I love the convenience and security of the cloud. Any online app, any file in GoogleDrive, DropBox, or Evernote, and the history of any website I've looked at anywhere or at anytime.
Oh, wait. My browser history? That will show up on my school computer, too?
Many web browsers, including my favorites Chrome and Firefox, have the option of creating an account that syncs one's preferences, one's bookmarks, one's helper applications, and other convenient bits of information among the computers one uses. Add that bookmark at home and when you log into your browser at work, the bookmark is there. Nice.
However, by default (in Chrome, anyway), these browsers also sync one's history.
What this means is that if last night in the privacy of your own home and from your own computer, you were visiting some potentially embarrassing websites (porn, stalk-your-ex.com, Sarah Palin fansites, WebMD's "What that weird rash might be", or whatever), a record of this activity will appear on your school computer when you access your browser the next morning.
- You create separate browser accounts for school and personal use.
- You specifically tell your browser not to sync history settings.
- You always use the private or incognito mode in the browser that never tracks history.
- You always remember to delete your history each time you log out.
- You lead an online life completely free of any potential embarrassment. Like me ;-)
Since most school AUPs give employees a "limited right to privacy," one's chance of having one's browser history viewed is possible and legal. Happily unless one's activity is illegal or one is using a school computer, activity outside school and school hours is more embarrassing than job-threatening.
But who needs any more embarrassing moments in their lives?