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Steve Herrod
Steve Herrod, System Administrator
Category: Networking
Satisfied Customers: 2688
Experience:  Fully conversant with Networking (LAN/WAN) and associated systems (Active Directory/Firewalls etc)
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Customer Question

I connect to my work computer (PC) from home (Mac) by signing into an SSL VPN and then opening a remote desktop session.

Is my company able to see

1) previous web history in safari
2) activity from browsing if i minimize remote desktop and surf in safari (still connected to VPN)

I'm not sure if it depends on the administrative settings of the VPN, but it seems that my IP address from my home computer is different than the one on the remote desktop session, even while connected. This makes me think that they are most likely unable to see any activity that isn't performed within the Remote Desktop Session
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Networking
Expert:  Viet - Network Tech replied 1 year ago.

Viet - Network Tech :

Hi, I will assist with this issue,

Customer :

Hello

Viet - Network Tech :

Your work company won't be able to track any activity you do on the Mac

Viet - Network Tech :

(And it's illegal also to do that as it's your personal computer.)

Viet - Network Tech :

Anything you do outside of vpn/remote desktop, then you are safe.

Customer :

wouldnt activity still go thru company firewall since connected to VPN?

Viet - Network Tech :

no, vpn is for only the connection to your work pc

Viet - Network Tech :

vpn is through remote desktop program

Customer :

no

Viet - Network Tech :

not with any other program, such as safari

Customer :

first i connect to vpn thru website

Customer :

then once im connected to vpn, i open remote desktop

Customer :

and can remote into work computer

Viet - Network Tech :

yes, but that's only for setting up the vpn connection

Viet - Network Tech :

the work computer wants secure/vpn connection between your computer and the work pc only

Viet - Network Tech :

it's only a secure connection; everything you do is on the work pc;

Customer :

right - so my understanding is that depending if split tunneling is enabled or not, my personal computer's web use is potentially forced thru the company's vpn

Customer :

i'm sorry the company's firewall

Customer :

even if the session is minimized

Viet - Network Tech :

no, that's incorrect, the company cannot track your computer; they would not even to want to track outside of vpn/remote desktop as it's not secure

Viet - Network Tech :

you need to know that when you log in a computer and if a company wants to legally track you, they would need to display the message to let you know they are tracking

Customer :

it says "all activity may be monitored" as soon as i log into the vpn

Viet - Network Tech :

AFter connecting to vpn, does it show anything different on safari?

Customer :

that message is in safari

Customer :

so when im connected to VPN - 2 windows stay open in safari for the VPN session

Viet - Network Tech :

can you capture the image for me and upload at

Customer :

and also a 3rd window with the web-based apps which allow me to remote desktop

Viet - Network Tech :

http://wikisend.com/, then tell me the file ID and link

Customer :

i cannot do that - this would be against my company's policy

Customer :

here's how it goes though

Viet - Network Tech :

No, just the safari window, not the work pc

Customer :

the safari window is still a picture only accessible to my company's employees...

Customer :

due to the fact that i have already put in my log-in credentials for VPN

Customer :

so here's how it goes

Customer :

i got to website

Customer :

put in my log in credentials

Customer :

it connects me to vpn

Viet - Network Tech :

What if after you are connected to VPN, and then use remote desktop, then close Safari, then re-open Safari, does it still show a picture...?

Customer :

2 windows open for vpn session, bascially just blank windows with a timer on it for the length of the session

Customer :

then there is a 3rd window open - from which i can choose remote desktop capabilit

Customer :

y

Viet - Network Tech :

Close safari after you are connected to vpn, then reopen it, then see if it's not in your company page any more

Customer :

it goes back to my home page

Viet - Network Tech :

it's not showing you are on your work company/timer on the safari right?

Customer :

if i close out of those two windows - the vpn session ends and the remote desktop session terminates

Customer :

so no, i wouldnt show my company page

Viet - Network Tech :

are these two windows safari or a different program?

Customer :

safari

Viet - Network Tech :

if you don't close safari after connecting to vpn, then browse websites, does it look different than if you close safari and browse websites?

Customer :

no

Customer :

but again - if im connected to vpn - i will have to open a new browsing window - due to the fact that if i exit the vpn window, it will end my session

Viet - Network Tech :

They cannot track you outside of your work pc (it's illegal; it's your personal computer); otherwise, they would not you work on your personal pc directly

Customer :

the legality of it is not what im questioning

Customer :

should not and cannot are 2 different things

Customer :

many other forums i have read state that when you are connected to VPN, you are basically connected to your company's network, and therefore anything you do while connected to VPN is under your company's policy

Customer :

like this one...http://www.justanswer.com/computer-networking/2xkzq-remote-desktop-work-place-via-vpn-connection.html

Viet - Network Tech :

hmm, you can try a different browser, like Chrome or Firefox.

Customer :

this isnt a question about my browser...

Viet - Network Tech :

Sorry, I'm not sure about this; let me open the issue to other Professionals.

Viet - Network Tech :

Please do not rate or wait; you will get an email/reply when there is an answer. Thank you,

Customer :

so what do i do?

Viet - Network Tech :

Just exit. You will get an email/reply when there is an answer. Thank you,

Customer :

i just exited

Customer :

it stil showed as "expert has replied"

Viet - Network Tech :

I mean, you can just close this chat windows for now.

Customer :

right - i did

Customer :

and i came back in

Customer :

because it said it was waiting for a reply from me when i went to the status of the question

Viet - Network Tech :

Please ignore it for now

Viet - Network Tech :

check your email tomorrow.

Customer :

why would i wait until tomorow?

Customer :

theres plenty of other experts on right now

Viet - Network Tech :

yes, but only if an expert has the answer.

Viet - Network Tech :

I will just opt out now.

Viet - Network Tech :

Someone will respond any time if there is an answer.

Customer :

right - i just want to make sure it is flagged as still open

Customer :

which as of now it shows a different status

Expert:  Steve Herrod replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'll be happy to help with this.

It will depend ultimately on whether the web traffic is automatically tunneled through the VPN connection or not - can you let me know what VPN client/gateway is being used?

Most default configurations will use the VPN connection only for corporate traffic, and general web traffic would utilize your home internet connection. But if you know the make/model or any details of the VPN concerned then I'll be able to provide a more definitive answer.

Cheers

Steve
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

all i know is that it is Juniper SSL

Expert:  Steve Herrod replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - can you run this command on your Mac when connected to the VPN?


netstat -nr


You will need to go to Macintosh HD-->Applications-->Utilities-->Terminal to be able to run that. Once it has run, look for network destination in the results and let me know what address this is.


Cheers


Steve
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is lots of info here im not sure which part im supposed to tell you. The gateway seems to be consistent w the i.p. address my router recognizes for my computer
Expert:  Steve Herrod replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - if the gateway address there is the same as the router address then that means that standard browing/internet traffic will not be communicated via tha VPN.

Cheers

Steve
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for quick response. So basically if I run the test while connected to vpn and then run again while not connected, and i get the same results, it would mean nothing from the Mac (safari) is being communicated to the work network. Only the activity in the remote desktop window
Expert:  Steve Herrod replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if the results stay the same then only the remote desktop activity is being communicated to the work network.

Cheers

Steve
Steve Herrod, System Administrator
Category: Networking
Satisfied Customers: 2688
Experience: Fully conversant with Networking (LAN/WAN) and associated systems (Active Directory/Firewalls etc)
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Steve Herrod
Steve Herrod
Network Technician
2688 Satisfied Customers
Fully conversant with Networking (LAN/WAN) and associated systems (Active Directory/Firewalls etc)