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Has My External Hard Drive at Work Been Remotely Accessed?????

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#1 GerbilJoe


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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:24 PM

This is my first post on this site or any forum actually. So hello to any and everyone that reads this as well as to any who respond.


The question I have is:


Is it possible for somone to remote access my external hard drive from another computer at work? First a little Info, I am at a seperate location than the main office for my comapny. I use an ATT Velocity Wirelss Hotspot for my internet access. The desktop i use doesnt support wireless so i connect the hot spot directly to one of the USB ports on the back op the hard drive. A few weeks ago my laptop broke so the company gives me a desktop from the main office. To get the desktop set up i had to call the companies IT guy and he was able to remote access the computer through the wireless hotpsot. Anyways a few days ago i had my external hard drive connected to the desktop to back up my work and when I went to safely disconnect it, it said it couldnt be stopped it was open in another program, I didnt think anything about it happening i just unplugged it anyways and went on about my business. That happened two days in a row then the thrid day it was able to be safely removed. So today i wanted to organize it some while it was connected to my work computer, I created a new folder and attempted to transfer a folder of years and years worth of pictures i have on there to the new folder i created and it wouldnt transfer and said the file was in use in another program and i could either cancel or try again. So i hit try again several times and it still wouldnt transfer. I had the sudden thought to reach down and unplug the wireless hotspot and as soon as i did i was able to transfer the pictures. So that got me to thinking, is it possible for, lets say, an IT guy that has access to my work computer, to access and copy files from my external hard drive without my knowledge? 


The whole situation just made me curious as to if it was possible and also how safe my personal pictures and things that i have on there are when i connect to my work computer.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:36 AM

Sounds to me as if you need to talk with your friendly workforce IT dept.


My experience with work computers...says that they are NOT the place to put personal items on.  I used to just take an old laptop of my own in and use it when I wanted to do something other than work.


The system...and anything on it...belongs to your employer.  You, as a user, are just granted physical custody and a number of different accesses on the workgroup intranet or Internet.


The fact that it's your personal hard drive...doesn't change the fact that your workplace has every right to access anything connected via the intranet/Internet on its network.



Edited by hamluis, 10 December 2016 - 10:37 AM.

#3 shadow_647


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Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:28 AM

Good point, agreed

#4 Kilroy


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Posted 14 December 2016 - 04:29 PM

I'll give you the bad news up front.  Anything connected to your work computer can be accessed by your work's IT.  Any drive on your machine can be accessed from its administrative share.  For instance the administrative share for your C: drive is C$.  You can run the command NET SHARE from a command prompt to see your administrative shares.


Now the good news.  You company IT guys probably don't care enough, or have enough spare time to go look at your stuff.


As others have pointed out you should keep your personal stuff off or your work machine.  Most companies have a policy about connecting personal equipment to company equipment, though this is rather difficult to enforce for remote users.


Odds are the drive was either opened in Explorer or the company virus scan was scanning the drive.  I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Edited by Kilroy, 14 December 2016 - 04:30 PM.

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