If you're like most owners of IT and tech businesses, there's a good chance that you or your employees rely on mobile gadgets for certain work-related activities, whether those include sending emails or completing entire projects remotely.
We've mentioned before that implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy introduces a certain amount of risk to your business, but in the summer months, when people tend to spend more time on the go and at the beach, the physical risks to mobile gadgets increase significantly. (Read more about data security in the article "Are BYOD Policies Worth the Cost?")
Here's what you can to do ensure that your company's gadgets (and the data stored on them) survive the dog days of summer.
Summer's 3 Biggest Threats: Travel, Heat, and Water
When the weather heats up, many of us pack our bags for vacation and make an effort to spend more hours near bodies of water. And because we're tragically connected these days, we tend to take our gadgets with us, which can lead to a number of problems, including…
- Frying the lithium-ion batteries that run our tablets and smartphones. Leaving your phone or tablet in a hot car can cause serious damage to its battery. At the least, hot temperatures can reduce a battery's capacity, making it less able to hold a charge. At worst, high temps can cause your device to lose any stored data or even explode, causing serious damage.
- Damaging our gear with water. We all know someone who forgot they had a phone in their pocket and either put it through the wash or dropped it in a toilet. Add to this natural state of affairs high temperatures and frequent trips to lakes, oceans, and pools, and you've got a recipe for water disaster. Even an unexpected thunderstorm on a summer afternoon could hurt a gadget left out in the open.
- Losing gadgets while traveling (or having them stolen). It only takes seconds for someone to snatch a laptop from a security scanner line or a luggage conveyor belt. And if you leave a gadget in an unfamiliar (or faraway) place, retrieving it later will be that much more difficult.
- Banging up gadgets via poor packing jobs. Even those who keep their gear with them at all times could cause damage by not handling it properly (or not properly handling the luggage in which it's packed).
Keeping Your Gadgets Safe All Summer
So how can you protect your gadgets, the data they contain, and your business's investment in both? The first step is being aware of the elevated risk level that comes with warmer weather. The second is to educate your employees about how they can keep their gadgets and data safe:
- Store gadgets in air-conditioned buildings whenever possible, and avoid keeping them in locations (like cars parked in the sun) likely to become super-hot.
- If you don't trust yourself to empty your pockets before leaping in a body of water, invest in a waterproof case.
- Keep your gear near you when you travel, and consider insuring essential equipment.
- Pack gadgets snugly and don't toss your bags around. Avoid checking bags with electronics whenever possible so you always know who's handling your stuff.
Writtten by Brenna Lemieux - check her out at Google+ or Twitter