Pokémon Go, the new mobile game from Nintendo, has taken the planet by storm over the last fortnight. All over the world individuals are using their portable devices in work, at home and on the move in order to catch the nearest Pokémon. Portable devices are not only used for catching Pikachus but are a must for businesses keeping up with the 24/7 technology society in which we work.
While these monsters may be virtual, what others are lurking which pose real when employees use their portable devices in this way?
The risks of employees using portable devices for work
Portable devices allow workers to deliver their business from anywhere in the world. Many businesses see this as a positive tool, increasing productivity and flexibility for their workers. However it is important for employers to be aware of the ever increasing risks of their workers using portable devices.
Employers will assume legal, security, reputational, and other business-related risks when their employees use a device for both personal and work-related purposes. This is largely because employers lose control when employees use their own devices and networks to store and transmit company data.
Where an individual uses their own device for work purposes a company will need to protect many types of sensitive business information. A portable device can be an access point to such information for viruses and hackers. Devices should always be password protected and have relevant anti-virus software to protect the data they hold and transfer.
The same is true when employees use company-owned devices for personal purposes. The use of company-owned devices for personal use, such as catching the nearest Pokémon, can expose company devices to potential dangers and connect to servers that can pose significant threats. Where employers don't want to accept those risks, they should make it clear that company-owned devices should be used for work related purposes only.
Mitigating risks associated with portable devices
There are a number of steps employers can take in order to mitigate these risks. Employers should consider adopting a clear policy regulating the use of portable devices. Be it a laptop, smartphone or tablet, each employee should be made aware of the terms of the policy to encourage proper use of portable devices and how to keep the information secure. The policy should clearly set out expected standards of behaviour and unacceptable conduct whilst using portable devices. By clear communication of best practice with your workers, you can minimise the potential risks posed by portable devices.
Whether it is for catching the latest Pokémon, or sending emails from the train, portable devices are becoming more and more popular with businesses across the world. By having the right policies in place and engaging with your workforce, an employer can protect themselves and their business from risk whilst providing the most up-to-date productivity tools to their employees.
The small print: This blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as providing legal advice.
If you would like to discuss workplace policies and procedures in your business, please contact one of our employment team.