More Employees Use Personal Devices at Work Despite Risks

November 27, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. commonplace [KOM-uh n-pleys]  (n.) – something well-known or common
Example:  All employees chose to use the old procedure because they consider it their commonplace.

2. gain traction [geyn TRAK-shuhn] (idiom) –  to attain widespread popularity or acceptance
Example:  Tablet computers are now gaining traction as more consumers move away from traditional laptops and desktops.

3. contravene [kon-truh-VEEN] (v.) – to violate or disobey
Example: The assistant was fired after contravening the company’s policy against leaking confidential documents.

4. workflow [WURK-floh] (n.) – a sequence of steps or processes that a person follows when doing his or her work
Example: It is difficult to get used to the company’s new workflow because I have gotten used to my own way of doing things.

5. remote wipe [ri-MOHT wahyp] (n. phrase) – a feature in electronic devices that allows the user to remotely erase the data on a device in case it is lost or stolen
Example:  After my phone was stolen, I immediately called the IT department and asked them to perform a remote wipe.


Read the text below.

A new survey has found that more and more employees are bringing their own electronic devices in the workplace despite the security risks that come with doing so.

The survey, conducted by Fortinet, comes at a time when smartphones are a commonplace, and cloud services like Dropbox and Google Docs are gaining traction in the mainstream market. Fortinet conducted the survey among 3,200 respondents, who were asked about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies in their workplace and their use of personal devices and cloud services at work.

Results showed that 50% of the respondents would be willing to contravene any company policy that bans personal devices in the workplace. Meanwhile, 36% said they would do the same for cloud services like Dropbox and Google Docs.

Furthermore, the study revealed that people generally have lack of awareness about the various security threats against smartphones, computers, and online services, as well as the best practices to follow when using personal devices at work. For instance, 14% of respondents said they would not tell their employers if their smartphone was hacked or stolen.

Although using personal devices and established personal workflows may be convenient to most employees, many IT departments enforce strict rules to protect sensitive company information.

For example, most companies prefer company-issued smartphones that have encryption and remote wipe features. Many companies also enforce limitations on how company files may be accessed. These limitations specifically prohibit the uploading of files to cloud services like Dropbox in order to prevent accidental leaks of corporate data.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is important to follow a company’s policy regarding the use of personal devices at work? Why or why not?
·         If you were given a choice, would you rather use a company-issued phone or your own phone for your job? Explain.

Discussion B

·         How do you think companies can protect their private and confidential information?
·         In your opinion, why is privacy important in companies?


November 27, 2013