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Is BYOD creating a GDPR risk for your business?

* Thumbtel urges companies to take control of corporate data on employees’ personal smartphones in light of GDPR *

With the GDPR deadline upon us, Thumbtel – the telecom services app innovator – is urging company bosses to check whether their Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) stance has the potential to create risks relating to data protection or breaches, as a result of staff using a single smartphone for both business and personal uses.

A survey, conducted by Censuswide*1 for Thumbtel, has found that a quarter (25.3%) of senior managers and almost a third of directors (31.8%) use their personal phone for work purposes, while 37% of middle and senior managers use the same phone for both work and pleasure.

This leapt to 78% when the same question was asked to business owners.

In addition, a recent study*2 found that only 54% of organisations in the UK have adopted formal BYOD policies even though 72% of organisations have embraced BYOD and SaaS application adoption.

Andy Munarriz, founder and CEO of Thumbtel said: “If your employees elect not to use their company issued mobiles or you have a Bring Your Own device policy in place, it’s time to consider the implications of GDPR on your business.

With over 14 million*3 people in the UK said to use a second mobile phone for work purposes, many prefer to use one device rather than juggle between two different handsets and chargers and this has the potential to create a big headache for business owners as work and personal communications become intertwined, leaving businesses open to possible data risks or security breaches.”

Further findings in the Censuswide survey identify the issues business professionals are facing in managing business and personal communications: 73% of respondents said that they own just one mobile handset, which may create difficulties in splitting business and personal calls.

More than half (55%) say they have answered a work call, believing it to be a personal call. While a quarter (25%) of respondents are juggling two or more phones, possibly in an attempt to manage work and home calls on separate devices.

Continues Munarriz: “If your employees use their own mobile phone for work, either formally with a BYOD policy in place, or informally without the company’s knowledge, then you need to consider five key questions: do you have a clear BYOD policy in place that all employees are aware of? Can you make it easy for employees to follow your policy? How can they keep work and personal contacts and communications separate? How secure is customer data and communications on their device? And can you ensure that you retain, or easily control, customer data if an employee leaves your business?

“These are important questions that company directors should not overlook – particularly with GDPR upon us and the penalties that may come as a result of non-compliance.”

Introducing Another Number for Teams:
The Another Number app from Thumbtel provides users with a second number for work on their existing mobile without the need for a second phone, contract or SIM.

Another Number for Teams has now launched that adds a separate work number to employees’ personal mobiles, meaning they can easily keep work and personal communications separate, whilst the business retains control of the numbers and all associated data.

The business owns the number, so if an employee leaves, they will no longer have access and the business retains the number and, importantly, the contacts. This will help organisations avoid costly fines, by acting as the basis of a user and employer-friendly GDPR/BYOD mobile policy, while also ensuring business continuity for clients.

For more information regarding the new Another Number for Teams, visit https://www.thumbtel.com/another-number/