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What Your Employees Should Know About BYOD

By the DynaSis Team

We’ve talked about BYOD (bring your own device) several times here, but it’s always been mostly from the technology perspective. This week, we’ll offer a few suggestions that also address what your employees need to know about using their devices. These are all ideas we recommend you integrate into your own corporate policies.

As we’ve discussed before, many employees show little compunction about sneaking onto corporate networks with personal devices, whether you allow them to or not. It makes no sense for companies to fight the BYOD trend any longer. Beyond adopting best practices such as mobile device management, having a straightforward discussion with workers will go a long way towards preventing trouble with BYOD.

1. Be Crystal Clear. Make it clear what employees are and are not authorized to do. For example, don’t assume they know they will not be reimbursed if they upgrade their plan, purchase more data and/or add international dialing or data when they go out of the country. If you won’t pay for these add-ons, tell them so. Don’t get caught between keeping a key employee happy and footing a big bill.

2. Establish Barriers. Create “clearance levels” for different pools of company data and restrict the most sensitive information to workers that really need access. (Restricting data behind a cloud-based portal is a good solution; controlling access is an even better one.) Notify all personnel of the procedures and remind them that not following policy puts the business and their jobs at risk. New surveys show that consumers absolutely blame corporations for data breaches and expect them to pay for damage they do. Don’t accidentally expose your firm to litigation by taking a slack attitude towards data access.

3. Enable “Lock and Wipe” Features. The best corporate “portal” solutions wipe all traces of the data from the device after each work session ends. Nevertheless, corporate data may sneak onto personal devices, often when workers forward emails or text corporate data to themselves for the sake of convenience. Be sure your mobile device management platform has remote lock and wipe features in case a phone goes missing. Reinforce to personnel the importance of reporting a missing phone promptly rather than holding the information in hopes of finding the device.

4. Reward a Job Well Done. Studies show that employees will work extra hours when you permit them to use personal devices at work. That’s great, but you should reward this behavior by compensating hourly employees for documented work that takes place outside the office. To do otherwise sets you up for a possible Department of Labor violation and penalties.

5. Don’t Fight Social Media. Your personnel are going to check Facebook or other social platforms during the work day. It’s a fact of life. So, ensure that all corporate content is sufficiently protected by encryption and anti-malware software. In lieu of pay, consider establishing a social media policy that trades on-the-job social media “comp” time for work done after hours (see number 3). Isn’t it better for workers to be given a few minutes a day to check Facebook rather than to have them do it without your consent?

6. Respect Worker Privacy. Speaking of social media, under no circumstances should you ever require workers to give you social media passwords―or passwords that protect any personal data. Your goal is to protect your data and intellectual assets, not to snoop into theirs. To do otherwise could set you up for a lawsuit.

Using BYOD blurs the lines between personal and corporate life. It’s your job to redraw them clearly. To learn more about some of the solutions we have mentioned here (all of which DynaSis offers), fill out our inquiry form or give us a call at (770) 569-4600.

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