porn

Watching Porn During Lockdown? Just Don’t Do It on Your Office Laptop

Chances are, the office IT guy already knows what you’re doing this summer.
27 March 2020, 11:41am
woman-in-gray-tank-top-sitting-on-bed-3807772

So, you’re done with the cooking, cleaning and cribbing for the day, answered the work calls you had to, video called your parents, streamed and watched what feel like a million shows, and still have lots of time on your hands to kill. So, you decide to put the said hands to good use, and bring out that office-given laptop to check out Pornhub’s newly-made-free Premium content, the only good thing to have come out of this bloody lockdown.

But hold on there. That coronavirus porn might be intriguing and you might be one of the many millions responsible for getting our country on the top 3 porn-watching nations stat despite porn actually being banned in India, but is it a good idea to watch porn on the office laptop?

“Definitely not,” answers Sahil Tewari, a tech consultant with over a decade of experience. “Most big companies have extremely efficient security softwares like Sophos installed, which tracks pretty much every single thing you do on that company machine.” Umm, everything? “Yes. Online and offline activity, apps, location, everything. If your company gave you multiple devices, the software is likely installed across all of them, although we aren’t in the Blackberry era anymore, so it’s mostly just on laptops now.”

Thankfully, most of us are past the point where companies would block even basic social media websites and Netflix on work laptops because now that people own their own smartphones, they can just access those from there anyway. But frustratingly, porn sites are most likely blocked on your work machine and need security clearance. You have a certain level of access as an employee, and the admin responsible can monitor your activity through the app. However, it surely must be possible to get root access for a better level of access for your machine? “Sure it’s possible,” says Tewari. “But any good tracking software will alert the admin almost immediately, and they will just hit reset.” Ok, so hacking to get root access is not an option. How about hacking to get admin access itself? “Theoretically everything can be digitally broken into, but there are fail-safes designed to prevent these things. If you’re particularly diligent, you can bypass them, but it can mostly be up to only a couple of working days in most cases. Do you really want to put in all that effort to watch porn?”

But if there’s one basic level of precaution most might've taken, it’s pressing Ctrl-Shift-N to open up a glorious incognito mode window. Or if slightly less daunted with tech, using a VPN. Is that enough to not have HR Roshni call us in to talk about a situation?

“You can buy the most expensive VPN, but if you use it to access a porn site on a company laptop which has an even semi-decent tracking software, they will know.” Needless to say, incognito mode is out of the question, because while it doesn’t really save your immediate history, it doesn’t stop your IP from being tracked, and as such can leave your online search trails open for someone trying to find it.

But while in the BC (Before Coronavirus) times, you could’ve exercised restraint, the lack of a personal laptop while under lockdown can mean that desperate times require drastic measures. But are these short-term gains a lead-up to long-term devastations? HR executive Shikha Rinchin tells us that while some companies might be more empathetic at such a time, most Indian companies would still pull you up—when you’re back in office if not now. “Usually, the first occurrence would get a simple warning, probably on email,” she says. “But if there’s pornographic content CC’d to other folks that’s caught, it can lead to more stringent action. This is usually subject to companies though. Startups might be a lot more relaxed, whereas bigger public organisations like banks and big IT firms will take it a lot more seriously. If you work somewhere like the National Stock Exchange, there's a good chance you might even get fired off the back of one incident.” In these times, getting fired is something we can legit not afford. So, just to be a bit safer, maybe you should just bring out that smartphone. The screen size might be a lot smaller but at least your browsing history is just on you then.

And if you think your company is chill and you don’t mind risking a warning just to not lose it in the current social system, then maybe you can go ahead with it knowing that this is still far less daredevil in today’s time as compared to going out to buy milk.

Follow Avinash Tewari on Instagram.