Bring Your Own Device Policy
Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor
When to Use
In today's modern workplace, many employers have advised employees that they are not only permitted to bring their own personal mobile devices to work, but are encouraged to use such devices to conduct employer-related business. A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is the term given to the practice of allowing workers to bring their own devices (iphones, ipads, laptops, tablets, blackberries, cell phones, etc.) to use at work and to access employer intranets and information. Allowing employers to bring their own personal mobile devices to work has significant benefits as it may serve as a cost-saving measure because the employer will not have to provide the employee with a personal mobile device. Further, it may increase company morale because employees are able to pick and choose their own technology. Additionally, there is a chance that employees will be more responsible and take better care of their own personal mobile devices as opposed to the employer's especially since they may be in charge of paying for repairs and replacements.
However, there are also some potential drawbacks to BYOD as it greatly increases the likelihood of a security breach. Because employers have less control over personal mobile devices, and employees can access business-related emails, phone calls and the employer's computer network, there is the potential for employer information to become less secure. As a result, it is crucial for employers to have security measures in place that will protect the employer's confidential and proprietary information and encourage responsible use.
Thus, it is important for employers to consider a variety of factors in preparing a BYOD policy that adequately informs employees of the employer's rules regarding the use of personal mobile devices for business purposes.