Can My Company Remote-Wipe My iPhone?
February 9, 2014 10:44 PM   Subscribe

How do I check that the mail account I've set up on my iPhone is fetching using IMAP and not Exchange ActiveSync?

It seems that if an iPhone fetches email from a company's Exchange server using ActiveSync, the company can remote-wipe an iPhone anytime it pleases. On the other hand, it seems that if the connection is via POP3 or IMAP, it is not possible to remote-wipe.

My company is using Office365, and it seems that I can fetch email using IMAP. After creating a new mail account on my iPhone via the Settings app, it occurs to me that iPhone hides so many of the internal stuff that I am not sure if I am connecting via IMAP or ActiveSync.

How do I check that I have indeed set up my mail account using IMAP and not ActiveSync, and that my company cannot remote-wipe my iPhone?
posted by applesurf to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Best answer: Settings>contacts/mail/calendar.

Delete the account, add an account, tap "other".

It's only added as an exchange account if you selected "exchange" with the cute icon after you tapped "add account".

Comparison screenshot of options. (yours will not be black like that, my phone is modded. but for illustrative purposes...)
posted by emptythought at 11:05 PM on February 9, 2014

I realize this doesn't really answer your question, however, in my experience, companies often make the ability to remote wipe the phone a condition of allowing data access to their servers. If you disable/prevent the remote wipe, you might well be breaking a company policy.
posted by oclipa at 1:30 AM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wanted to nth what oclipa said.
If they are using Microsoft exchange, they are most likely backing up your e-mail anyway. So if they needed to remote wipe, your e-mail would be retrievable.

If you want your e-mail if you are not working at the company anymore: don't do that. It isn't your e-mail. If you are doing outside projects via e-mail: your company owns your e-mail. Switch everything to a private account. If you data you would like to keep (contacts for example) I'd try to do an export from outlook from a desktop computer.

My company would freak if I would using an unauthorized way to get into the company servers and it could be grounds for termination.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:17 AM on February 10, 2014

Response by poster: Remote-wiping, as far as I understand from the NPR article I've linked to, is not limited to just e-mail, but the entire iPhone. Basically, it will return your iPhone to factory settings, without any (non-preinstalled) apps and all data. This is to make sure I didn't accidentally give the power to my company (and Microsoft, given that this is a Microsoft-hosted Office365 setup) the ability to remotely wipe out my (non-company-issued) iPhone.

This is not about breaking company policies, nor unauthorized access to data I don't own, if I am not being clear.
posted by applesurf at 11:42 PM on February 10, 2014

applesurf, yes, remote-wiping means deleting *all* the data on the phone, regardless of who owns the hardware. This is normally what companies require. For example, in the company I work for, even if we use our own phones, we have to agree to give the company the power to wipe the entire phone if we want to be allowed access to any company information (e.g. email) via mobile access. I would expect this to be fairly standard (imagine if you had copied an attachment from a company email to somewhere else on your phone; simply wiping the email would not delete the copy of the attachment).
posted by oclipa at 1:09 AM on February 11, 2014

Response by poster: Oclipa, I understand that the ability to remote-wipe is a condition for access to emails. This is not the policy for my company. Exchange ActiveSync, IMAP, and POP options are all offered. I just want to make sure I am using IMAP, and not ActiveSync.
posted by applesurf at 1:51 AM on February 11, 2014

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