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The Risks Of A BYOD Policy


When you were in college, you may remember those “BYOB” parties. Bringing your own beer was a sign of a party. Today, businesses have their own version of this phrase – BYOD, meaning Bring Your Own Device. Letting employees use their own devices—phones or tablets—to do company work has a lot of benefits. But it can also carry a lot of risks as well.

Why Have a BYOD Policy?

Certainly, a BYOD policy can make things easier for your business. Your employees are easier to reach. Your company saves money, not having to supply devices to each employee. And, employees may like the idea of only having to use one device, one that they like and are familiar with.

But a BYOD policy can create some problems that you may not have thought of.

  1. Data breaches – Because every employee will be using their own devices to handle what may be sensitive or private customer information, there is the risk of a data breach. You have no idea what people do on their own devices. Many are not careful about viruses, scams, phishing, and other threats to data security.
  2. Evidence – Many employees may delete old emails, texts or data, the way that they would so with their personal information. But if they do that to corporate information, they could be destroying valuable evidence. And that could get your company into legal problems.
  3. Carelessness – Let’s face it: When we’re more comfortable on our own devices, we tend to say things we wouldn’t say on a corporate device. Language that can constitute harassment, illegal activity, or discrimination, is more likely to occur when someone uses their own device.
  4. Access – If there is something you absolutely need to see on a device, normally, you take the device back from the employee. That may be much harder to do when the device belongs to the employee. There can even be disputes whether or not the data and information on the device belongs to the employee or employer.

So what can you do as a company to make sure that your BYOD policy keeps you safe?

  1. Written policies – you would be surprised how many companies allow a BYOD policy, and yet, handbooks, manuals, or employee documents don’t address anything about BYOD policies.
  2. IT and Data Protection – You may need to require that all employees use the same data protection software.
  3. Backup – Information used remotely should be backed up and stored on a local server, that only your business has access to, so that deleted files on a device are only deleted locally
  4. Training – Employees should be trained on identifying scams, preserving evidence, and proper etiquette when using their devices for corporate work.

Keep your business out of legal trouble. Call the West Palm Beach business litigation lawyers at Pike & Lustig today for help with any legal problem your business may have.



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