Did you get a new phone for Christmas? You’re not alone – smartphones are a popular gift each year.
You’re probably also eager to use your new phone at work. You can send and receive work email, use Skype or WhatsApp to chat with your colleagues, and you can take calls any place any time. You’re a productivity powerhouse – if your boss agrees to allow you to connect your device to the company network.
Managing risk is unpopular
The fact is that every device connected to the company network is also a potential target for hackers. Your new phone may make you more effective at work, but your boss also has to consider the potential risks associated with the device. If the risks are too great (or your boss cannot be sure of the level of risk involved), they may stop you from using your personal phone for work.
Your best bet is to try and identify risks yourself, and then show your boss how you plan to minimise them before asking to use your personal phone.
BEFORE WE START…
Never, ever connect your personal devices to the company without first asking permission. Doing so is not only reckless and risky, it may also be a disciplinary offence and you could lose your job.
1. Ask if there is a policy for using personal devices
You probably aren’t the first person who wants to use their new smartphone at work – and you certainly won’t be the last. It may be that your IT department already has a policy and process in place – so ask what needs to be done.
2. Ask for the company approved app list
Like the applications you use on your work computer, there is probably a list of approved apps for mobile devices. Find out what it is, download the apps and make sure you don’t use any others.
For example, your company may use the Outlook 365 app for email. You should set up that app rather than the default Mail app installed on you phone.
3. Install an anti-virus app
When connected to the company network, your smartphone is like a gateway which hackers may use to try and steal sensitive corporate data. Your IT department will work hard to protect company systems from attack, but it is your responsibility to ensure your phone isn’t compromised first.
Make sure you have a trustworthy anti-malware app installed on your phone to strengthen defences and stop hackers breaking in (you can download a free trial of Panda Dome antivirus now). This shows your boss that you are taking company IT security seriously – and may help to convince them. Even if they say no – mobile anti-malware is still vital for protecting your personal data.
Unfortunately these suggestions do not guarantee success – but they will certainly strengthen your case when you ask for permission. Good luck!