In her time remote work, many people tend to use them same devices for personal and professional use. For example, users can send messages or emails from corporate devices edit personal documents or photos or participate in video conferences with friends, etc.
The use of devices for personal and professional activities may endanger safety
None of these actions sound particularly dangerous, but security experts suggest do not use corporate devices for personal use and vice versa. The devices you use for your work should not be the same as the ones you use in your personal life and this is necessary for both your own safety as well as the safety of your employer.
Cyberattacks can have serious consequences for both your employer and you. Even if there is no real security breach or data leak, you could face reprimand, dismissal or even criminal prosecution.
More than half of people use corporate devices for personal use (and vice versa)
A research conducted in August 2020 by the antivirus vendor Malwarebytes, asked participants how they use their work devices. The results showed that 53% used corporate devices to send or receive personal emails, 52% to read news, 38% to shop online, 25% to access social media and 22% to download or install software not related to the company.
Also, a large percentage of users use personal devices for their work. A report by Morphisec, released in June 2020, found that 56% of employees used the personal computer as a work device. And according to her research Kaspersky in 2020, 57% of respondents said they checked corporate emails on their personal smartphones. Only 30% said they had never used a corporate device for personal activities.
However, we must keep in mind that survey respondents do not always provide accurate data. They may lie out of embarrassment or fear of possible negative consequences, or they may simply not remember what they did in the past.
Colleagues / employers could follow you
If you believe that you are not at risk of hacking and cyberattacks, you should keep something else in mind when using corporate devices for personal activities. Most employers monitor activity on corporate devices, especially now that most employees work from home because of it COVID-19.
Research by Skillcast and YouGov has shown that one in five companies (20%) “uses technology capable of tracking employees' online activity or has plans to do so in the future“. Another survey has shown that the employees themselves have reported that in the last year there is more monitoring of their work.
So if you use corporate devices for personal activities, your employer or other responsible person may see your personal photos, read your messages or emails, or access your sensitive documents.
"Cleaning" a corporate device can be a difficult and time consuming process
Another reason why you should not use corporate devices for personal use is the possibility of changing the device.
What happens, for example, if the company gives you a new machine or if you change jobs and have to return the device to the company? In both cases you should "Clean" the device, ie remove your personal data. And depending on how much privacy have accumulated in the device and the way you have organized them, the process can be extremely complicated and time consuming.
Also, Simply copying and deleting personal data does not fully protect your privacy. To keep your personal information safe, you should clean the hard disk of the machine, which is not very easy when talking about a corporate device, since you may have an issue with the IT department of the company.
See also: Portable VPN protects your internet data
It may be difficult for many people to use different devices for professional and personal activities, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of both employees and companies.