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The Pros and Cons of BYOD

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-business-partners-working-image29328364BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” is a popular, growing trend that many workplaces are following. Nearly 81% of Americans use their personal mobile devices for work.  

The BYOD policy allows employees to use their own personal mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets to access company information and applications in the workplace. Some small and large companies embrace the BYOD policy, arguing that it could lower costs and increase productivity. However, like all policies, the BYOD policy has its pros and cons.

PROS

  • Cost savings for employers: Purchasing smartphones, tablets and laptops for employees, especially those who are teleworking, can get very expensive. With BYOD, employers don’t have to spend money on purchasing computer equipment for their employees.
  • Significant increase in productivity: According to the Huffington Post, employees are more productive when they have the flexibility to work when and where they want.
  • Employee satisfaction: The flexibility to use a personal device for work improves employee satisfaction and retention. Employees are much happier working with their preferred devices rather than learning how to use a different device.

CONS

  • Risk of Data Breaches: Lost or stolen devices can lead to loss of sensitive company or customer information.
  • Complications of retrieving company data from employees: When an employee quits or is let go, the company may encounter problems retrieving the company data from their personal devices. Companies will need to create their own BYOD policies to address this issue.
  • Incompatibility issues: Employees using different types of devices may lead to incompatibility issues due to different versions, conflict with other platforms, wrong configuration, unsupported hardware/software, etc.

Although there are some disadvantages to the BYOD policy, some companies find solutions to work around it. Whether your company has a BYOD policy or not, you should still consider taking some extra steps to protect your personal and work data. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Use a VPN like Hotspot Shield to keep your connection on the corporate network private, protect your device from malware, and prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information.
  • Back up your data regularly.
  • Use a PIN or password to protect your device.
  • Download an app like Lookout that allows you to track your device and remotely wipe all the data if your device gets lost or stolen.
  • When browsing the web on your device, make sure to only go on well-known, trusted sites.

What do you think about the BYOD policy? Does your work enforce the BYOD policy?

Priscilla Lopez on

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