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November 2, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Acronym – Do You Have a BYOD Policy?

Surprisingly, this is an acronym for the workplace and no, it’s not “Bring Your Own Drink”.  BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device”.  With the smartphone revolution over the past three years, more and more personal smartphones are being used for work with the lines blurring between personal and work use of mobile devices.

Why are employees bringing their own mobile devices to work?  For many, it is because they are not happy with the functionality of employer-provided mobile devices.  For others, it may be that they just simply prefer using their own.

Whatever the reason, employers need to review their employee communications use policy.  The primary issue raised by business use of personal mobile devices and use of social media is the “privacy gap”.  The employee and employer expectations need to be defined as to what should be private and who should control use of communications.

The usage policies should address the following items:

  • What is acceptable within your company culture in terms of reasonable expectations of privacy?
  • What access does the employer have to retrieve data, such as work-related emails?
  • Will you reimburse for work-related use of personal mobile devices?  Determine the reimbursement policy, if any.
  • What are the system requirements?  In order to be compatible with company requirements, connectivity and data security standards by the employer should be established.
  • What if the device is lost or stolen?  Determine what will happen with the contents of the mobile device if this should happen.

Managers and employees should receive regularly training on the policy, which should be revisited at least annually.  Because, as we know, technology changes frequently…and rapidly.


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