I recently wrote an article for Real Business on the mischief that people get up to with their work devices. “Tinder, porn and illegal downloading: An average day for a corporate device” examines all the stuff employees do on their work phones outside of just working. And it’s quite a lot.
We researched employees to find out some of the more salacious activities they get up to on their corporate phones and tablets, and the results made interesting reading. More than half of respondents use their corporate devices for personal activity, from shopping to social networking, gaming and porn. Indeed, three per cent admitted to having ‘sexted’, taken compromising photos of their partner or installed a pornography app on their device. Some five per cent have also watched or listened to pirated material and two per cent have used the popular dating app, Tinder.
This is all on work devices. While these smartphones and tablets have obvious gains in productivity and communication, this blurring of boundaries 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.
Our research indicates that 28% of people take a work device on a night out. What if this device is left behind or stolen? With laptops, smartphones and tablets fetching a high price on the black market, and corporate data fetching an even more lucrative price tag, criminals are going to extreme lengths to steal these devices (just check out some examples we’ve seen).
In my article, I talk about the importance of staff education, risk assessment, a strong security policy, and the management and tracking of devices (both corporate and BYOD). Through these measures, you can curb some of this nefarious activity and, more importantly, protect corporate data.