's really up to you to decide the level of acceptable risk!  Hope that helps...

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Moral of the story: do not assume that your employer will not be able to access your Evernote information that's located on machines that it owns.

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If you have your own, personal, user account you use to sign into a workstation at work, you have a bit of safety, depending on whether or not your employer can access their employee's user accounts. Having your own user account means your evernote database is limited to only those who log into your user account for that computer. 

 

By having your own user account, your data are generally safe except if someone is able to log into your user account on that work station, and given the exceptions pointed to by Gazumped. 

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I'm with Jefito. Always assume the employer can access everything on your work computer. I had an experience about 20 years ago that drove home for me. And it wasn't even anything personal that was accessed. Just someone who didn't like me and tried to use old work emails she found to get me canned!

With technology having moving light years ahead of what we had back then, I personally would be terrified to have anything I didn't want my employer to see, on my work computer.

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If you have your own, personal, user account you use to sign into a workstation at work, you have a bit of safety, depending on whether or not your employer can access their employee's user accounts. Having your own user account means your evernote database is limited to only those who log into your user account for that computer. 

 

By having your own user account, your data are generally safe except if someone is able to log into your user account on that work station, and given the exceptions pointed to by Gazumped.

 

 

Well, not true.  OP has indicated he installed the desktop client on his computer.  I am pretty sure anyone in the IT dept can get to files on the OP's computer.  This is the same scenario as if a computer is lost/stolen. Anyone who is savvy enough (and if they are in the company's IT dept, I would surmise they are) can either view the files or quickly figure out how to.  This is why it's recommended to put your local database into an encrypted container.

As Gaz said...

 

The database is also saved on your local hard drive as well as Evernote's remote server, and the content of that database is going to be readable if someone technical looks at it.

Having said all this, I would also say that if you're using a computer that is company owned, it's best to not put personal stuff on there, if you are concerned. After all, it is their computer, ya know???

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Simple rule of thumb, never do something personal on a work or public computer if your aren't comfortable with someone else possibly seeing it.

 

You could access it over a smart phone using your own data plan and your boss won't be able to see that

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This is, by the way, one of the issues I would have with Evernote Business. It would be wonderful if my employer used Evernote Business, but then I'd have to log in and have all of my notes downloaded onto my work machine where they could then be accessed by my employer.

 

This is one of the reasons I have been advocating for selective sync (downloading only what you select, like we do on mobile) and encrypted notebooks (giving users the ability to encrypt entire notebooks with zero-knowledge encryption). 

 

Of course, if your employer allows you to bring your own device, that is a different story. It all depends on the work environment.

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I agree with the others. You should never keep personal stuff on a computer provided by your employer. They have full access to it - and why shouldn't they? It is a tool they provide to you to do your work, not a device to store your own personal stuff on.

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Maybe someone can help me with this.

I use Evernote primarily for personal purposes, but also, in a separate notebook, as a depository for work-related stuff I could need at some future date (research, template documents, etc.).

My company is very suspicious of anything--and blocks almost everything--that allows someone to upload something at work to something external. I assume the primary concern is the security of that thing to which something is being uploaded. I assume the company does not want to run the risk that someone uploads some confidential client stuff, and it becomes accessible to others via hacking or otherwise. 

For whatever reason,  despite these general prohibitions, the company let me download and use Evernote. I have been accessing and using it at work exclusively via the desktop app. It never occurred to me that this meant any of my (voluminous) personal stuff was accessible to the company unless (and, again, please forgive my lack of computer savviness) someone from the company remoted into my computer while the password-protected app was open. (FYI, I exit/close it every day when I leave work.) 

From these notes, it appears to me that regardless of whether I access Evernote via the app or the Web, someone from the company can always remote into my computer while the password-protected app is open. I'm okay with that risk. I don't think that will ever happen because I don't think they have any reason to want to do that, and honestly I don't think they ever would do that.

So what are my options? It sounds like I could access via the Web--but I have tried that and the look/set-up of Evernote when I do that seems weird/unfamiliar and difficult to navigate.

Could I also access via the app and change a setting that would keep stuff from being store locally (without impairing my use of the app in any meaningful way), or could I--when I exit/close the app every night--delete whatever's stored locally?

It sounds like local storage allows Evernote to implement integrated features like PDF/document preview,  "annotation," "presentation mode" and "live update," but I haven't used the last three of those ever, or maybe all four of them, and am virtually certain I'll never use the last three. I guess I use Evernote at a very rudimentary level, basically to create/save notes,  to save art, to save photos, to save pdfs and Word docs, etc. Maybe that makes local storage way less important or even unnecessary?

In sum, does anyone have any thoughts about how I can best maintain the use of Evernote that I rely on and am most familiar with while minimizing or eliminating my company's access to my Evernote?

Thanks!!

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If you don't want your personal stuff on the company computer create a second account for yourself.  Access your personal account via the web or phone when away from your home computer.

Weird that a company that is trying to block uploads at work would let you use EN.  By definition anything you put into EN is accessible from just about anywhere.

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1 hour ago, RonnieO said:

Could I also access via the app and change a setting that would keep stuff from being store locally

Sorry; not an option.  It's a Mac/Win feature that a local copy of your data is maintained

I'm thinking web access is your best solution with the company computer

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