Between half and three quarters of all employees have downloaded personal apps to company tablets and phones, according to surveys . At the same time, people are increasingly using use personal phones for work purposes like email, document-sharing and the list goes on. What does it all mean? Companies must take extra precautions to ensure that sensitive data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Protecting your data Fortunately, there are several steps that a business owner can take to protect the information on employees’ mobile devices. Here are some tips: Make sure all devices are password protected. Require all employees to use an “erase data” function after a certain number of failed password attempts. Make sure all devices used for business purposes have a “wipe” ability. This allows you to wipe the information on the phone remotely in case it is stolen. Make sure your staff installs any security patches or updates that become available. These are often published due to security vulnerabilities. Employees should only download software from approved application providers with solid reputations. Antivirus protection must be a requirement for Androids. Make sure employees are discerning about the websites they visit and the links they click on. Too many clicks may lead them to a malicious site that could put data at risk. This also applies to e-mail and text messages. Employees should know that Wi-Fi is not secure. This is especially true of public Wi-Fi connections. To help guard their information, consider using a virtual private network service. It doesn’t take much to secure the info your staff needs to do their jobs. A few simple strategies can provide a protective shield that will keep your company’s information safe, no matter where employees find themselves. Consultant Robert Siciliano is an expert in personal privacy, security and identity theft prevention. Learn more about Carbonite’s cloud and hybrid backup solutions for small and midsize businesses . Disclosures .