There are many good reasons to allow employees to use their personal devices for work purposes, but that doesn’t mean it’s always 100 percent safe. Significant risks do exist; the key is to recognize them, appropriately train employees, and have a plan to mitigate any harm that could potentially occur.

One thing to remember is that when employees use their personal devices to access work accounts, you have little control over what else they’re doing on those devices. Most of us use at least one chat app on a regular basis, and for good reasons. These apps can allow us to communicate with friends and family in a convenient way, and with little disruption to work or our personal lives. But one problem has been uncovered with apps such as Facebook Messenger, Signal, Google Duo, JioChat, and Mocha: These apps often contain a flaw that could allow hackers to listen in on private conversations, without the user being aware of it.

This vulnerability can affect your company in two ways: First, if employees ever discuss work matters across chat apps, sensitive information could easily be exposed that way. And second, once an app is compromised, the entire device and even your whole network is at risk. Each device and each app on those devices represents a potential weakness in your overall system.

App developers are aware of these problems, and patches have been issued.  But as we know, new risks can emerge at any time. Remind your employees to install security updates into the devices as soon as they are available, and to allow every single app to update as soon as patches are released. And of course, a rule about using chat apps to discuss sensitive company-related information is probably in order.

For more information about the pros and cons of allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related tasks, give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH. We can walk you through the potential vulnerabilities, and help you learn how to secure your network against potential threats.