Do you use your mobile device for business and personal reasons? If so, you’re not alone. The majority of professionals are working in busy, fast-paced environments and multitasking between personal and business is inevitable. Whether you’re snapping pictures at a work-related event, shopping for your home or capturing notes during a meeting, using mobile devices for double duty can not only put you at risk for company monitoring but also leave you open to security and privacy threats.
And, if your company encourages, “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD where you can use your own mobile phone or tablet for work, the company may have the right to remotely wipe your device when you leave the company. So, if you’re using your phone to take personal pictures you may be at risk of losing precious moments. According to the Wall Street Journal, an unexpected consequence has arisen for workers who have seen their devices wiped clean—remotely and with little or no advance warning—during or after employment, by firms looking to secure their data. A 2013 survey by data protection firm Acronis Inc., reported twenty-one percent of companies perform remote wipes when an employee quits or is terminated.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Back up your data – Make sure your personal data, such as contacts, pictures, music and videos are backed up at a separate site such as Dropbox or Crashplan.
- Download an app to separate work and personal life – Use an app, such as Divide to turn your regular mobile device into two devices and separate business and personal data. With Divide, IT gets the security and controls it needs, including government-grade encryption to protect all business apps and data. Employees enjoy privacy on their personal device as well as a suite of professional-grade business apps to get work done on the go.
- Purchase a second phone – Considering companies have the ability to access nearly all information on a company-issued device in the U.S, many people are using a second mobile device to keep their data private. Although a second mobile device may seem cumbersome for some people, for others it helps them keep focused (because they’re not receiving work emails during time-off), and it alleviates the concern about “Big Brother” watching.
Regardless if you decided to use one or two mobile devices, make sure you take precautions to protect your data. PC World reports, one of the easiest things you can do to protect an Android or iOS device is to take advantage of built-in hardware encryption. This feature will turn the data on your phone into nearly unreadable junk—unless it’s properly unlocked with your password.