In an effort to track employees to make sure they are using time wisely, when managing a company's image and when evaluating future candidates, employers might overstep their boundaries and violate your privacy. If you are concerned with keeping certain aspects of your life private, there are things you can do to protect yourself.

Employers Often Monitor Employees

If you use company computers that provide you with access to the Internet, your employer may be monitoring your online activities with automated software. This is done to monitor whether you are efficiently using your time and to also ensure that you are not leaking company information or violating your company's patents and copyrights.

Employers Are Legally Restricted In What They Can Read

The good news is that employers are legally restricted on what they can read. For email, employers can read the recipients, dates and subjects. However, they are not allowed to read the content of the email. To help your employer not violate your rights, make sure that your subject lines clearly describe the purpose of your email. If you have evidence that your employer read the content of an email or instant message, contact an employment attorney to discuss your options for litigation.

Your Social Media Behavior Isn't Protected

What employers can legally monitor is your social media behavior. This is sometimes done to determine which employees have the most social media sway as a way to determine which employees can be used to further your company's social media marketing efforts. However, your employer is allowed to read your public posts. Therefore, you should be careful with what you say about your company and avoid saying anything that could damage your reputation.

Your Employer Must Protect Your Personal Information

Your employer is required to protect your personal information. One exception is if there is a court order that requires that your employer turn over personal information. Employers are obligated to take steps to protect their employees personal information from identity theft. For instance, when your job application no longer needs to be kept on file, your employer may be required to shred it.

If you were the victim of identity theft, you should ask your employer about the measures that the company takes to protect your identity. You can use this information to determine whether your personal information was leaked by your company. If you can establish that your company did not take adequate steps to secure your personal information, you should contact an employment attorney (such as Strauss Troy) to determine what steps you should take to seek compensation for expenses related to the identity theft.