Trying To Be Nice In The IT World Does Not Work

Generally, I don't supervise or sniff through what people are doing on their computers unless told to by superiors. I don't even have anything blocked.

I was once told to dig through the computer of one of the accountant ladies for some reason. She was a hard-working employee and I couldn't have imagined finding any dirt, yet there was evidence of boatloads of adult content being browsed.
I honestly found it nigh impossible to believe she had done that, so out of curiosity and a tiny bit of suspicion I went ahead and asked her directly before reporting to my boss. She was shocked and swore she would never do such a thing. She admitted to browsing facebook and various other Bull, but only when she actually didn't have any work at the moment, and no adult content or anything "dirty".

I did something stupid and believed her, and lied to my boss to, reporting her computer as clean. Afterwards, I conducted a little investigation on my own and found out her own supervisor, one of the directors of the company, was browsing adult content on her computer whenever she wasn't around... Again I did something stupid and went to confront him about it instead of reporting to my boss. He tried bluffing, but after figuring out he's not going to be able to convince or manipulate me, he begged me to clean up the evidence and never say anything about it, as he'd never do such a thing again.

For the third time, I did the dumb thing and listened to him. He seems to have honored his word and is liking me a heck of a lot more than I'd imagine possible, and so does the accountant lady.

Needless to say, I think so much less of the man now. You really have to be a true jerk to secure your own butt like that. Had I not done what I consider to be a mistake, and went straight to my boss, the accountant lady would've probably been fired over his idiocy.

Trying To Be Nice In The IT World Does Not Work
More Than Meets The Eye

I've been working in IT for 8 years. This isn't something I'd normally do, however, if something catches my eye while digging through your computer for something else, I'll probably check it out. Haven't ever seen anything out of the ordinary. It's pretty common for people to keep personal files on their computer but I've never seen anything overly inappropriate. It can be an annoyance when someone has their entire music library or family photo/video album on their work computer and it takes me hours to transfer your files to a new computer... Anyways...

I do have an interesting/funny story from the one time I explored the file system of one of my weird co-workers many years ago. The dude was super weird and socially awkward. Keep in mind that this is coming from a nerd who works in IT so it was pretty bad. Anyways, this guy always had outlandish stories and tried to up-talk himself. The thing he had been most recently bragging about is how he got a gig as the photographer for a group of beautiful belly dancers and had even been learning how to belly dance himself. My co-workers and I passed this off as another of his crazy stories made up to make himself sound good. There was no possible way that that the girls he described would want him anywhere near them. Fast forward to me digging through his files and I come across a folder full of professional quality photos of belly dancers in various fancy looking locations including a yacht. There were also several pictures of the guy posing with a few of the professional belly dancers, looking quite pleased with himself.

From that point forward, I always wondered if the crazy stories this guy would tell were real or not.

More Than Meets The Eye
IT: Putting Themselves In The Line Of Fire

It has never been an actual part of my job but I did have two instances where it was relevant.

The first was at a company where all employees had laptops to use which we were responsible for as the IT department. One guy often brought his in because it was slow, broken, wouldn't connect, or was otherwise acting up. He was known for always bragging about his son. The kid was smart, went to a great school, was really social, and, most importantly for this case, did not play "stupid video games". Sure enough, the machine appeared clean, but we decided to dig further and search in the AppData folder. While I don't blame video games for all the problems this guy had with his laptop, we definitely found a number of folders there for popular online games at the time.

The second case was at a place with a number of shared desktop computers that we managed from our office. For reasons I would love to rant about, there was nothing in place to efficiently manage these computers, so when we wanted to upgrade some software we had to remotely connect to each device one after another. To bother our users as little as possible we would connect and then do nothing for a bit to make sure the machine wasn't in use by someone. Usually, people would be using Word or using one of our applications, but one machine I connected to was browsing for adult fetish sites on a very horrible-looking website. I was trying to figure out how to handle this situation when a new, female intern walked past and didn't realize it was a remote connection. I had to appear in the manager's office later that day to explain myself.

IT: Putting Themselves In The Line Of Fire
Sweet Revenge

Physical: A guy who didn't speak English brought his computer into me. It wouldn't turn on. Like any regular repair tech, I popped open the side cover of his desktop to find a fried roach on his board. I'm not a squeamish person by any means so I pointed to it. Funny thing was, about 50 more crawled out of every nook and cranny on the board at that point. I slammed the cover back on and handed the PC back to him. He looked at me confused so all I could think to say was: "El Fuego."

Software: We once had a couple that came in. They were rude jerks to us and completely whined that their repair might take up to three days (we were a busy repair shop). The husband was the worst. He screamed at us that he ran a business and yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyway, we end up having to restore their computer because it was just riddled with infections and we wanted it up and running as quick as possible. They had 2 locked user accounts. The wife had maybe 500mb of pictures and documents, mostly business related. Her husband? 320 gigs in a secret folder named affectionately Gay Adult Content. In the interest of time, when we set up their restored windows we set up just 1 user account: Admin. And dumped everything on the desktop.

Sweet Revenge
Breaking The Law At Ten Years Old

Not an IT worker but when I was younger, about 10 years old, I messed around with emulators on the family computer. My cousin had told me about them, and I was thrilled.

Emulators are these cool programs that mimic the technology of many old-school video game consoles. You can use them to play games from the old days easily and for free.

One day an IT worker came over. He was going to work on the computer. I remember that I knew emulators and stuff like that were illegal. I was so scared, I rushed over to the computer, locked the door to the room and deleted all my emulators and ROMs. I thought the tech guy would tell the police and they would put me in jail.

My dad was banging on the door and got mad at me for "stealing the computer." I got grounded. I was just happy I wouldn't be going to prison.

Breaking The Law At Ten Years Old
Catching A Catfish

When I was in college I was the office IT support nerd for a small staff of about 10 40somethings and this was the early 2000s. Online dating was still kinda new, and this one married white lady had joined an all black dating site and was going on there VERY regularly. One day she got a beast of a virus I had to remove and I had to ask her what are you doing that you keep getting these viruses? So she gets all giddy, "Well, I joined this site, and I can't help myself from going on there all day long and peeking at the men." I do think she was exchanging messages with them-so she was basically an old-school Catfish.

Not sure what her intention was, and I told her to cut out the shady stuff at work and she did, and we never figured out if it was this one site or not, but she did cut back. I showed her how to get her fix from looking up pictures and last I heard she was still married so she didn't run off with whoever she met. Always wondered what her profile looked like. It was an all black site I think. She was like Betty white, white.

Catching A Catfish
Just Fix The Computer And Walk Away

So, I used to do in-home service calls for a certain squad back in the day, and yeah you used to run into adult content all the time. Been there, seen that. It's so common it didn't even faze me anymore, even the fetish stuff.

The things that always stood out were the crazy customers, and there was one in particular that stood out, I found a word document on his desktop called "How To Kill Yourself". Now normally I would have been slightly intrigued and wondered if maybe it was a report on suicide for some class or something, but nope this guy literally just finished telling me that he figured out why his internet didn't work intermittently and it was because the government was stopping him because he was emailing his congressmen too much.

He said they used to mess with his power but now they just would stop his internet. I proceeded to say, Okay, well since you've got that figured out, I'll remove that off this service call and you can get a refund of that from the store. I'll go ahead and fix that iTunes issue for you, proceeded to get his iTunes working and got out of there as fast as I could. One thing I learned with that job, you don't confront crazy.

Just Fix The Computer And Walk Away
Don't Use Work Computers For Personal Stuff!

That would not only be unprofessional but also unethical and would get people fired around here. That's not to say things aren't logged. They definitely are. Those logs are only gone into if we're actively investigating something though. Breach, potentially malicious user, etc. If I caught someone just poking around on what an employee was doing because he had the power to do so, they'd be in for a good talking to at the least.

That said, I will say a couple of things I've found from investigations. Definitely have found adult content on computers before. In fact, it's the most common thing we find. I've seen some nasty adult movie thumbnails on the CEO's desktop before. Didn't go snooping for it. They were literally on his desktop. You'd see them if you were working on anything at his computer. What are you gonna do though? CEO plays by different rules.

I've also seen a high number of personal resumes on people's computer. Like they were actively applying for other jobs from their work computer.

Also, a guy was using his work email address for m4m meetups on Craigslist. That was an interesting one to discuss.

Don't Use Work Computers For Personal Stuff!
An Intense Moment

I'm a shop steward for a large union. I've seen some stupid stuff in my day, but I think the one that takes the cake was my first time representing somebody, ever.

We go in, Human Resources and a guy from IT are there, they ask the usual questions, and then the Human Resources guy says, "So, we had a complaint and did an audit on your workstation. Is there a reason why you would have a folder on your C:\ drive with over 1gb of photos of women in various states of undress?"

The employee sputtered a bit, and the Human Resources guy says, "We can show you what we're talking about if you need clarification." The offer was declined, and the guy resigned then and there. It was the first and only time I've had that happen either.

An Intense Moment
No Matter How Professional You Try To Be Nudes Just Come Out Of Nowhere

I used to work at Geek Squad at Best Buy, and while I honored customers privacy, part of backing up someone's files is searching for them on the hard drive, so I would end up seeing a lot of nude selfies, most of them not fun to look at. I now work in corporate IT and do not run into much interesting things like that. The only funny thing I have seen is a person using a gay male chat room after hours on a company machine.

No Matter How Professional You Try To Be Nudes Just Come Out Of Nowhere
My Sister Has Seen Some Things

My sister works in IT. She normally goes out of her way to avoid surveillance, but was investigating a sudden spike in bandwidth usage. She discovered one warehouse employee was streaming adult videos for 8 hours a day while he scanned orders (the entire shift). He seemed genuinely surprised to learn that this was not an acceptable use of the company network.

My Sister Has Seen Some Things
IT Can't Trust Anyone

I worked for a recruitment agency who had an employee who was really beautiful (former model, cabin crew, dating a professional cyclist). She got sacked for constant lateness (so I'm told I never make up my mind till I've heard both sides of the story). I was told to get all her data from her PC and transfer it to one of the managers (potential sales leads, Client appointments etc). While browsing through any data she had I found a picture of her in some really nice lingerie taken on the company phone in front of a mirror. Oh, boy was that an awkward conversation with the IT director.

IT Can't Trust Anyone
Customers Are The Worst

I had a really old guy bring a computer in. Booted the computer up on the front counter to do a free diagnostic, and he had a close-up shot of some old lady's boobs as his background. Luckily I managed to kill the power before the family with little kids that were in the shop saw it. I think it kind of aroused him to have some young guy seeing his wife's nasty bits.

A gigantic gaming computer that was full of rat poop and dead bugs. It smelled terrible. When I cracked open the case and saw/smelled the horrors inside, the guy that brought it in just nonchalantly said, "Haha, looks like I might have a mouse."

But really, dealing with the customers was a thousand times worse than anything I ever saw on one of their computers.

Customers Are The Worst
Getting A Pet Out Of It Seeing Things You Never Should

I once had a client's computer that contained 5tb of adult content, 40gb of which was bestiality. It had something like 1400 Virii, trojans, etc, running wild on it. He didn't understand why it was going so slow.

Another had an entire folder of very high-quality fake Golden Girls adult movies.

Another had a desktop that was FLOODED (like 500 copies) with a single .doc file. The client was told that Ctrl + C + V would generate her a CV letter.

An older couple had me do a routine checkup on their desktop on a house call. Their desktop background was the husband wearing a gimp mask with a road cone stuffed in his butt. They paid me an extra $40 to forget I saw it.

I've removed a lot of credit cards, 5 1/4" floppies and other stereotypical items from disk drives and CDROMs.

I once found a live rat in a client's tower. When I asked about it, turned out it was one of the feeders they bred for their snake that had escaped. I kept it and named it Lucky.

Getting A Pet Out Of It Seeing Things You Never Should
Leave Your Affair At Home

I only ever check what people are doing if I'm asked to due to investigations or suspected shady behavior. So one day i was asked to check email usage between a few members of staff as some managers thought they were spending all day socializing. It turns out 2 members of staff thought it would be a good idea to send dirty texts to each other over COMPANY EMAIL! Come on, do people really think that kinda stuff isn't monitored when you're working for a large firm?

Leave Your Affair At Home
Keeping Secrets

I work as a consultant. The CEO's computer, who we knew very well, was a client for years, beautiful wife and family. Mounds of gay adult content.

He used to bring in his computer at least once a month due to viruses. Every time we would back everything up and reformat. We always put the gay adult movies in a folder called "(His Name's) Stuff" in My Documents. He knew we knew. We knew he knew we knew. Probably one of the reasons they were our client so long.

Keeping Secrets
IT Knows Everything

I've never gone out of my way to violate someone's privacy or confidentiality at a company. But in part of doing the job, I've been exposed to people's data. Some highlights: I did some data recovery on a home PC with private nude photos of the owner.

Also did a data transfer for the head of the legal team to a new PC - He liked adult stuff with 18-year-olds.

While troubleshooting Quickbooks for accounting I saw people's salaries.

As well as Seeing an email from the CFO to CEO saying IT was paid too much.

Because you may have to disable accounts, you know who's getting fired and need to keep quiet.

I also did a data recovery where a sister had a mentally disturbed brother that committed suicide. She wanted the encrypted files of his journal.

IT Knows Everything
You See Things You Hope You Never See Again

I worked for a computer recycling warehouse years back. We would open computers up for the metals and the ram, hard drive to sell for profit. I found two dead baby possums inside a server tower. Also, human faeces. Actual human faeces with a sticky note saying "I quit". On a high-end pc, a guy took out the 2 GB ram sticks and left a drawing of a ram making love to the company logo. A bag of ecstasy, $180 dollars and a picture of a woman, about 45, sucking something she shouldn't be on one computer. Not a hot 45, more like a "has slept on the streets and probably has an illegal substances problem" 45.

The funniest one was when we were wiping a drive, the auto-play opened to a picture of a guy who photoshopped himself in Dragon Ball Z scenes. All replacing Vegeta. Best part, he was in full costume.

Oh and adult movies, tons and tons of adult movies.

You See Things You Hope You Never See Again

Points have been edited for clarity.

Source 1, 2, 3, 4

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