Yes, it’s possible to let employees use their own mobile phones for work. In fact, it’s common practice and so much so, there’s a name for it. BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and it’s become increasingly common with the rise in flexible working over the last couple of years.
Although this is great and is a real help to small businesses especially those who can’t afford the outlay of purchasing mobile devices for all of their staff, it also requires a little bit of thought, because if BYOD is not implemented properly, it could end in disaster.
How to keep business data secure on mobile phones
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has some good advice for keeping smartphones and tablets safe.
Firstly, ensure that you have password protection switched on every mobile device and that the screen has a short time out lock. You may think that having to input a password or a code often is a pain in the proverbial backside, but the alternative is much more likely to hit a bum note. Just a few extra seconds of your time means that no one has immediate access to your data should your device get lost or stolen.
Secondly, make sure that devices that go walkabouts can be tracked, locked, or wiped (or a combination of all three!) Honestly, ask your friendly neighbourhood IT provider about this, because it’s a game-changer. As well as keeping your company data safe from external forces, it also means that if one of your employees goes rogue, you can immediately cut off their access to your data.
Keep your device and apps up to date. We’ve written about the importance of keeping your device up-to-date recently, and we stand by it. Not only will it help keep your data safe by applying things like security fixes, but you’ll also likely find your device functions better after an update.
Unknown Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t safe
This one’s so important that we’ve given it its own title. There’s no easy way to know who controls public WiFi spots, whether they be in a shop or a hotel, or elsewhere. If someone has set up a hotspot with the intention of committing a crime, they can view what you’re working on while connected, and will also have access to any logins details you provide.
The safest way to deal with this is to use the 3G or 4G data on your device or connect using VPNs to encrypt your data while you’re working.
Would you like more information, or help putting together your Businesses BYOD policy? Book a time slot with us, we’ll be happy to take a look.