Out Of The Office But Not Out Of The Woods

We've all been there: sending a quick email to a client on the train into work, or reading through a document in the house at the weekend. More often than not, such out of office working is a positive thing - it may help you to push through a deal before a deadline and will certainly add value in the client's eyes. If you are an employee, you may even be considered a hard worker or a team player (or, for the cynics out there, simply to have poor time management skills).

With recognition and appreciation, however, comes responsibility.

A recent YouGov survey identified that 47% of all UK adults now use their smartphones, laptops or tablets for work purposes ("bring your own device" or "BYOD" as it is termed by the ICO). This can mean accessing and dealing with people's personal information remotely.

Unfortunately, it would seem that the security of this personal information is no more than an afterthought - the same YouGov survey revealed that less than 3 in 10 people using personal technology for work purposes had received guidance on how to do so safely.

Despite the increase in identity thefts - and the ease with which laptops, phones etc can be lost or stolen (not to mention fines of up to £500,000 which the ICO can impose on organisations breaching their data protection obligations and the subsequent reputational damage caused) - there is little understanding about how to BYOD properly.

In response, the ICO has published its own practical BYOD guidance. The aim of this guidance is to highlight the issues which organisations should consider when implementing data protection-friendly controls and adopting a clear BYOD policy. Although each BYOD policy must be individually tailored, there are recurring matters that all organisations...

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