BYOD: Convenient for employees, but companies should proceed with caution

Advice for avoiding threats related to “bring your own device”

A non-exempt employee spends an hour responding to work emails on her day off. A sales associate leaves the company and takes with him the contact information of existing and potential customers. During a family dinner out, your six-year-old plays with your iPad and emails confidential company information to your personal contacts.

While any company can face the risks posed by these scenarios, they are especially prevalent for companies with BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs. Companies with BYOD programs allow employees to use their own devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, for work rather than providing company-issued devices. The issue is that when personal and work devices are one and the same, the non-exempt employee is more likely to see work-related emails on her down time and respond; the sales associate is more likely to walk away from the job with proprietary information in hand (and there’s less the company can do to stop it); and a child is more likely to have access to — and inadvertently disclose — confidential information.

Contributing Author

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Laura Friedel

Laura Friedel is a partner in Levenfeld Pearlstein’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, providing business-focused, practical advice across a full spectrum of labor and employment...

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