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Cell Phone and PDA Policy

Increasingly employees are using cellular technology as a means of sending and receiving Bentley email, synchronizing calendars and contacts, transmitting text messages and connecting to the Internet.   The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. describe the conditions under which Bentley purchases a cell phone and plan for its employees;
  2. assist employees who purchase cell phones and plans independent of Bentley with connecting to our servers for email and other online services;
  3. describe how Bentley manages cell phone technology to minimize risk, especially in the event of loss or theft;
  4. remind employees about the use of email by offering helpful hints

Bentley installed a Blackberry Enterprise Server (internal BES) and has presently standardized on Blackberry devices for all smartphone purchases.  Benefits of the internal BES include enhanced security management along with the ability to automatically synchronize e-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks over the network.  Please note that students do not have access to Bentley's internal BES.

Conditions under which Bentley purchases a cell phone and plan for employees

Some employees, for example individuals in Information Technology, Health Services and Facilities are required to be “on call” during non-business hours.  Communicating with these people is greatly enhanced through the use of cellular technology.   Divisional Vice Presidents have been asked to identify those employees who require a cell phone as part of their position responsibilities, and the Purchasing Department works directly with these individuals to buy the phone and plan most appropriate for each person.   These phones and plans are purchased and managed centrally to take advantage of the most attractive rates and plan options.  Please note the annual cost of providing an employee with a cell phone for voice communications only is about $500, and the annual cost of providing an employee with a cell phone for voice, data (email, Internet) and texting capabilities is about $1000.

Although these are considered Bentley phones, we recognizes that allowing incidental personal use enables a person to carry one rather than two cell phones.   Employees are reminded that these cell phones, the digital content on the cell phone and cell phone records remain the property of Bentley.  

Employees wishing to connect to Bentley for email services using their own cell phone 

Bentley recognizes that some employees, although not required to carry a cell phone as part of their position responsibilities, would still like to connect their own device to the Blackberry Enterprise Server or Bentley’s Active Sync Server so they can access and synchronize their email, contacts and calendar.   Please note employees should not access Bentley email via a Blackberry Internet Service provided by their carrier.   Employees interested in connecting to our Blackberry Service or Active Sync Service should contact the Help Desk at x2854.

Managing cell phone technology and minimizing data breaches (especially in the event of theft or loss)

The nature of highly portable devices like cell phones lends them to a greater risk of loss.  The fact that cell phones can also be used to store information like email, contacts and documents serves to increase the risks associated with such loss, but there are software policies that can be placed on the device to help minimize this risk.  

If an employee, either because of work-related requirements or through their own choosing, elects to access Bentley email and documents via their cell phone, they must do so by:

  • connecting to Bentley’s Blackberry Enterprise Server (internal BES) or Bentley’s Active Sync Server,  and
  • accepting the security policies downloaded onto the device as a result of that connection 

Please note these security policies are designed to accomplish 4 primary objectives:

  1. Require a password to access the information on the device;
  2. Automatically wipe the data on the device in the event of 5 failed login attempts;
  3. Enable the Help Desk to remotely wipe the device in the event that the device is lost or stolen;
  4. Limit the amount of email that can be stored on the device to 3 weeks of historical data

Employees are responsible for ensuring these security policies are activated on their cell phones (please call the Help Desk at x2854 if you need assistance).  

Helpful hints about the use of email

Employees are reminded that any email messages created or received using Bentley’s mail system are considered university property, regardless of content.   Please be aware that email sent and received using the university's computer resources is neither confidential nor private because the recipient of email could potentially forward the message to others without your consent or knowledge.    While email is a valuable tool for communication, it does come with unintended consequences.

Employees are reminded that Bentley’s ability to reasonably secure (encrypt) email messages sent between parties is limited to messages sent to or from Bentley email accounts.   Bentley has no ability to secure email that is sent or forwarded from a Bentley email account to another email account (i.e., sent to email accounts on Yahoo, Gmail, etc.); consequently employees are reminded not to send or forward email that contains confidential or personally identifiable information from their Bentley account to a non-Bentley email account.

 Last revised 12/02/09