The use of so called smart phones is ever on the increase; in fact it is probably more difficult to buy a phone that doesn’t allow internet access, app usage and emails than one that does these days.
So, have you thought about how this impacts on Data Protection within your organisation? Here at BLACKMORE RICOTECH we have spoken with several businesses within Somerset and the South West recently who routinely allow their employees to set up email accounts on their personal smart phones and keep notes and files in order to work while on the move.
Now, many businesses view it as admirable that their staff want to keep on top of correspondence outside of work hours, and indeed it is. However, they are then carrying around all sorts of sensitive information that as an organisation you have very little control over. How many people do you know who have lost their phone? How many have sold their old phones, or part exchanged them against newer models?
A factory reset is generally considered the best way of removing all data on a phone, however recent evidence indicates that this is not always 100% effective. Android phones in particular seem to struggle with this.
So what’s the answer? We would recommend that if you want your staff to have remote access to email and other information, you provide them with a work phone or tablet used exclusively for this purpose. You retain more control (and ownership) of how the device is used during its life, and what happens to it when it is no longer required.
At BLACKMORE RICOTECH we use industry recognised and approved data wiping tools that guarantee complete data destruction on ‘conventional’ IT and data holding devices. However, these methods are not always possible to use on phones and tablets and although the factory reset is one option, many of our clients have elected to have us physically shred their old work phones to be absolutely certain that sensitive data does not fall in to the wrong hands.
The Data Protection Act 1998 is concerned with how the data itself is managed, not what devices it is carried on; so ensuring that these often overlooked smart phones and tablets are effectively dealt with when they become redundant will be more and more applicable as technology advances.
To find out how BLACKMORE RICOTECH can manage your secure IT disposal, get in touch. Call 0800 880 3678 today
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