Many businesses are discovering how great it is for employees to use their personal devices to accomplish work. BYOD has been proven to improve productivity and worker satisfaction; but like so many great things, these BYOD benefits are in danger of being shut down as employers are becoming concerned about being sued. How can you still benefit from BYOD while being protected from lawsuits?

After Hours Communications
There is a lawsuit pending in Chicago, IL that may be an example of things to come. Two hundred police officers are suing the city for millions of dollars in overtime back pay because they felt pressure to answer work related calls and check e-mails with their issued BlackBerrys while they were off the clock.


Lawsuits like this may require businesses to think twice about contacting an employee after work, especially if they are hourly. One solution is to create a policy that prevents an employee from receiving company e-mails after work. A BYOD terms-of-use agreement that must be signed by the employee, will also help clear things up. You can also take advantage of mobile device management tools that can block company e-mail from being sent after work hours. Ask Think Tank NTG about protecting your company with a solution like this.

Divulging Personal Information
Another scenario that can potentially lead to a lawsuit is having personal information on an employee’s smartphone (like a doctor’s appointment) viewed by another employee, like an IT technician who is performing updates on the phone. The IT tech might let it slip that they noticed an employee has a personal health issue, and if word gets back that their beans were spilt, then you may be liable. A solid BYOD terms-of-use agreement can help prevent this scenario, along with educating staff members that will be handling an employee’s personal device why it’s important to keep their mouths shut.

Employee Tracking
Employees are also becoming increasingly nervous about being tracked by their employers with their mobile devices. This privacy concern is a valid issue as more mobile apps collect location-based information. It’s one thing if an employer can contact an employee after hours, but it’s another thing if they know exactly where an employee is at. “Calling in sick today? It says here you spent the day at the amusement park. You’re fired.”

Personal Property Concerns
Then there is the issue of what happens if you accidently erase an employee’s private content or even damage their personal device. If an IT tech is attempting to erase company information from an employee’s phone, and wipes clean all of the phone’s data, both personal and corporate, then you are liable for deleting irreplaceable files.

All of these mobile device risks can be mitigated by implementing a strong terms-of-use BYOD policy, and taking advantage of solid mobile device management solutions. Think Tank NTG can find you solutions to help cover your assets, as well as secure your network from other risks associated with BYOD. We don’t recommend that you entirely give up on BYOD, but we do encourage you to consider the risks and come up with solid solutions. Think Tank NTG can help you with this; call us at 800-501-DATA to learn more.

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