updated 10/11/2011 3:19:25 PM ET 2011-10-11T19:19:25

AT&T is rolling out new software to help its smartphone customers keep their personal and business data separate and safe on the same device.

Announced yesterday (Oct. 10), "AT&T Toggle" lets users navigate between two distinct mobile environments: "Personal mode," in which they can send text messages and access entertainment and apps; and "Work mode," which, as the name implies, lets customers access sensitive corporate emails and work-related applications.

Along with the convenience of switching between two distinct modes on one device, Toggle offers a Web portal for IT administrators, allowing them to manage which employees have access to certain company resources; add, update or delete business applications on employees' devices; and even wipe all the corporate information stored in "work mode" if the employee loses his device or leaves the company. AT&T Toggle can run on any device running Android 2.2 and higher, and with any wireless service provider.

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"When it comes to connected devices, one size doesn’t fit all," Chris Hill, vice president of Advanced Mobility Solutions for AT&T Business Solutions said in the company's press release. "People want to use their own smartphones and tablets for work, but that practice can create major headaches for businesses' IT departments." Toggle, Hill said, is a "simple, affordable" solution.

In its press release, AT&T cited a July 2011 Forrester Research report showing that nearly 60 percent of companies allow their employees to use their own personal devices for work. This practice — the "bring your own device" trend, AT&T called it — can save the employer money, but turn into a nightmare for IT and security professionals if the customer doesn't adequately take precautions to keep corporate data safe.

AT&T Toggle is expected to be available by the end of 2011.

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