Gives introductory guidance on the legal implications of bring your own device (BYOD), where employees use their own mobile devices for work, for employers. Covers the four issues a BYOD policy should address: data protection and data security, personal use, the procedure when an employee leaves the company, and ownership. Also explains why employers adopt BYOD.

One of the latest challenges for many employers is managing the risks associated with the recent trend for employees bringing their own devices to work. 

Bring your own device (BYOD) means allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work purposes. This includes devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. A BYOD culture essentially allows employees access to company data on their own device at a time and location that is convenient to them.

This factsheet examines some of the challenges posed by employees and the use of BYOD. It also provides some practical tips on how to minimise the risks associated.

The primary concerns relate to:

  • Data protection and data security.
  • Ensuring that mechanisms are in place to deal with lost or stolen devices.
  • What to do when an employee leaves their job.

Accordingly, any business planning to introduce this concept should also roll out a policy which addresses these risks.

An employer should devise its strategy and BYOD policy to allow employees access to its systems in conjunction with its IT Department. Issues peculiar to the system may dictate certain functionality or compatibility requirements for the proper performance of external devices on the system, for example, Apple devices only. 

Additionally, making employees send the device to the IT Department before connecting to the system and making connectivity subject to the employee agreeing to keep the software up to date with the most recent software upgrades may be essential for the ongoing maintenance of the system. 

A BYOD policy should address the following issues.

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