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Try not to be Deceived: The Dangers Lurking Behind BYOD

For being the smartest species on the planet, humans sure are dumb. If you don’t believe it, try buying a can of paint.

Seriously, pick up a can of paint and you will be promptly directed to a warning that says “Do Not Eat.”  This might seem like a no brainer, but there is a reason the warning label is there. Someone, at some point in time, opened the can and stuck their tongue in it, which was immediately followed by a trip to the ER and a law suit.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

If we can’t manage to use common sense during the most mundane of things, how can you expect people to be smart about handling technology in your business?

Technology is a privilege, not a right. But as smart devices become more prevalent in our personal lives, it makes it easy for us to take for granted the technology we use in our professional lives.

One of the biggest trends in today’s work environment is the idea of a bring your own device (BYOD) policy that enables your employees to use their personal devices, such as smart phones and laptops, to handle their various tasks. This gives employees the ability to work anywhere at any time, adding both mobility and accessibility to your workforce.

BYOD, in and of itself, is a great idea, but there are many pitfalls that come with people using their own devices to get work done.

BYOD is a Nightmare for IT

Not only does IT have to worry about the computers and devices purchased from the company, they now have to handle the consumer devices being brought into the office. Even if requiring employees to support their own devices is outlined in the BYOD policy, chances are, they will still come to IT to figure out a problem.

You may think that not having to purchase new company devices for your employees will save you money, but in some cases it won’t. Though you won’t be paying for new devices, you’ll still have to update your security measures tenfold to make sure none of these personal devices threaten the integrity of your company data.

Security Issues

BYOD poses numerous threats to the security of your most sensitive company data. Even if only one of these personal devices is breached, your company takes on serious risk. An extensive amount of management and strict guidelines are required to minimize these types of threats. This may sound easy on paper, but it’s much more difficult than you think.

No matter how intricate your policy may be, unless there is someone willing and able to effectively enforce it, the risks of BYOD will become your reality. Even if your employees are the best in the world, it is so easy to overlook the importance of maintaining proper security measures. Once the policy is put in place it can’t become an afterthought. So if you’re planning on appointing a random person to oversee this policy because you think you’re different than everyone else, you’re not.

Distractions, Distractions, Distractions

I don’t know about you, but checking my fantasy football league stats is a lot more interesting than sending emails all day. One problem that BYOD faces is with personal devices, comes personal distractions. Games, apps and social media are great at wasting time, especially when there are other things to do. How can we prevent these kinds of distractions from infiltrating our workspace with a BYOD policy? Simply put, you can’t.

There is no way to effectively monitor whether or not an employee is being productive at work using a personal device without violating their privacy. You can’t force them to delete a game, app or photo from their phone because it’s not the company’s phone.

BYOD requires a lot of trust and faith in your employees, but as we all know, humans make mistakes, which can cost both productivity and a lot of money.

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