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BYOD: 5 Things to know when you ‘Bring Your Own Device’

By Courtney Jones

bring your own device to work- the metricsWhen one doesn’t do their proper pre-party due diligence and scan for the BYOB clause in the invitation, he or she runs the risk of being a recipient of the “who invited this guy” side-glance when showing up empty handed.

Similarly, when a new employee doesn’t do their pre-prep job offer acceptance and scan their contract for the company’s Electronic Use policy, he or she could unknowingly become the target of Corporate Big Brother.

Which is worse? One may have you breaching your host’s liquor cabinet and the other could have you breaching internal security policies—yet both can result in you being kicked out.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a policy that allows employees to bring personally owned mobile devices to the workplace and use those devices to access privileged company resources like email, file servers and databases as well as their own personal apps and data.

Here are 5 things you didn’t know when you BYOD to the office or when you work from home:

  1. When you set up your company’s email on your personal phone, you could be giving your employer the right to delete all of your personal data

Do you want to check your company email from your mobile? If this is part of your job, your employer may have you sign a “Bring Your Own Device” agreement. If you haven’t read that little piece of paper, do so. Now. Because you’ve probably waived your rights.

Companies need to secure their information systems, and if you want the privilege of accessing those systems on your personal device, you’ve got to essentially waive your right to privacy. BYOD policies ensure that employers will reserve the employer’s right to remote-wipe the device if there is a security risk, for example, if the device is lost or stolen.

You read that right: you’ve given permission for your employer to delete your personal data. If you lose your phone or no longer work there, you could lose those precious photos of your kids, bank records and whatever else you keep on your phone.

Take away- Actually read your employer’s electronic use and BYOD policies—and then back up your mobile.

  1. Emailing company docs to your personal accounts could give the wrong impression

So you still have work to do, but you just want to head out, and remotely accessing your work email could be a hassle (it happens). Forwarding your files from work to your personal email account seems like no big deal, right? Wrong.

The problem is that the act could create the impression that you’re trying to steal the company’s confidential information.

Take Away- Don’t download company information without permission, and do your best to protect the company’s trade secrets, confidential information and data.

  1. Corporate Big Brother can see any email, text and other electronic communications sent on the company’s server

One typically assumes your boss doesn’t have time to monitor every email you send. That’s probably true, but you’re forgetting about the IT department. This doesn’t mean that your company is looking for reasons to spy on employees, but they could hold the content against you if they deem it to be inappropriate or a misuse of personal communication.

Take away- If you don’t want it seen, don’t put it on the screen.

When it comes to Corporate Big Brother, the bottom line is to read your BYOD policy on your contract before you sign on the dotted line.


by Courtney Jones

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