BYOD (bring your own device) to work

How to avoid common BYOD pitfalls

Remember the image of the corporate golfer with two phones clipped to his or her belt – one for business, one personal? Mercifully we don’t see this crime against fashion too often anymore… thanks partly to company BYOD policies.

The BYOD (bring your own device) movement has transformed the workplace, allowing employees to use their own devices for work purposes. Employees working in a BYOD-friendly company use their own smartphones, laptops or tablets to do their work, rather than using a company-issued device. BYOD can increase productivity and collaboration in the workplace, as individuals are already familiar with their own devices and can customise their use to their own needs. No learning curves with unfamiliar tech. No more playing ‘snake’ on the company Blackberry because that is the only program you can figure out!

It all sounds quite idyllic, but there are certainly challenges for businesses to overcome and pitfalls to avoid.

Common BYOD risks and challenges

The freedom and flexibility of BYOD for employees can come at a cost. Some of the biggest pitfalls when individuals start using their own devices at work include:

  • Security vulnerabilities – especially when we consider that the user is often the weakest link in endpoint security. One well-timed malware attack on one user device could instantly threaten the confidentiality of all of your sensitive business data.
  • Reduced privacy for both the employer and the employee.
  • Issues with data removal and retrieval – particularly when an employee leaves the company.
  • Compatibility and support concerns – will company systems and software work across various devices? And who will help if individuals have issues with their phones or tablets?

Avoid BYOD pitfalls with a strong BYOD policy.

If your business already has a BYOD program – without having an actual policy – or you’re looking to implement BYOD soon – read on.

Your BYOD policy should:

  • Explicitly define your BYOD expectations. This will include your device criteria, including compatibilities and maximum age; expectations around updates and security requirements; passcode guidelines and management; and a comprehensive privacy approach that considers both your company and your employees.
  • Be evergreen. Not updating your policy as your business and/or external factors change over time is as problematic as not having a policy at all. Review your policy regularly and keep it up to date.
  • Include data and cybersecurity training for all employees. Head over here to read up on how often cybersecurity awareness training should occur in the workplace.
  • Consider VoIP apps for business calls. Avoid the issue of giving customers access to employees’ personal numbers by using a business VoIP phone system. VoIP mobile apps allow employees to make and receive calls through a business number and include a range of other useful features.
  • Incorporate onboarding and offboarding processes. Outline what security measures must occur when an individual starts with your BYOD program. And ensure your exit procedures include specific details about data retrieval and removal.

Contact your Geelong IT experts if you need advice, devices or VoIP technology.

The team at Geelong Technology Group are big fans of BYOD programs – if they’re well implemented! We can help you explore solutions to ensure a secure BYOD policy and recommend tech tools to manage BYOD challenges. We can also assist with a tailored business-ready communications package that includes up-to-the-minute VoIP technology.


Oh, and if you’d prefer your company sticks with its HYOD (here’s your own device) program, we can assist with bulk-buy technology purchases too.


Give us a call or drop by our specialised service centre and showroom to chat in person:

☎️ 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)


📍 166 Francis St, Belmont

Microsoft Office 2013 End of Life – what you need to know

Microsoft Office 2013 End of Life – what you need to know

Still comfortably using Office 2013? It’s time to upgrade, we’re afraid!

Support for Office 2013 will end on 11 April 2023. Less than six months away! And, just in case you were hoping for a stay of execution, Microsoft Support has stated: ‘there will be no extension and no extended security updates.’ But what does this mean for the Office 2013 individual or business user on the ground?

What does ‘end of life’ actually entail?

Most Microsoft products have a support lifecycle that lasts for a fixed number of years. Office 2013 users have now had five years of Mainstream Support, followed by close to five years of Extended Support. When this support concludes in April next year, Microsoft will no longer provide:


  • phone or chat technical support for user difficulties
  • security fixes for identified vulnerabilities
  • bug fixes or updates for software issues. 


After the EoL date, people running Microsoft Office 2013 will still be able to access and use the software, but there will be no further updates or security patches. Continued use of the software without this technical support may lead to performance or reliability issues (with the possibility of increased downtime) and increase the likelihood of security breaches by cybercriminals.

Upgrade options for Office 2013 users

With the increased risk of data security breaches, we highly recommend you upgrade Office. Microsoft offers the choice of on-premises or cloud-based upgrades:


  • Office 2021 is an on-premises, one-time purchase home or business solution tailored for PC or Mac. This option includes Microsoft support free for the first 60 days. If you’re just upgrading one or two computers, have no need for cloud storage, and just use the basic Office functions (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), you may prefer the Office 2021 option.
  • Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based suite that allows access to Office productivity apps via the cloud – making it easy to share and collaborate on documents and to work from whichever device you have available, whether that be PC, laptop, tablet or mobile. With 1TB of cloud storage, this option is Microsoft’s ‘future-proof’ upgrade, as you’ll always have access to the latest versions of Microsoft products and features as they’re released.

Benefits of upgrading from Office 2013

Just a reminder that upgrading from Microsoft Office 2013 is well worth your time and money. Updating your software will provide:

  • decreased IT costs (no custom fixes for end-of-life programs and the ability to scale up users with Microsoft 365 without setting up additional servers)
  • improved compliance (keep up-to-date with compliance regulations with the latest security patches)
  • stronger cybersecurity (those security patches will also help you defend against the newest cybersecurity threats).

Need a hand with your Microsoft Office migration?

If you’re an individual or business still using Microsoft Office 2013, it’s time to leap into the future (or at least the present!). Talk to Geelong’s IT specialists for more information or to assist you with the transition. Geelong Technology Group is a leading managed IT services provider and our team can simplify and facilitate the migration process – kickstarting your business productivity, fueled by the full benefits of up-to-date software.

Proudly servicing Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, and surrounding regions, GTG is here to help. Give us a call today on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or stop by our showroom at 166 Francis St, Belmont.

digital wallet

What is a Digital Wallet? E-wallet Tips, Set-up and Security

So… you’ve seen people holding their phones near a payment device to purchase their latte or BLT roll, with no credit or debit card in sight (and no cash, for that matter!). You may be making your own mobile-based purchases daily, too. But what exactly is a digital wallet? And how secure is ‘e-wallet’ technology?

Digital wallets explained

A digital wallet is pretty much what it says on the box – digital storage of items that you might normally keep tucked away in your wallet or purse. Items that can be stored in a digital wallet include credit and debit cards (allowing users to make convenient payments from their phone or smartwatch), identity documents (such as Covid-19 vaccination certificates), loyalty cards (particularly helpful if you love a loyalty card, but don’t want to carry 237 of the abominable things around!), gift cards, and tickets to movies or events. Just note, however, that not all of these items can be added to all digital wallets. Restrictions may depend on what financial institution you are with, what company is issuing your virtual tickets, your choice of digital wallet, and the make of your mobile device.

Payments using your digital wallet

Other than perhaps the aforementioned loyalty card storage, digital wallets are most useful in terms of their ability to allow us to make contactless payments. Examples of digital wallets that enable tap-and-go payments at in-store terminals include Apple’s Wallet, Samsung Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay. The digital wallet stores virtual versions of your cards or account details, so you don’t need to carry a physical card, then uses software to link your payment details to the transaction vendor. Just like you would crack open your wallet to access your physical credit card when buying something, you open your digital wallet app to access your virtual payment details – then use your device to ‘tap and go’ as usual.

To get started using a digital wallet, all you need to do is choose your preferred wallet (often the built-in wallet on your mobile device or, alternatively, a (thoroughly researched) option downloaded from your app store) and add a compatible debit or credit card. Once you’re set up and out and about, open your application and move your device close to the payment machine; a message will be displayed on the machine when the payment has been approved. 

Digital wallet safety and security

What happens when you lose your real-world wallet and someone (unscrupulous) finds your debit or credit cards? They can tap-and-go, tap-and-go, tap-and-go for numerous small purchases (up to $200 a pop), without needing a PIN, until you report your card missing to your financial institution… But if you lose your phone with your digital wallet details? Well – if your phone is password or number-code protected or secured with fingerprint or face-recognition authentication – your financial details are safely locked up inside your device. Digital wallets also use advanced encryption to ensure that your payment information never leaves your device, generally making this technology the safer financial option.

Remember: once you’ve added cards to your digital wallet, make sure that you have also enabled the security features your mobile device offers, especially any biometrics including fingerprint or iris/face scanners. If your device doesn’t have these features, use a strong password, and change it often.

Stop by and see Geelong’s technology experts

With our phones now even more ubiquitous after becoming QR-code check-in experts over the past two years, payment via our mobile devices really is on the up and up. If you’re still uncertain about which digital wallet to use or how to use your phone to tap and go – feel free to ask one of our friendly technicians when you’re next in the Geelong Technology Group showroom – we are 100% here to help.

📍 166 Francis Street, Belmont 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)