Remote Wipe: All Security Tools are Double Edged Swords

Exchange “remote wipe” is a terrible, terrible bug

At the same time, our intrepid off-hours emailing employee is finally replacing that old iPhone. He gets a Samsung Fascinate the first day it’s available, and of course sets it up for Exchange. Nothing seems amiss. A few hours later, the phone—his personal phone—shuts off while in use. When he turns it back on, it’s back to factory defaults. All the settings, apps, and data have been erased. wtf?


My Pre works great with my corporate email but my IT dept won’t approve it for use. Thus every month they send down a remote wipe to all non-approved devices, deleting everything.

Sorry, there’s nothing wrong with “remote wipe”; the problem is either your employer’s policy, your fellow employees, or possibly your behaviour depending on how one perceives matters.

If your phone was stolen and your credit card information was on it, you’d probably be quite happy to get it wiped; so it’s not the technology, but instead it’s the way your company uses it, or it’s your fault for being non-standard and putting potentially sensitive information onto a non-company platform.

If you can make a case for it saving the company money and/or permitting you to be a more effective worker then get your company’s internal policy changed, or else walk out and find a better company that won’t get bankrupted in a few years when dozens, perhaps scores of other, new employees want to work in the same modern effective manner.

But yes, it would be better if your personal phone told you up front that this was a risk of enabling an Exchange account.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *