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BYOD Spurs Worker Worry About Personal Privacy

smartphone . / Credit: BYOD Image via Shutterstock

Employers aren't the only ones worried about workers using their own mobile devices in the office, new research shows.

A study by network access solutions provider Aruba Networks revealed that BYOD , which is the term used for employees using personal smartphones and tablets for work purposes, is causing workers to be fearful of their employer checking out their personal information. Specifically, 45 percent of U.S. workers worry about giving their company's IT department access to their personal data, and 46 percent said they would feel violated if their IT staff were to access any personal information contained on their mobile devices.

The research found that these concerns are leading many employees to keep their personal devices away from the IT department, thus putting company data at risk. Nearly 20 percent of U.S. workers have not told their employers that they use a personal mobile device for work.

"Employees resent the power their employers now wield over their personal data but are equally unconcerned about keeping company data safe," said Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer at Aruba Networks.

The study discovered that some employees are so insistent on keeping their mobile-device use private that they would delay or fail to inform their employer about a data breach. More than 10 percent of those surveyed would not report that their personal device had been compromised, even if it leaked company data, and 36 percent would wait before reporting the data breach.

"We are now well beyond the point of discussing bring your own device as something on the horizon," Gibson said. "It is a reality across the world, and businesses need to adopt solutions that give their employees greater privacy for their personal data, as well as exert greater network controls to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked, without disrupting the user experience."

The study was based on surveys of more than 550 U.S. employees.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.