Bring your own Apple to work after the holidays

Will Kelly offers some security and productivity tips when bringing in your new Apple products to work for BYOD.


Apple in business

I'm sure that plenty of new MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, iPads, and iPhones were given as gifts this holiday season. If you plan to use a new Apple device in your employer’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, this post includes some important settings -- including security -- that you need to know before using your iPhone for business.

Backup your device

Make sure that you backup your Apple device before bringing it into the office. This will help protect your personal data.

To backup your Mac to iCloud:

  1. Click System Preferences (Figure A)
    Figure A
    Figure A
  2. Click iCloud (Figure B)
    Figure B
    Figure B
  3. Select the following:
    a. Use iCloud for mail, contacts, calendars, reminders, notes and Safari
    b. Use Find My Mac
  4. Click Next
  5. When prompted, enter your password to setup the iCloud keychain
  6. Click Allow to use Find My Mac
  7. Follow the prompts to setup the iCloud keychain
  8. Select one or more of the following options:
    a. Mail to backup your mail
    b. Contacts to backup your contacts in the Contacts app
    c. Calendars to backup data you have in the Calendars app
    d. Safari to backup your browser settings
    e. Documents & Data to backup documents and data in your Documents folder
  9. Close the dialog box to save the settings

To backup your iPad or iPhone to iCloud:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap iCloud
  3. Enter in your Apple ID and Password
  4. Tap Sign In, and iOS 7 will verify your Apple ID
  5. When prompted, tap OK to allow iCloud to use the location of your iOS device
  6. Select the iOS device data you want to sync with iCloud

Manage settings on your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro

There are some basic Mac OS X settings you should know before bringing in your Mac to the office.

Turn on Find My Mac

I recommend turning on Find My Mac if you didn’t already as part of setting up iCloud. This feature operates just like Find My iPhone, giving you the chance to find your Mac if it's lost or stolen via GPS.

To turn on Find My Mac:

  1. Click System Preferences
  2. Double-click iCloud
  3. Check Find My Mac
  4. Click Allow when prompted to allow Find My Mac to use the location of your Mac

Verify that Bluetooth is off

Turn off Bluetooth unless you need to use it with a peripheral. Leaving it on full-time may present a security risk. Click on the Bluetooth icon on the menu bar and verify that Bluetooth is set to Bluetooth: Off.

Set security and privacy options

The OS X Mavericks security and privacy options include firewall, password, and screen login controls.

To set security and privacy options:

  1. Click System Preferences
  2. Double-click Security & Privacy
  3. Click Firewall
  4. Click Turn on Firewall
  5. Click General
  6. Select Require password, and then immediately in the drop down list
  7. Select Disable automatic login
  8. Select Allow apps downloaded from Mac App Store and identified developers
  9. Click on the Lock icon in the bottom left corner to confirm your security changes (Figure C)
    Figure C
    Figure C

iPads and iPhones

Here are some basic iPad and iPhone settings that you should set prior to bringing your new device into the office for BYOD (honestly, you should use these setting even if you don't bring your mobile device in the office).

Set auto-lock and passcode lock

Setting auto-lock and a passcode lock are a prerequisite in many BYOD initiatives and just plain good iOS device security.

To set a passcode lock:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap General (Figure D):
    Figure D
    Figure D
  3. Optionally, change the Auto-Lock for your screen (however, I advise you to keep it to 1 minute)
  4. Tap Passcode Lock and enter your passcode
  5. From the Passcode Lock screen, you have options to turn your passcode off, change your passcode, and allow access from Siri, Passbook, and Reply to Message
  6. Optionally, turn off Erase Data after 10 failed attempts to enter a passcode into the phone

Turn on Find My iPhone/Find My iPad

Turning on Find My iPhone/Find My iPad should be one of the first tasks you perform when you get a new iPhone or iPad.

To turn on Find My iPhone:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap iCloud
  3. Scroll down until you see Find My iPhone (Figure E)
    Figure E
    Figure E
  4. Slide Find My iPhone to Green. Note: The option appears as Find My iPad on an iPad.

Do Not Disturb

The new iOS 7 Privacy feature is bound to play havoc with both BYOD and corporate iPhones, at least in the beginning.

To control Do Not Disturb:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb (Figure F):
    Figure F
    Figure F
  3. Slide Manual to green to silence all incoming calls (a moon icon will appear on the status bar)
  4. Optionally, slide Scheduled to green and set the From and To time for when you want to silence calls on your iPhone
  5. Optionally, slide Repeated Calls to green to let only calls from your iPhone contacts
  6. Optionally, open Control Center on your device, and tap the moon icon On and Off to change your Do Not Disturb setting

Turn Bluetooth off

You should turn off Bluetooth on your device, unless you're using it with a peripheral like a headset or a keyboard.

To turn off Bluetooth:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Bluetooth
  3. Slide Bluetooth off 
  4. Optionally, slide the Control Center open and tap the Bluetooth icon on/off


Mastering these settings will make you a better educated and more secure BYOD user and help you ask the right questions of your employer and their BYOD policies.

Are you bringing a new Apple device to the office after the holidays? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.