Hess Associates

Using Work Issued Cell Phones

Got a work-issued cell phone?

Many employees need to use cell phones over the course of their work, and their company might decide to provide a company-issued device to support them. We did an online search about using work-issued cell phones, and are excited to share a summary of what we found! Accordingly, here are some points and tips you might want to consider*:

• Your employer might have a policy or agreement about this, possibly explaining things like:
– Whether or not you can use it for private use.
– The phone is the property of the company.
– You need to return the phone upon termination of employment.
– Misuse might result in disciplinary action and possible termination.
-General guidelines about safe cell phone use such as not using the phone while driving or operating equipment, not using the phone during meetings, etc.
– What tracking software will be running behind the scenes.
– That access to open/public wifi networks is restricted to minimize hacking risk.
– A disclaimer specifying that if you are allowed to use it for personal use, your employer can review your phone activity and content such as saved files or texts.

• Your company might have restrictions about apps, and might track mobile data and usage.
• Review your employer’s specific policies, and ask questions if you are unsure, such as to ensure you know what will be tracked and if your photos and contacts can suddenly be deleted.
• Clarify with your company what’s included in your phone package, and “who will be liable for any costs incurred if you go over your data, texts, or minutes allowance.”

• Keep in mind that at the end of your employment, you have to give the device back to your employer, and if your employment is suddenly terminated, you might not have a chance to back up and remove personal data like your pictures, texts, and contacts. So consider backing up your information:
– But, there’s a risk that you might also accidentally back up private company data, “and if you leave the company and still have that data, your employer might decide to take legal action.”

• Also, be aware of the possibility of a data wipes without warning, such as in the event of a suspected hack your company might suddenly wipe all company devices. So again, maybe back up your device, but keeping in mind the above risk.

• There might be some degree of device monitoring, to detect sexual harassment, etc., and this might require a wide range of data being collected: This might or might not exclude personal emails or texts, but often includes call and web search history. Also, phone calls might be recorded and voicemails reviewed. And while not common, sometimes employers can view social media account activity.

We hope we’ve provided some things for you to think about.

*This article is not advice including it is not legal or business advice. If you need these services, please look for them such as in your region.

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