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Why Personal Devices Shouldn’t Be Used For Work 

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Did you know that 67% of employees use their own devices for work purposes? Even if you don’t have a formal Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place, chances are your people are still using their own smartphones, laptops and smart tablets for things like accessing emails, replying to Teams chats and much more. 

At first, you might not think this is a particularly bad thing. After all, smartphones enable people to work on the go, so your employees can easily be more productive and efficient when they’re out of the office.  

However, employees using personal devices for work without a strict program in place can be a disaster waiting to happen. Here’s why. 

The Risks Of Using Personal Devices For Work  

As we’ll explore below, there are a number of risks associated with employees using their own devices for work purposes. These include: 

A Lack Of Visibility  

Corporate-owned devices should have software installed that gives you deep visibility into how employees are using their devices. Solutions like mobile device management (MDM) enable employers to see what websites their employees visit, the data they are accessing and much more.  

While this might sound invasive, this level of oversight is essential to data security. By understanding how employees interact with corporate assets, you can make sure that you keep your information safe from accidental leakage and theft.   

Of course, monitoring the software that enables this level of visibility and security requires specialist IT knowledge and security skills. For many smaller organizations, it’s hard to achieve this in-house, which is why a lot of organizations turn to managed IT providers, who can take on the task of implementing and monitoring corporate devices for signs of malicious intent or data loss.  

The issue with BYOD, is that employers aren’t able to install MDM-style solutions on these devices, which can cause a number of issues. Companies can’t see what their employees are doing with digital corporate assets on their personal devices, and the business cannot enforce strict security protocols to enhance device security. Employees may use data improperly, share it with the wrong people or download confidential information that they are not allowed to.  

Given the importance of following compliance mandates like HIPAA, GBLA, CCPA and more for many companies, these kinds of practices can create huge risks for organizations.  

Data Security Risks  

As well as risking compliance violations, employees working from their own devices also increase the likelihood of data breaches and data leakage. When you can’t see what your employees are doing on their devices, you effectively lose control over who can access your organization’s data.  

Your employees may be interacting with your company data in ways that put it at risk. In a worst-case scenario, one of your people could even maliciously steal sensitive data to be used to sell to a competitor. Alternatively, they may unintentionally expose or leak corporate information by misconfiguring cloud applications.  

Lost Devices  

When an employee stores sensitive information on a personal device, one of the biggest security risks is that it could be lost or stolen. You never know who could find a lost device and what they might do with the data on it.  

Suppose an opportunistic person came across the device, they may not necessarily hand it back in to its rightful owner. Some people may use the data on a lost device to their own advantage, perhaps putting the information they find up for sale on the dark web, putting your business at risk of exploitation or extortion.  

Device Infection 

It’s becoming more and more common for cybercriminals to focus on mobile malware attacks, which specifically target smartphone devices. These malware infections are extremely sneaky, lurking in the background and spying on all device activity. Usually, the victim won’t even know that they’ve been infected.  

One of the biggest causes of malware infections is failing to update device software, which allows hackers to take advantage of known vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, most employees are not particularly diligent about updating their devices’ operating systems with the latest bug fixes. This means that personal devices can tend to be more vulnerable to malware attacks.  

Extended Periods Of Work  

Beyond security risks, it’s also wise to think about the holistic ramifications of employees using their own phones for work. Namely, their wellbeing could be impacted by the constant connectivity. When employees are able to access work from their smartphones and home laptops, they may find it harder to switch off.  

This can lead to mounting stress, overwhelm and fatigue – all of which are bad for business in the long term. We all know that happy employees are the most productive ones. By enabling your employees to use their own phones for work, it does come with a manageable risk that it can negatively impact on employee wellbeing.  

Tier3 IT Edmonton: Accelerating AI Transformation for Local Businesses

Tier3 IT is your go-to for expert IT support and AI strategy in Edmonton’s dynamic business landscape. We provide local businesses with essential cybersecurity and strategic insights to harness AI effectively and ethically.

Our focus is on ethical AI use, continuous learning, and stringent security, enabling Edmonton businesses to unlock efficiency and innovation. We’re dedicated to transforming technology into measurable outcomes for your company. Experience a transformative, no-obligation chat with our President, Jesse, offering fun, insightful guidance on aligning technology with your business objectives.

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Hi, I'm Jesse and I look forward to speaking with you.

An IT Support partner that you can trust.

I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled and the service they provide to our clients.  It’s because of them that we’re able to make a positive impact in our clients’ businesses and the communities we serve.

Our clients run businesses that depend on technology to operate but don’t have the expertise in-house to manage all the aspects of their Information Technology.  Our unique service delivery model is focused on a business first approach whereby we seek to understand what you’re trying to achieve, and how technology can help you move closer to those goals.  I’d love to connect with you to talk about how we might be able to help you improve the Stability, Security, Strategy, and Supportability of your network.