Leaving a job with your personal tech intact

IT employees often have no problem melding their work lives with their personal lives. Until it's time to switch jobs.

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Segal says it's best for employer and employee to be clear about what must stay and what can go.

For example, employers should have policies that require departing workers to remove all corporate information from their personal devices (some of Segal's clients actually require certification that this step gets done).

For their part, departing employees should be able to work with a company representative or third-party liaison to remove whatever personal material is on corporate devices.

Segal recommends the same level-headed approach when it comes to blogs and Twitter accounts. Ditto for contacts and information that employees acquire through professional activities.

"The best way to deal with it is to come out with reasonable policies in advance and then at time of termination be open. If there's not a clear legal answer, try to come up with a reasonable business solution, because the biggest problem I see is the lack of communication," he says.

Segal is not particularly optimistic every company can reach that goal. In fact, he expects the courts will eventually see lawsuits involving Facebook, Twitter and other tools that blur the lines between our professional and personal personas. That may be the truest sign that social media has become part of the corporate culture.

Mary K. Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. Contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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