Mobiles are a serious business. The average person uses their device for five hours each day. Up to 70% of web traffic comes from smartphones and sites such as Facebook are accessed from mobiles 95% of the time.
They offer us a wealth of information and technology at our fingertips, accessible all over the world. Their capabilities grow more significant with every release and update. So does their value – and the related risks that you need to be aware of if you’re using a mobile for business.
In charge of your charges?
A key risk is one that’s been with us for a while – racking up big bills when making calls. It’s particularly relevant if your employees are overseas and can lead to significant international roaming charges, as users plough through data, perhaps unaware of how much it’s costing their employer.
After all, it’s perfectly possible to download films or spend hours viewing You Tube videos via networks in countries across the globe. Roaming charges can be a shock in these circumstances and that’s before you’ve factored in any charges for work-related activities such as accessing emails or making video calls with colleagues.
Choose the right tariff
You should approach these issues in two ways. Firstly, examine the way that phones are used within your business and the tariffs that you’re on. Think about how old your suite of handsets is, which operating system they use and whether you’re going to have to factor in upgrades to old or damaged devices.
There are other questions to ask yourself. When it comes to employees using devices, do you have teams making international calls and, if they’re outside the UK, are they normally incurring roaming charges? What are your data allowances? Are there spikes in data that are pushing your devices close to their limits? And are you subject to other ‘out of bundle’ charges that aren’t included in your tariff?
Secondly, with the above in mind, get your business onto the appropriate mobile plan. Ensure you future-proof your data allowance to deal with the ever-expanding use of mobile data and apply the correct add-ons to your tariff so that everything you need is covered. And, for extra reassurance, put usage alerts in place to warn you ahead of any unexpected costs, and controls that allow you to block or restrict devices.
Safety and security
Whether you’re using a mobile to browse through a box set or negotiate your company network, there’s another hugely important factor that applies whether you’re at home or abroad – security.
Mobiles are expensive, so the phone itself needs to be kept safe in more ways than one. Consider investing in cases, screen protectors and, for tougher work environments, ensure you’ve got phones that can withstand harsher conditions.
There’s also the risk of theft. If a phone is lost or stolen, it’s vital that sensitive details aren’t accessible. And last but certainly not least, employee devices also need protection from cyber-attacks, malware and viruses.
The truth is, both cost-related risks and security threats can be minimised if you have full understanding and control of a device, wherever it happens to be, and whichever employee is using it.
On the cost side, we’ve seen that getting the right plan in place is key. And on the security side, start with the basics. Ensure that employees have passcodes to access devices and that the operating system is up to date.
You can protect users and devices through software that prevents data leaks by wiping lost or stolen devices remotely and restricting sharing and copying. You can also take steps to monitor devices in real time, scanning for malware, detecting cyberattacks as they happen and dealing with them before they can cause harm.
Thinking about moving mobile supplier?
We have put together some of the key considerations we believe businesses should take before making a switch. For more information, check out this infographic.
If you’re looking for the best way to manage your company’s mobile devices, we can help. Whether it’s advice on how to control costs or protect your mobile suite, or if you’re simply looking for guidance as to what device will suit your business best, please get in touch.