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Do iPods Offer Threat for Data Leakage in the Workplace?

A recent survey on whether organizations are prepared for data breaches from iPods, MP3 players and USB flash drives, showed the small devices may be more of a threat than some expected. The survey found that although organizations see rapid growth in the use of these portable storage devices, few have a solution to prevent widespread data loss via these easy-to-lose devices.

  • 86 percent of the people polled cited the USB flash drive as the device most often used to store data exchanged between computers; data-centric smart phones with SD cards came in second. But when asked to rank these devices as a source of data leakage, respondents thought the iPod was as much of a threat as the SD card/smart phone.
  • Use of the iPod at work is high - With 61 percent of respondents stating that they use their iPod when traveling or at work.
  • While I'll admit nearly everyone I know uses an iPod in the workplace for listening to music, I only know a handful of people that use the devices for their data storage. Do you use your iPod, MP3 Player or flash drive to store data and have you ever heard of anyone leaking data via such devices? Could this just be another side effect of ever-growing fears of office security as employees become more tech savvy?

Join The Conversation
megagirl megagirl 10 years
I definitely only use my ipod for music and video - once I got the video ipod I have to conserve space since I had a ton of music to begin with and then I downloaded Heroes to watch...so yeah, there's no way I'm putting data on my ipod!
macgirl macgirl 10 years
While there's all sorts of ways to lock down computers (both PC and Macs) to keep people from removing data, the more you clamp down the harder it is for people to do their jobs. It really comes down to if someone wants to steal or do you harm there is usually a way for them to do it. If you lock down all the machines so they can't read/write with external devices like iPods or flash drives... did you block hotmail, gmail, yahoo mail, mac.com or all of the hundreds of other webmail sites so they don't email out your protected assets? I really don't think it's the technology that makes people prone to be bad, it think it's just bad people. Use your technology to check out potential employees and monitor employee behavior. I don't like or propose the total big brother approach, but if you have sensitive data then it's your right.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
because of where i am this year, i have my ipod loaded with music. at home i'd only have the music I really like (not most of what my roommate and I have so that he can also listen to stuff) rather than a bunch of stuff since its not used as the main music source at home. so yeah, usually i'd have photos and maybe a video or 2 and then could use it for data storage if i wanted to. i have an old ipod shuffle that is 1gb that i can use for data too though, plus of course a key chain drive. umm...but now that i think about it i don't really need ot transfer much data as their are only a few mac labs at UBC so i have only a few places that i'd deign to use a computer thats not mine.
jesse3000 jesse3000 10 years
I bring my ipod everyday to work. It's great for some background noise. I worked at Dell for a number of years and if you connected a USB drive device, there was a lock and nothing could be moved to the USB device. So I'm sure there may have been an issue with that or more likely they did not want people downloading and transfering music to ipos, etc.
flowerpotpot flowerpotpot 10 years
I only use my iPod to listen to my music, nothing else.
shafiii shafiii 10 years
i never put files on my iPod and use it only for my music. i mean i have to make sure it all fits on there =P i stick to using flash drives to save files or i just email it to myself to make it accesible through any computer
glam-sugar glam-sugar 10 years
I do throw files on my iPod when I'm at work if I don't have a flash drive. I like to save pdf's of my work in case I want to do an onlne portfolio of my work.
oriav9 oriav9 10 years
I would say it has to depend on where you work. It is annoying when I am at work & someone is listening to there i tunes, I in soem part think they are a threat. In a spy kind of way.
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