As our world grows more connected, we become reachable virtually anywhere. This not only makes it possible for friends and family to stay in touch from anywhere; it makes it possible for many of us to work from virtually anywhere, too.

While we may think we’re being productive handling work on-the-go from personal devices, it may actually be bad for business. Here are some ways using personal devices for work can do more harm than good:

Lost or Stolen Personal Devices

You likely take your personal cellphone or laptop more places than you would take your work-issued devices. This means they have a higher chance of being lost or stolen, possibly making any work-related material on them available to the finder or thief.

Public Wi-Fi

Your company may have rules against connecting to public Wi-Fi from your work phone or computer. This is because public Wi-Fi is not secure and can be easily hacked, making any devices using the connection vulnerable to hackers as well. Having company information on your personal gear gives potential hackers access when you use a public connection.

Malware and Viruses

Companies often invest in advanced security software for technology issued to employees. Performing work-related tasks, sending or receiving business email, and storing work files on your personal devices can pose serious risks if your own average security software is compromised.

Tracking Work Time

Performing job-related duties from your personal phone could cause wage or reimbursement conflicts. Conducting business from these devices may raise questions of whether or not the employer is responsible for reimbursing partial expenses for the phone or monthly data plan and phone bill. Working from your own device while off the clock could also blur hourly wage lines.

Leaving the Company

When you leave your job and turn in company-issued laptops or phones, they are usually wiped to be re-issued to another employee. Having company information and executing business from your private devices may give your employer the right to wipe them. This means possibly losing any personal apps, pictures and emails not backed up to the cloud.

So, while being responsible for two phones or carrying a laptop back and forth from work and home may seem like a hassle, there are legitimate reasons that make the small inconveniences necessary. If you absolutely have a need for using your personal devices for work, check your company’s policies and make sure you understand the risks and responsibilities you assume when doing so.

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