Can You Keep a Secret? - The Role of an IT Technician

Jeff-GorrYou may only be an IT Technician and not in the CIA, but you are going to have to learn how to keep a secret. You will know things before other people know them, and you will know things that other employees should never know.  Hospitals have HIPAA regulations for privacy, schools have FERPA, and other employers have their own regulations that you must follow.  However, in addition to these regulations you need to have your own unofficial personal privacy code as an IT Technician.  My code is called, “keep your mouth shut.”

It is an unofficial code but it needs to be just as binding as your company’s code of conduct.  You will be supporting users from mail room personnel to the CIO of your company.  Either of them could have private company information up on their screens or lying on their desks that is not meant for the public, nor other employees to see.  Whether you see what is in the document or not shouldn’t matter, because you are trusted by that individual to keep your personal code of privacy.

In most cases you will not know if the information is highly private or something that will be read to the entire company in the next staff meeting.  It is not your place to find out, and it is not even your place to inform the individual you have seen something potentially private and ask them if that is something that can be spread around or needs to be kept a secret.  Your client (the computer user/employee) should have near complete confidentiality in what he or she is doing.  The one time you should break confidentiality is if the individual you are helping is doing something illegal or intentionally harmful to the company.  In this case you should tell your immediate supervisor or act according to your company’s employee manual.

As the IT person, you will often intentionally be given classified information before it is released.  The most common example of this will be employee firings/dismissals.  It is common that companies will want employee accounts disabled immediately upon letting an employee go, which requires informing the IT person ahead of time.  As with everything else this needs to “stay in the vault.” It is no business of yours to inform other employees, your significant other, or other IT staff (except possibly your manager) what you know.

 One more item you need to be aware of – most IT personnel are given administrative privileges to all company files, folders, servers, accounts, databases, passwords, etc.  Take this seriously.  The company you work for must be able to trust you with every last bit (byte) of its data or you are a liability to them.  Even if you see a file named “current performance review for (insert your name here)”, you should not open it.  The fact that you are able to access every piece of data in the company is the main reason you should not be accessing it.  Your employer needs to trust you.

External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Jeff Gorr is the IT Support Specialist for the Rasmussen College - Wausau Campus.

Receive Personalized Information Today

  • Personalized financial aid
  • Customized support services
  • Detailed program plan
  • Attend a no-obiligation Nursing Information Session
  • Meet the Dean of Nursing
  • Enrollment application
  • Personalized financial aid
  • Career path guidance

How may we contact you?

Please complete all fields

What would you like to study?

The program you have selected is not available in your area. Please select another program of interest.

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided.

Share Your Story Ideas
Our campuses and online community have stories to tell and we want to hear them! Did your campus raise the most money in the community for an organization? Do you have online study tips for other students? Would you like to share a personal success story about overcoming an obstacle while earning your degree?
To have your story idea considered:
  • You must be a faculty member, current student or graduate
  • Story ideas must be regarding Rasmussen College or an inspiring story about a student at Rasmussen College
  • Your submission must be original and may not have been published elsewhere online already
Please Note: Your story idea may be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat or on one of our social networks. A member of our news team will contact you should we move forward with a blog post.
Feel free to suggest an idea for a blog post to be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat by filling out the form below:

First Name: (required)

Last Name: (required)

Email Address: (required)

Phone Number: (required)

500 characters or less


Your Story Idea Has Been Submitted

Thank you for sending us a story idea! We’re reviewing submissions and may contact you soon to learn more about your story. In the meantime, make sure to check out our current blogs to see what’s happening on campus.