Guest author: Mike Johnson, Practice Director, Unified Communications

Last year, approximately 17.5 million mobile devices were activated on December 25. This exceeds the number of devices activated on any other day, setting a unique holiday record.

Retailers expect the trend of purchasing new devices as gifts will continue this holiday season. What does that mean for businesses that practice BYOD? The answer is two-fold; old devices need to be disposed of properly and new devices need to be secured.

ManaeMedia/Shutterstock

ManaeMedia/Shutterstock

Safely dispose of the old device.
BYOD policies should include guidelines for disposing of old devices. Employees not held responsible for properly clearing their phones and tablets may put confidential data in the hands of others by giving their old device to a friend, selling it online or throwing it in the garbage.

Company information should be completely wiped from all old devices. This can be done remotely by the employer if a data protection client has been installed. If that’s not an option, employers should provide a list of approved buyback or recycling programs for their old technology.

Secure the new device.
Clearly communicate your BYOD policy with employees. Require that any new devices used for business purposes are set up to protect sensitive information. These preventative measures may include:

  • Protecting the device with a passcode
  • Changing passwords every 90 days
  • Installing a data protection client that can remotely wipe the device if it is lost, stolen, etc.