IT | Security

Employees and their Mobile Mischief

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 10/9/2014

I recently shared some opinions on how work devices are being abused by employees in an article on TechRadar entitled “How employees are misusing corporate smartphones and tablets.” While smartphones and tablets are undoubtedly integral to the way businesses are now run, work devices are being used for a lot of mobile mischief, everything from shopping and social networking to listening to pirated material or using pornography apps. It’s quite the litany of activities.

Smartphones and tablets underpin mobile working, which has a myriad of organizational benefits. Nominally, these devices are for emails and secure enterprise apps. However, some of the best-known uses are also Skype, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Apple's FaceTime and Facebook Messenger. All of these contribute to a portfolio of communications tools that help tap into a consumer landscape where everything is instant, collaborative and shareable – and this is without doubt helping to propel businesses forward.

Our own research shows, however, that employees are not just using these corporate-owned devices for work. 52% of respondents use their work devices for personal activity, from shopping to social networking, gaming and pornography. Indeed, 3% admitted to having 'sexted', taken compromising photos of their partner or installed a pornography app on their device. 5% have also watched or listened to pirated material and 2% have used the popular dating app Tinder.

In the article, I talk about the blurring lines between corporate and personal devices that is putting corporate data at risk. Work devices are a portal to company data and the more people treat them like personal phones, the more at risk a company is. Data can easily be leaked through loss or theft.

Businesses need to look into how they educate staff and manage the use of corporate devices to avoid being stung by a data breach, both financially and in terms of reputation. Organizations need to look to education, policies and the right tools to securely track and manage every device that has access to the corporate network. Learn about how we can help at Absolute.com