So I have a company Macbook and a co-worker recently told me that it can be controlled or viewed any moment.

Not that I do something illegal on it, I value my privacy and this piqued my interest so I wanted to know if this is indeed possible and how.

What I figured so far:

  1. Internet provider can easily see my outbound and inbound traffic so this is out of the question. As long as I'm in the office my traffic can be viewed.

  2. There's a bunch of options in the Sharing setting in System Preferences that allows remote login, access and screen viewing.

  3. There's an ESET Remote Administrator Agent running on my Mac.

  4. My Firewall is currently disabled.

As far as I understand, if I disable all options in point 2, I should be fine, right? Do I need to be concerned about ESET RAA or the disabled Firewall?

  • 2
    Be prepared to face the wrath of IT if you disable anything they set up. It's not your computer; best way to avoid being worried that the company can see what you're doing on it is to not do anything you wouldn't if they were watching over your shoulder. – Tetsujin Aug 12 '16 at 8:03
  • @Tetsujin I'm on good terms with IT guys and they know I'm advanced user. I at least want to understand if it's possible to monitor traffic and screenview my Mac and how. Also, yeah it's my company computer but I use it for my own needs too and that's okay with my company. But there may be sensitive data such as finances that I view on my Mac. How do I know it's not being watched? I would think Apple is paranoid about user privacy. – Arthmost Aug 12 '16 at 8:08
  • Yes, it's possible, using Apple's own Remote Desktop application. IDK about Eset, that's usually an antivirus, though they may do other services. You need to be aware of the difference between your right to privacy & your company's right to security. – Tetsujin Aug 12 '16 at 8:15
  1. This isn't exactly true. They can see the sites you visit but not what the content is if you're using HTTPS. This means that they can see you're checking your balance but not what your balance is.

    This also applies to company network traffic providing they're not doing MITM which they can't do without inserting their own certificate on your computer. I suggest checking the certificates installed on your machine in Keychain Access to see if there's a certificate installed.

  2. You can disable these to disable the relevant services from being accessed through the methods detailed in the information shown by clicking on each service. Disabling these won't prevent against third-party software installed on the machine providing similar functionality.

  3. Any third-party software could provide functionality such as remote access. I'm unfamiliar with this specific software but it may be a good idea to research exactly what specific software installed on your machine can do.

  4. You can re-enable the firewall, however be careful that this does not block any legitimate traffic that may be required by your work network.

  • As for point 1, as long as I'm out of the office, the employer can't sniff the traffic? If we take third-party apps out of the equation. – Arthmost Aug 13 '16 at 15:05
  • @Arthmost True. – grg Aug 13 '16 at 15:21
  • What should I look for regarding the inserted certificate? Also, is having firewall on recommended? – Arthmost Aug 13 '16 at 15:24
  • @Arthmost In Keychain Access, searching for your employer's name is a good start to finding related certificates. You can also compare the certificates installed on your machine to approved certificate authorities. Having a firewall on is recommended but may affect other services/network access. – grg Aug 13 '16 at 15:36
  • I also had another follow-up question — if somebody has an admin user on my Mac, is it possible to somehow haywire my user (which is also admin) if someone logs in under that admin user? Or run something in background like tracking software. – Arthmost Aug 16 '16 at 16:34

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