BYOD is an acronym that stands for Bring Your Own Device. Many workplaces allow employees to bring their own data devices to work and connect to the company’s network. Allegedly, this increases productivity and keeps equipment costs down as well. Unfortunately, unless certain precautions and security measures are employed, BYOD could just as well stand for Bring Your Own Destruction.

Here at The Data Rescue Center, a data recovery lab in Livermore, California, we see damage that is caused by lax BYOD policies. There are several dangers in allowing employees to use their personal devices for work. For example, not every computer user employs adequate antivirus and malware protection. I’ve often worked with folks who didn’t realize that the AV software that came on their new laptop was only a trial version that had to be renewed after three to six months.

Back in the day, computer viruses were often transmitted from machine to machine via a floppy disk. While the floppies are gone, the risk is still prevalent. The old floppy has been replaced by the USB key or flash drive. Their capacity makes it very easy for a complex virus or keylogger program to hide in email attachments saved to the drive.

Smartphones, tablet PCs and media devices are not immune from infection. Allowing a device to connect to a business network without proper security measures is asking for trouble. If a computer or server is infected, HDD data recovery might be necessary to retrieve lost or inaccessible files. This could disrupt business operations, even to the point of financial loss. Add to that the data recovery prices that will need to be paid. You may find that allowing these devices on your system may not worth the perceived benefits.