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How do you manage private files on your work computer?

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As I use my work laptop also for private researches or coding sessions in the evening because I am too lazy to sit on my desktop at home, I always have some downloads or files which are not work related.

How do you store them? Do you have a separate folder for everything private or don't care at all?

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I try not to mix the two in order to avoid any potential legal claims over any outside work.

If I do have to exchange files, I use a thumb drive set aside specifically for that purpose. I don't want to access my private/ personal Dropbox, Github or other such sites using a computer or device owned by the company.


An idea could be using a Dropbox folder with all the non work related things. This allows you to unlink the computer easily and also remove everything with ease. In addition you get the same data mirrored on all the computers you have.


Dropbox is a really good idea and as you mentioned makes it possible to synchronize across devices. Thanks for the suggestion! :)


I don't want to sound glib, but never do private activity on a work computer. This includes surfing the web, downloading etc. You might think "Oh I'll just quickly check reddit" Just don't do it; it will simply never open the possibility of some sort of professional embarrassment.

Buy a cheaper second-hand notebook. I got lucky and found a used 2015 13" MacBook Pro(with 16GB of RAM). If you're buying a PC, a Lenovo T430 is generally good bang for the buck.

Finally, like others have said, when it's time to return the hardware; completely wipe your user workspace before you return it. I don't recommend the "secure erase" feature though because that just takes too long.


I really appreciate your opinion, that is exactly how we all should handle things.
After switching to a new laptop, I tried to keep it that way and bought a personal laptop for at home also. But with the time it became in handy to browse private stuff on the company laptop on days I was working from home. At some point came the time when the lines blurred...

Trying to fix it and maybe I just need a "new fancy toy" for home use and buy a used MacBook or something to make it more interesting to use.


After a previous processor on my work computer died and i had to use a second laptop to scrub an nvme. I don't even store work data on my work computer anymore. All that data is stored on an ironkey. I have different folders for work and private but before i return a computer it'll be wiped of any and all data.


I wouldn't like lugging a laptop around on a commute. Especially since these can be really brutal (sprained wrists just trying to stand up straight) in some places. And why carry around the weight?
If I really did need to carry this around, I'd keep backups online, google drive github etc, and have a separate account on the computer for it.


I personally go out of my way not to mix the two by carrying my personal often but in the event, I drop it in Google drive.


I don't. Even when I work remote I have separate computers for work and private usage.


Important stuff I sync via Tresorit.
And whole machine is encrypted using VeraCrypt, so everything is equally secure. In case of loss, no data will be comprosimed.


a) just don't :)
b) use tmpfs eg:

c) use dropbox-like synced filesystem (already in comments)


Interesting alternative to TrueCrypt, I'll have a closer look on that one!

I like the last step on the install instructions:

Swear on your life you'll send us bug reports if you find any.


I am not allowed to store private data on my work pc. But when I have to access it during work time, I just go on Google Drive.

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Robin Kretzschmar profile image
Started coding at the age of 13, now a professional software engineer creating and maintaining enterprise solutions. Eat - Sleep - Code - Lift - Repeat 💪🏾