What risks should employers be aware of that are associated with smart phones and mobile devices?
Minneapolis trade secret protection attorney, Teresa Thompson, discusses the risks smart phones and other mobile devices pose to companies wanting to protect trade secrets.
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Well, smartphones and devices raise a lot of concern for employers right now because everybody has one and almost every company gives an employee the right to access that information on their company or personal device. So really, the problem is that employers are letting employees access this information without having some precautions in place. So what can an employer do? They can have a really strong BYOD policy. That’s bring your own device for those that don’t know. And what does that do for you? Well, it gives you the right to control access and to get information back.
What would I have in that policy? I would ensure that you have the right to remote wipe that device in the event the employee leaves that company or if the device is lost. That means that all company information is deleted from the phone remotely. Pretty cool. The other thing that I would do is I would ensure that if the employee departs the company that you have the right to get that device back and to get all of the company information off of it. Many employers make the mistake of letting the device walk out the door without getting that information off it. Even if you shut off their access to their email, for example, that email still resides there unless you take it off. Make sure that they have to password protect their device because if it’s lost or stolen, it will at least protect the information from somebody being able to hack into that device.
And then maybe give yourself the right to electronically monitor what those employees are doing on that device because that gives you the ability to find out what’s happening in the event you suspect some kind of wrong doing. All of these precautions up front will give you the ability to ensure that information isn’t walking out the door at the time that that employee leaves with that device in hand.