HomeOPINIONAre your employees using their work devices safely?

Are your employees using their work devices safely?

We talk to James Robinson, HMD Global Country Manager ANZ, about the importance of smartphone security on work devices, and advice on keeping connected safely. 

The recent HMD Global ANZ Smartphone and Data Security Report revealed that while 51% of New Zealand mobile phone users are actively concerned about their phone’s security, 35% admit they have no clue about where their data is stored. 

And this lack of knowledge and confusion has led to New Zealanders wanting better transparency from phone manufacturers on how they handle data. 

The report also revealed that 54,000 Kiwis have accidentally shared a work file with a personal contact while on their mobile phone, and 37% of Baby Boomer employees prefer separating their work and personal devices compared to 29% of Generation Z. 

In light of this, here are James Robinson’s top tips to ensure both businesses and employees are using both their work and personal devices safely:

Tips for businesses

How businesses can ensure employees are using work devices safely

  • We recommend businesses ensure that all work-related accounts (like emails and file storage) apply a two-factor verification sign-in process. Users are prompted for an additional security authenticator other than a password, like a fingerprint scan, facial recognition or a smartphone authenticator app. This will help to keep your employees’ data and accounts safe from scammers or hackers. 
  • If offering a work phone, it’s important to research the manufacturer’s data security policy. It’s worth understanding how the phone manufacturer manages customer data, so you know who is handling the business’s information and from where in the world. This will ensure your company’s data and security needs are aligned with the device you choose to use.
  • At HMD Global (NOKIA), we pride ourselves on delivering our promise of two years of OS upgrades and three years of security updates for all devices with pure Android. New Zealander businesses are guaranteed safe and secure work devices with all activation and performance data stored at the Google Cloud Region in Hamina, Finland and protection via European security measures and legislation, including General Data Protection Regulation.

    How businesses can ensure employees are keeping data secure
  • We always recommend that businesses offer their employees a separate work device to their personal. This avoids any accidental sharing of work files, contacts or information with their personal contacts. But more importantly, this is something we’ve found employees want to maintain a positive work-life balance and keep their personal and work lives separate. Our HMD Global ANZ Smartphone and Data Security Report found that of those employed during the lockdown, the majority (85%) would use a complimentary work phone if offered by their employer. It’s also worth noting that employees want to keep their work data secure, with more than a quarter (27%) saying their most significant driver for wanting a business phone was for secure work communications, in addition to device security for work data and files (21%). 

    Tips for employees

    If using a personal device for work purposes, there are many ways to ensure your work and personal data is not at risk. 
  • The first tip is to make sure always to update your device with the latest software when prompted. OS and security updates ensure your device’s digital safety by updating any security or software vulnerabilities that could put you at risk.
  • The second tip is to be cautious when accepting connectivity requests, browsing the Internet at work, or downloading content as it may contain malicious software that could be harmful to your device. Only install and use services and software from sources you trust or that offer adequate security and protection. If you’re unsure about your workplace’s data security policy, ask. You can also install antivirus and other security software on your device, but only use one antivirus app at a time.
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