Home > Articles

SharePoint 2013 "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) Best Practices

As devices continue to be more advanced and major mobile carriers lower and/or offer near unlimited usage, the dividing lines between what is really a “corporate device” versus a “personal device” continue to blur. In a perfect world, users could use one device for both work and play but as we see in the news on a near weekly basis, information security is far from a perfect science .SharePoint expert Errin O’Connor brings insight into the “bring your own device” (BYOD) conundrum that so many organization face on a daily basis.
Like this article? We recommend

Remote workers and internal or onsite workers empowered with “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies can push the boundaries of IT and the typical IT-driven culture. A lot of IT organizations are playing catch-up around governance and their information management policies, and have pushed back on BYOD due to the added complexity it brings and ultimately forces specific polices to be approved.

There is a tradeoff between not allowing BYOD and the work required to actually implement a BYOD strategy verses the risk of users finding shortcuts and utilizing other methods or access points to share files or obtain reports.

Proven productivity increases have been realized by organizations with a BYOD policy and ROI that comes with empowering users. The gains you may see may in some cases may be inevitably offset with some users taking advantage of the added capabilities, but those “one-off” cases should not stifle the overall organization’s momentum towards technology innovations that can keep them ahead of their competitors.

Figure 1 offers an overview of the wide array of devices from which your organization’s users may access SharePoint.

The flip side of the coin around BYOD is that it can bring a 24/7 “working window” into the picture that some organizations may see as encroaching on the work/life balance but also what may define the actual workplace or given workday.

One of the major issues involving BYOD has been that the security risks that can be increased. But in SharePoint 2013’s case, solutions such as Microsoft’s System Center’sWindow Intunecan be put in place to assist in resolving some of these challenges. There must be a balance of privacy in conjunction with other obligations such as legal risks that may come with personal or PII\PHI data.

Enforcing a policy, where possible, that makes the user who is requesting the ability to use his or her own device (i.e., BYOD) aware of any possible challenges, sign-offs, or privacy-related data policies is the best first step as there must be expectations from both sides (IT and the business) in introducing strategy such as those concerning BYOD.

EPC Group’s internal BYOD policy follows certain password requirements with a pin addition as well as some layer of file encryption. Our consultants may be onsite at any given client, and require access to a document off our SharePoint Server 2013 intranet or ECM platform that a client requests and we must be able to immediate to meet that request.

The interesting part of developing and designing enterprise-wide strategies around BYOD or even areas such as cloud or hybrid computing does require us to test, perfect, and then implement these solutions ourselves. At EPC Group, the “eating your own dog food” rule most always applies in these technology areas. In addition, we have implemented device locking as well as remote wiping if a device is lost or stolen, as well as secure backups and either certificate\encryption or virus protection.

Understanding Device Channels in SharePoint 2013 (BYOD)

Regardless of the type of implementation your organization is trying to accomplish in phase 1, it is key to understand underlying capabilities of SharePoint 2013 to ensure your initial plans take full advantage of SharePoint’s out-of-the-box capabilities. SharePoint 2013 contains a device channel feature that is part of the SharePoint 2013 publishing infrastructure that will enable your organization to render site content, its images, and even the underlying content type, while maintaining the same URL (Uniform Resource Locator) across a selection of different devices.

On a recent project, EPC Group’s architecture team was tasked with implementing SharePoint 2013 with a specific and aggressive go-live date. This phase 1 deadline was for internal users with Active Directory accounts and was not targeted towards external or “mobile” users of the organization.

It was key to walk through the responsive design considerations with the stakeholders of possible future phases and future mobility needs, as there was a custom branding and user interface (UI) design that their marketing department was having us implement in phase 1.

The design was very appealing and looked great, but it was important to help both IT and the business understand that the “look and feel” implemented should follow responsive design but also take into consideration the device channels or ways the users within their company will access SharePoint long-term so that this branding would be compatible in future phases.

There is a difference in the “desktop version” of the SharePoint site compared to a “mobile rendering” of a SharePoint site. Your organization may initially support mobile devices, as well as those that may be possibly allowed in the future. You will have touch targets as well as navigational elements that will require optimal usability.

When a user from a mobile device (i.e., smartphone, tablet, etc.) opens a SharePoint 2013 site, the device’s browser submits something technically referred to as an HTTP GET request that will include a “user agent string.”

This string will contain information about the device, and that specific browser can then be redirected to a governed and specific master page view for that device (Windows Phone, iPad, Android, iPhone, etc.) Thinking in terms of not only initial users in phase 1 but future phases where mobile devices will be utilized will save a great deal of future time and effort.

In most SharePoint 2013 implementations, the initial strategy will target internal users; however, the mobile or BYOD strategywill quickly follow so it’s key to think in these longer terms regarding design. It’s also important to get an initial inventory and\or develop a “governed device list” for your organization to know exactly how users will be accessing SharePoint content.

Most devices allow for users to go to an app store to purchase or download “additional browsers,” so implementing your “supported” list is key to being able to let users know whether their device’s “entire” configuration is supported by the organization’sSharePoint 2013 deployment.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020