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How to choose the right computer equipment for your business to increase your productivity and efficiency without it costing the earth.

Business software helps you complete a range of tasks. Choose the right software, provide support and train your staff with our introduction.

It is highly likely that you depend on the internet for some aspects of your business. Find out how you can use the internet more effectively.

Good communication with customers, partners and suppliers is vital for business success. This summary explores business communication methods.

How would you cope if your IT system failed or was breached? We cover the main IT security issues and how to protect against them.

Good IT management can help you choose, use and implement IT. Our overview helps you manage IT in a way that maximises the return on your investment.

IT support is vital if you rely on your IT system. But how can you set up an effective safety net in case things go wrong? We explore the options.

Getting the right IT is just the first step. Appropriate training, policies and working practices can help you maximise return on your IT investment.

The bring your own device fear factor

It's official: businesses that allow mobile workers are in the majority. In fact, they're the overwhelming majority; studies suggest that half of UK businesses will be working remotely by 2020.

At the same time, the 'bring your own device' (BYOD) trend is gaining prominence, with more than 67% of employees using their own devices at work. Some companies allow employees to choose their own IT equipment (like laptops, tablets and smartphones) rather than imposing standard models on them. Others actively encourage staff to bring in their own equipment.

There are some extra security risks involved if you decide to encourage BYOD. But even if you're not actively encouraging BYOD, it's vital you stay aware of the dangers, because it's likely some employees will use their own equipment - whether you like it or not.

Here are five tips to help you stay secure, even when employees are using their own equipment:

  1. Accept the inevitable. Most employees will log onto the company network via their personal devices even if they're told they shouldn't. More than 50% of employees use portable devices to take confidential data out of their companies every day.
  2. Offer convenience as well as security. If your security policy is overly cumbersome or inconvenient, staff will find a way around it. Don't underestimate the ingenuity of employees looking to circumvent procedures that slow them down.
  3. Provide the right data storage equipment and services. It's all very well to say that your staff must encrypt any USB memory sticks they use, but unless you actually supply encrypted memory sticks or instead use cloud storage services, you'll find staff using their own, unencrypted methods of data storage, regardless.
  4. Pay attention to the small things. Losing a £5 memory stick can cost your business more than losing a laptop. That's because data on a memory stick is less likely to be encrypted. Staff are more likely to just replace the memory stick quietly and carry on as if nothing has happened.
  5. Your staff are your best defence. The most efficient way to prevent security problems is to train your employees on good security practices. Everyone should learn how to recognise phishing attacks, dodgy websites, fake adverts and other infection sources.

This article was written by Nick Banks, head of EMEA and APAC at Imation Mobile Security.

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