Bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, has become the norm in many offices, but while it may help increase productivity, BYOD can also pose significant security risks for your insurance agency. For instance, if an agent uses their device to access the Internet via public Wi-Fi, they risk exposing company data to hackers. Simple passwords can also make phones easy to break into, and downloaded apps may also pose security issues like data breaches.
To help prevent those problems (as well as potential liability), your agency needs to have clear, written rules for BYOD, including rules on whether or not apps can be downloaded, who is permitted to use the device and how to practice good security, including developing and using strong passwords and avoiding public Wi-Fi. BYOD policies should also specify who owns the data that’s stored on the phone. With company-owned phones and tablets, this issue can be fairly straightforward; but when an agent is using his or her personal phone, there will almost certainly be personal and family information on there as well, like family photos or apps. Once a policy is in place, educate your agents and other agency employees so they understand it and are able to ask questions.
And to learn more about emerging changes and challenges in the workplace, visit the American Agents Alliance website or keep up with us on our Facebook page. We're a national insurance association for independent insurance agents dedicated to helping you thrive through advocacy, education, and networking!