Homeland Security chief: No more personal email on work computer

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 21, 2015 9:45 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Tuesday that he stopped using his desktop computer at work to check personal email because it posed a security risk.

Johnson, whose department is responsible for protecting federal government computers from attack, said he had used his work desktop to access personal email through the Web but stopped after a news report revealed the practice as a cybersecurity risk.

"There are some security risks that have been raised concerning that so I'm suspending that," Johnson said at a Politico breakfast forum. "Probably should have done it sooner."

Johnson said he did not conduct department business on the personal email account.

The risk is "probably not an appreciable one but one that probably should be eliminated, so I'm eliminating it," Johnson said.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Johnson and 28 senior staffers obtained an informal waiver last year allowing them to use their work computers to check personal email via the Internet, a practice cybersecurity experts discourage.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott and Lisa Von Ahn)