Smartphones are an essential device in most business environments today. Employees no longer have to be unreachable simply because they’re on the road. Issuing company phones will make sure that everyone in the office has access to the same apps, software, and features. However, handing out business devices involves several crucial concerns. Make sure you incorporate the right security features to keep your company phones safe.
Reset Previously Used Devices
If another employee used the phone in the past, you should first wipe the phone of previous data before you reissue the phone. This data wipe will remove anything lingering on the phone, sensitive or otherwise. New employees deserve to use a fresh phone that doesn’t have another person’s apps, messages, or accounts on it.
Choose a cell phone provider that allows you to easily handle these types of regular maintenance tasks. With mobile communications provider T-Mobile, for example, you can change phone numbers for only $15 if you want the phone to have a fresh number to go with the new user. When you’re ready to reset an iPhone that operates on the T-Mobile network, you’ll only need to follow a few simple steps.
Maintain Current Anti-Malware Software
Although users are typically vigilant about maintaining anti-malware software on their computers, they’re often more lax about mobile devices such as smartphones. A smartphone is essentially a tiny computer, and it requires the same security precautions. Before issuing a company phone, make sure it has anti-malware software installed and that it’s updated to the most recent version.
Install a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your data so that you’re not sending sensitive files through exposed channels on the public internet when you’re connecting to corporate servers remotely. You should never rely on the public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, restaurant, library, or other destination. Make sure all employees get equipped with a VPN app on their phones so that they can reach your company servers securely.
You’ll find dozens of options for VPN services. Set up a corporate account with your preferred service, and make the VPN app a requirement on all devices your company issues.
Use Security Apps to Track or Wipe Phones
Despite your best efforts, company-issued phones are essentially out of your control. You never know when an employee might misplace the phone or unexpectedly quit. You can’t afford to let company data slip out of your hands.
Before handing a company-issued phone off to an employee, install a security app that will allow you to remotely track the phone and wipe data. This way, you can quickly find a lost phone and erase data in an instant if the phone can’t be recovered.
Provide a Detailed Mobile Policy
Employees need to know how the company maintains its phones and what they can and can’t do with them. Every company uses smartphones differently. Although you may not be too keen on employees using their work phones for personal purposes, you should recognize that they’ll probably do so to some extent regardless of official policy. Set guidelines for personal use to make sure company data is never compromised.
You should also outline your rights as the employer. Specify how you’re monitoring smartphone use. Do you rely on a keystroke tracker to see what’s typed on the phone? Do you follow the phone with GPS? Some apps allow employees to clock in and out on their devices, but the apps use GPS tracking to make sure they’re at work when they do so. If you’re working with this type of program, you may tell your employees to turn off their phones after work hours so that they’re free from GPS tracking at home. You need to balance company security and employee rights.
Company phones are a valuable tool for improving efficiency and productivity, but you can’t afford to hand them out without careful consideration. Always maintain the right software, apps, and security policies for your business devices to make sure your employees are safe and your data isn’t compromised. Foresight now will protect your company from major data breaches in the future.