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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel as Ostriches? (ostrichheadinsand.com) 2

MonOptIt writes: I'm a new IT professional, having recently switched from a different sci/tech field. My first FT gig is with a midsize (50ish) nonprofit which includes a wide variety of departments and functions. I'm the sole on-site IT support, which means that I'm working with every employee/department regularly both at HQ and off-site locations.
My questions for the seasoned (peppered? paprikaed? plum-sauced?) pros are:
Do you find yourself deliberately ignoring office politics, overheard conversations, open documents or emails, etc as you go about your work?
If not, how do you preserve the impartiality/neutrality which seems (to my novice mind) necessary to be effective in this position?
In either case: how do you deal with the possibility of accidentally learning something you're not supposed to know? E.g. troubleshooting a user's email program when they've left sensitive/eyes-only emails open on their workstation. Are there protections or policies that are standard, or is this a legal and professional gray-area?

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Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel as Ostriches?

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  • Tech pros have access to essentially everything. We have to know the ins and outs of every piece of software, have access to everyone's user accounts, and access to all storage locations. Because of that, we have to maintain strict confidentiality. It's best to keep that information to yourself, educate users on best practices, and ensure that proper procedures for security are followed.
  • Do you find yourself deliberately ignoring office politics, overheard conversations, open documents or emails, etc as you go about your work? If not, how do you preserve the impartiality/neutrality which seems (to my novice mind) necessary to be effective in this position? In either case: how do you deal with the possibility of accidentally learning something you're not supposed to know? E.g. troubleshooting a user's email program when they've left sensitive/eyes-only emails open on their workstation. Are t

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