Home > Small Business IT > Work vs Personal on the Company Laptop

Work vs Personal on the Company Laptop

If you use a company laptop for personal use, does it give you the right to do with it as you please?

A client of mine experienced this issue a few weeks ago. He has small office and is very generous with his employees. All employees with laptops use the laptop not only for business use but personal use too. When an employee leaves, their company laptop has always been returned as is. All company user data is typically left on the laptop, including emails, for the next person to use. This provides a base of current projects, documentation and history for the new employee. In some cases, we format the unit and provide a clean system.

Several weeks ago an employee left and returned their laptop thoroughly wiped out. We were unable to restore any of the data. The former employee purposely removed all the data in a way that it was not recoverable. In my eyes, this is theft. I understand why the employee formatted the hard drive; his personal data was also on the system, including correspondence with his new employer. It is easier and more efficient to erase the hard drive than to pick through it and remove all personal traces.

As a small business owner, you should have policies in place concerning acceptable personal use of company equipment. The policy should also include the condition the company devices are to be returned.

Does your company have a personal use policy in place?

Categories: Small Business IT
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  1. 02/28/2011 at 12:28 am

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