What can an employer do to prevent Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)-related problems?

Author: Ashley Shaw, XpertHR Legal Editor

There are many things an employer can do to protect its confidential information even when employees are accessing the data from personal devices. The BYOD trend used at many businesses allows workers to use their own devices to conduct business. This can cause many security, productivity and privacy risks for which an employer embracing this trend should prepare.

The following are some ways an employer can protect itself from BYOD-related risks:

  • Have and strictly enforce a BYOD policy;
  • Require employees who access business information from personal devices to first have a certain level of security installed on the device;
  • Require passcodes;
  • Educate employees on how to protect their equipment and business information (for example, tell them that it is unsafe to access networks from unsecured servers or teach them the best protective devices to get on their phones);
  • Have ways to remotely wipe business information in the event the device is lost;
  • Limit the use of devices in certain protected areas (this can both limit the chance that the device will be broken and keep employees from snapping pictures of trade secrets with personal phones);
  • Clearly and consistently state who owns creations and social media accounts before ownership problems arise;
  • Monitor business intranets and sites, but do not monitor all use of an employee's personal device;
  • Make sure employees know what is and is not being monitored on the devices, and explain to them that any restrictions or requirements are the result of the right to access the business information and are not a limit to personal use.