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I have just started my very first corporate job at a big company this week, and they issued me a personal laptop (not shared with anyone else). I've been told that they monitor the internet fairly strictly (not a problem in general for me - when I'm at work I'm working), and I'm worried about my login information to big websites (primarily Google) being compromised. It might be paranoid, but when I look at the HTTP headers on my side, I always see my username and password sent in plain text.

So far it hasn't been a major issue - I accidentally logged in to Gmail the first day, but then I changed my password. When I get a cell phone that has better reception in the building (my phone has abysmal reception), I'm going to 1.) tether my personal laptop to it so that I can be secure entering my username and password without IT having access to it and 2.) turn on the Google two-step authentication on a per-login basis. Until then, though, should I be really worried about IT being able to have access to my login information? Will using HTTPS help? Do I really need to be this paranoid about this?

Addendum: I Just realized, I also would prefer it if they didn't even know my login name to certain sites, like Wikipedia, stuff that I just don't think it's any of their business to keep track of, but which I'd prefer to be logged in to for various reasons (the whole SE network, for example - I'd love to be able to vote and I use various SE sites at work all the time, but I don't want them seeing what questions I've asked or what I've answered - that's just not information they need to know). Does HTTPS protect this information somehow, or is this something I just have to give up if I want peace of mind?

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marked as duplicate by Karan, Joe Taylor, Dave M, Brad Patton, 8088 Apr 22 '13 at 16:16

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Have you thought about using a VPN or an encrypted tunnel? – Satoh Apr 21 '13 at 21:35
I've only started exploring my options, really. If I have to pay for a VPN just to log in to Google at work, I think I might prefer to go the tethering route, since at least I'd be able to like... watch Youtube tutorials if I need to for work. Not to mention, I haven't tried logging in to any VPNs I have access to at work - there's a good chance they block access to them lest people try and circumvent their control over the network. – Paul Apr 21 '13 at 21:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If your Adresstab (in Browser) shows google beginning with


you're on the safe side. A secure layer between Browser and Server is established.

Google's explanation of their SSL Service

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By "a secure layer" do you mean that all the information has been encrypted - i.e. my login and my password, or just the password? – Paul Apr 21 '13 at 21:41
Hopefully they aren't using a key logger. – Matt H Apr 21 '13 at 21:41
Well, within the SSL everything passed between the 2 parties (client / server) is even your search queries are encrypted. – M.Bennett Apr 21 '13 at 21:43
This does not guarantee protection. If the company gave him the laptop they could have set themselves up as a authorised certificate authority which would allow them to intercept all SSL/TLS traffic without raising any warnings. This answer goes more in debpth about it – Dracs Apr 22 '13 at 1:37

You don't know what they have put on there. Some companies are especially paranoid to the extreme.

Therefore, your best bet is not use the work laptop for anything personal. And use your own hardware at home.

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There is no way to "legally" track someone to that extent. No corporation would risk getting their hands dirty like that...really bad advertising. – M.Bennett Apr 21 '13 at 21:49
If you knew what company I worked at, I don't think you'd be so worried about PR. We don't exactly have the greatest reputation. – Paul Apr 21 '13 at 22:34

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