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Mobile App Policies for Companies (Includes Free Template)

Smartphones are Necessary for Work

With calendars and contact lists featured on even the most basic models, smartphones have become veritable Swiss Army knives for the modern world.

If used effectively, they can streamline projects and improve employee efficiency. Often they are central to a business’s communication with customers, as well as employees, with many businesses utilizing social media and other downloadable apps.

Using a Personal Phone is a Potential Hazard

However, the use of smartphones for work also has the potential to cause companies serious damage.

One way this can happen is when employees download apps that don’t offer security, which can lead to the leakage of important company and customer information.

Unverified or unrecognized apps should therefore be used with extreme caution – especially free ones, as their revenue often depends on advertising and information gathering.

While bigger apps will screen for viruses and malware threats, they can’t vet the ad links that are bundled with them. In other words, an ad might take an unsuspecting employee to a malicious site, allowing viruses to rapidly infiltrate a company’s entire network.

Companies Must Protect Themselves

As more and more employees use their own devices in the workplace to access their email and other business accounts, the risk of viruses and malware grows.

But how can companies ensure all their employees are exercising due diligence in this regard?

One way is for businesses to enact a privacy policy.

While this may sound daunting, we’ve made it very simple. Below you’ll find a free privacy policy template that can be downloaded and distributed throughout the company.

It may not guarantee that everyone in the workplace will be careful about what they download, but it will give them a better idea of how apps have the potential to gather and disseminate important data.

Mobile App Privacy Policy – Points to Keep in Mind

No matter how vigilant we are, we rarely sit down and read an entire privacy policy from start to finish. But such documents are valuable in addressing some of our biggest concerns – data security, personal privacy, and protection against fraud.

We have therefore made this as simple as possible, focusing on only the most important areas and using language that avoids the complex legalese that often litters such documents:

Information Collection
Before downloading any app, users should check its policy on what information it collects and how it executes that process. Only after verifying that no sensitive company information will be collected or made vulnerable should users proceed with the download.

Information Use
Most apps with privacy policies will not only explain how information is collected, but also how that data is used. Apps that are dependable and verifiable will not make personal information available to third parties. Instead, those apps will encrypt the data and only store information for a limited period. If these points are not covered comprehensively within the privacy policy, the app should be avoided.

Third Party Information Disclosures
Each app should clearly state how it handles information with regard to third parties. Any app that does not specify that it will not sell or share personal data with any other party (except if legally compelled) should not be downloaded within the workplace or onto a company smartphone.

Unsubscribe Methods
The app should give the option of unsubscribing at any point.

Most privacy policies are accepted as part of the download process. Please ensure that you are fully aware of them and their potential effect on the company and its computer system prior to downloading.

You Can Find a Full Template for Distribution Below:

Benefits of a Privacy Policy

While the threats smartphones and unstable mobile apps present to a company are considerable, smartphone monitoring systems can cause their own problems.

Specifically, many employees use their work smartphones for personal purposes, and any policy that allows the company access to employee devices potentially infringes on their right to personal privacy.

Therefore, a privacy policy is far preferable to a monitoring system.

Companies should also bear in mind that there are other ways to ensure their security. In addition to a privacy policy, VPNs, data wipes, encryption, and corporate authentication are all great ways to protect data on employees’ devices. Taken together, these measures should ensure that cyber threats are averted – without impinging on employees' rights.

To download the privacy template, click here.

About the Author

Kristina is an experienced tech writer and researcher with a keen interest in cybersecurity for businesses and the general public.

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