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Employers can wipe your personal device of data

Thursday - 1/23/2014, 6:33am  ET

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There are easy ways to make sure your device is backed up no matter which type of cellphone you have. (WTOP File)

WASHINGTON - Wiping employees' personal devices is becoming more common among a growing number of companies.

Employers increasingly expect workers to check in online and more have access to work information at home. So if or when they leave, many companies choose to clear that data from the computer or phone, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Contractors and federal agencies are also taking up wiping personal devices after an employee leaves or is fired. They call it BYOD or "bring your own device."

As employees access their employer's network, their iPad or phone can hold on to important information. A problem arises if a company wipes a personal phone or tablet of their data, erasing photos, contacts and messages right along with it.

Many employees agree to these terms when they connect to a network server through a personal device for the first time, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The practice hangs in legal limbo, but reports 21 percent of employers will clear a personal device after the employee leaves or is terminated, the Journal reports.

Backing up a personal device is the way to protect personal photos and information from being erased without warning. Many programs are set up to automatically sync with phones or tablets (or both) to ensure everything is saved.

Apple and Android services offer a cloud service. You can also sync them with your personal computer at home, or sign up for free services like Evernote, Dropbox or try Flickr or Snapfish to back up your photos.

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