This is bad, for a few different reasons.
- You didn “t mention your position, but unless you are a member of the IT department or something similar, you wouldn “t have any reason to be on your colleague “s computer in the first place. So, you “ve effectively made yourself look bad for snooping around on someone else “s machine.
- It shows that you are untrustworthy – if you are part of the IT department, you “ve shown you can “t be trusted with confidential information (which is generally a fireable offense). If you aren “t, you are a gossip, which is not as bad, but worse for your overall reputation.
- Its actually a form of bullying – whether you meant to or not, by participating in active gossip, you have now caused undue harm to another employee. In some cases, this can lead to their being terminated, or even their forced resignation from embarrassment (or sometimes worse.)
So, unless you “ve found evidence of something illegal, or directly against company policy on your colleague “s machine via some method that is justifiably backed up – like you were invited to use their computer, or you were invited to view it over their shoulder, etc – do not say anything to anyone. And if are compelled to mention something, do it to the proper chain of command within your company (like HR, or your/their manager.)
Then, if word gets out, its not your responsibility.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/I-accidentally-mentioned-my-colleagues-browsing-history-company-computer-to-someone-and-word-spread-How-bad-is-this
Originally Posted On: 2016-06-15