The Merits of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Have you heard of BYOD? I mean, before this post. Probably not. It's okay. I don't think it's really caught on quite yet, but it is starting to get traction among startups. The deal is that, hey, we're not gazillionaires so why on earth should we act like it and max out our credit cards just to give everyone an iPhone 5 simply because a bigger company might do the same thing?

The upside to all this isn't just saving cash. As Mashable points out on this topic: "What companies gain in convenience and extra cash can be lost in poor control and flimsy policy… it’s easy to see how even the best intentions can lead to a serious security breach or aggravating compatibility problems."

So how do you straddle that line between disaster and success?

First up, make it clear that although your employees might be using their personal devices for company tasks, you are not liable for anything that might happen to it in the call of duty. The best way of accomplishing that is with some sort of policy that makes the rules clear. A risk for you as the boss is that employees might be able to leak sensitive information about your company -- either intentionally, drunkenly or otherwise.

Mashable recommends a service such as Air Watch "to amplify control and detection within a mobile device." If that makes you feel too Big Brother-y, then maybe this isn't an approach you want to take.

Mashable [] has a bunch of other tips on this topic so give it a read if you're at all curious.

I'd also give this piece from MSNBC a read for a handy buyer's guide that'll help you select the safest smartphone on the market. 

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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