When your employer issues you with a company phone or computer, you should know they have a legal right to monitor your activity. However, there is also the possibility that an employer can monitor your personal phone. For most employees, the main question remains: what can my employer see on my personal phone?
Employee monitoring remains a priority for companies looking to increase productivity.
Given the statistics, it is vital to protect your personal information from the prying eyes of your employees.
In this guide, we look into the information your employer can collect from your phone and how to remain safe.
Is It Legal For My Employer To Monitor By Personal Phone?
It is illegal for an employer to monitor your personal phone without consent. However, there are several exemptions to this, such as:
- When the employee signs a consent form giving the employer the right to monitor their personal phone
- When the employer has a valid reason to monitor the phone, like in suspected cases of company espionage or theft
- When the employee installs company apps and services to their phone and enables monitoring permissions
Given these legal guidelines, you should always read any agreements your employer issues before signing them.
Also, refrain from installing company-developed apps and services on your phone. Distinguish between what to do on your work phone and what to do on your phone.
What Can My Employer See On My Personal Phone?
Your phone contains a lot of information about you. So, what can my employer see on my personal phone?
- Browsing activity
An employer can see browsing history on your phone using a tracking or monitoring app. Employers usually monitor the browsing history of employees to know whether they are being productive.
An employer can also view your browsing history if you are using the company WiFi on your personal phone. However, this data is not visible when using cell phone data.
- Screen time
If your employer wants to ensure you maximize your productivity at work, they can monitor screen time.
This involves monitoring the time you spend on your phone browsing non-work-related sites and services. They can also view the apps you use.
- Location and social media data
It is also possible for an employer to collect location and social media data from your device. They can monitor your whereabouts if they install employee monitoring software on your personal phone.
Some monitoring software can track social media messages. It can see the people you text and read your messages and chats.
How Can I Prevent My Employer Monitoring My Personal Phone?
If you suspect your employer is monitoring your phone, you should consider taking the below steps:
- Do not use company WiFi on your personal phone – If you want to access the internet using your personal phone while at work, use cell phone data. Avoid the company WiFi, as your employer might use it to track your internet activity.
- Turn off location services – If you suspect your employer is tracking your location using your phone, turn off location services.
- Do not install company-issued apps on your personal phone – Company-issued apps might give your employer access to your device. Review the terms and policies of these apps before installing them on your personal phone.
- Have a work phone – If your company issues you with a work phone, use it to conduct work-related activities. If the company does not give you one, you might consider getting one to protect your personal information.
To answer the question “What can my employer see on my personal phone?“, you should understand that Personal phones carry a lot of information about us.
Therefore, when an employer monitors your phone’s activities, they might see things you prefer to remain private.
It is illegal for an employer to monitor your phone without authorization. However, there are exemptions where they are legally bound to keep track of your activities on a personal phone.
To minimize the chances of snooping, avoid using company WiFi and apps and have a separate work phone.