It’s a dreaded feeling. You go to find your phone to check for new texts or emails and you suddenly realize it’s not there. You check the usual places and it’s nowhere in sight. You attempt to locate it with your where’s my phone app, listening intently for the notification sounds. You hear nothing.

After tracing your steps you realize that it’s quite possible that you left it on the restaurant table across town, dropped it on the city streets as you walking or left it in the cab on the ride across the city. Besides being lost without your lifeline and potentially being out a couple hundred bucks if you need to get a new phone, if you’ve conducted any corporate business on your phone you may have just put your company at risk.

byod policies
Image by Phil Campbell

Just imagine what could happen if your smartphone contained the contact information for some high-profile contacts or proprietary information that could be detrimental if placed in the wrong hands.

BYOD policies help protect you and your company

With more and more digital media managers working from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming increasingly more important for companies to institute strong policies on using personal devices for company business.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are effectively being implemented into a multitude of businesses in hopes to help keep networks secure, helping to limit the risk of spreading or introducing malicious materials.

BYOD policies are individual; they are not one-size-fit all and should be customized to fit the characteristics of your particular business and in some cases for the job title. For example, you may limit the use of smartphones to access company networks, but if you have select employees who travel often or work from home, you may want to permit them access when they’re not in the office.

Some companies have worked to eliminate the problem by providing company devices with limited access. This is a costly maneuver but helps control unauthorized access to high risk sites. Others have simply upgraded their BYOD policies to coordinate with changing technologies and usages.

What can you do?

As a user, there are several steps you can take on your own to help secure your device and the information on it. Though most are common sense, it’s always good to be reminded of best-practices.

  • Use the auto lock feature which locks your device after an allotted time of non-use
  • Use strong passwords and don’t share with others
  • Always use secure connections when conducting business
  • Don’t install unnecessary apps on a company phone
  • Teach children who may play games on the device about safe browsing while using your mobile device
  • Back up your data and wipe your device clean if it’s ever stolen or lost
  • Control access to wireless networks; meaning don’t allow your device to auto-connect to available networks.

So, when your IT department unveils the latest changes in BYOD policies, read them and pay attention. In most cases these policies are not designed to simply make your life miserable, but to protect the enterprise as well as you.

Author Bio: Fergal Glynn is the Director of Product Marketing at Veracode, an award-winning application testing security company specializing in the prevention of sql injection attacks and other security breaches with effective risk assessment tools.