If you are planning on implementing a BYOD (bring your own device) program for your small business in California, here are a few key components that you may want to consider defining and including in your policy.
1. Maintain the Right to Remotely Delete Data
If an employee who is part of your BYOD program quits, loses their device or has it stolen, it is crucial that you be able to remotely delete any and all company-owned data from that device. Adding language in your BYOD agreement about remote deletions ensures there are no misunderstandings. When wiping a device, all content may be erased, including personal pictures, music and applications. Make it clear in the BYOD policy that you may need to wipe these devices. You may also want to provide guidance (IT support) to employees on how to securely back up their own content so that they can restore personal information if their phone is wiped.
2. Communicate Implications of Privacy
Smartphones retain lots of personal data about the user, such as location, browser history, lifestyle and other personal preferences. If a device is enrolled in the BYOD program, you may get some visibility into this information. The BYOD program needs to make this clear, so employees understand how enrolling in the program will impact their privacy.
3. Specify Devices Included in Your Program
Make it clear which devices you will and won’t support. Which platforms, such as Android or Apple, will you support and allow in your BYOD program? Are there specific models of devices that you will support, or will you support them all?
4. Outline Who Owns Which Apps and Data
While it seems clear that your company should own any business-related information employees create with their devices, it is important to state this in writing.
5. Decide Which Applications Will Be Allowed
With security in mind, it is important to outline which applications will not be allowed on devices that connect to your business network. Major considerations typically include social media applications, replacement email applications and VPNs or remote-access software.
6. Define a Reimbursement Procedure
Reimbursement for use of employee devices can be done in several ways and you will want to include this information all the available options you provide in your BYOD policy. Some options for reimbursement include paying a pre-determined monthly stipend or allowing the employee to submit an expense report each month.
A BYOD program is only as good as its policy, but with proper planning, you can implement one for your small business, and then start reaping the benefits.