BYOD from the employee's POV

BYOD for the employee has lots of benefits - and drawbacks.

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For mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, mobile device management (MDM) enables companies to remotely manage (and, yes, wipe) mobile devices. In some case, says Baranowski, MDM allows companies to securely wall-off or “sandbox” corporate data and applications on an employee’s device. This means that, in the case of employee departure, the employer can wipe just that portion of the device, leaving all personal data and applications intact.

These issues are lessened for laptops, thanks to the rise of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Companies can more easily manage and restrict (and ultimately shut off) remote access for the employee’s device using VDI, without impacting any personal data.

Your device may be subject to corporate usage policies. Once your device is on the corporate infrastructure, use of it could be restricted by company policy. MDM now gives employers the ability to enforce these policies on mobile devices. This can potentially mean no more using 1234 as your smartphone’s password, installing the Facebook app or using the camera.

2. Replacement costs. In addition to loss of control, you will generally be responsible for replacing a device that gets lost, stolen or damaged. The fact that your new iPhone was stolen while you were on a business trip, doesn’t necessarily mean that your company will pay for a replacement. “9 times out of 10 if a personal device is lost or fails, the employee is on his or her own to replace it,” says Baranowski.

3. Loss of privacy. Having access to your mobile device now means your employer can know all sorts of stuff about you, including your whereabouts at just about any given moment. Not to mention everything that you’ve been doing on that smartphone.

So what should questions should employees ask when going down the BYOD road? “Be sure you understand the company’s BYOD policy,” Baranowski urges. Consider questions like:

What’s the policy when the device is no longer on the network or during non-business hours?

What happens when you leave the company? Will the device get wiped or rolled back to it’s state at the time your employment started? Does the company get access to the device at the time of your exit for inspection or wiping?

Who owns the data that was on there during your time of employment?

What restrictions are placed on devices that access the corporate infrastructure?

Food for thought, yes?

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