IT Support - Facebook in the workplace

Facebook in the workplace: The risks

Facebook is a phenomenon with 100,000 new users signing up every day. And it's not just for kids. People of all ages are using it and even major companies are exploiting it to promote their brands.

It's a breeze to set up your own Facebook profile and before you know it you're sharing personal information with your friends, and even complete strangers who want to be your friends!

There are some risks to allowing employees to use Facebook in the workplace.

Here are three key areas for concern:

1. Identity Theft

According to internet security experts Sophos, 41% of Facebook users will divulge personal information - such as email address, date of birth, phone number and employer details. Home users are not the only ones at risk. Businesses could be the victims of a targeted attack by cybercriminals who are using stolen employee information to their advantage.

2. Workplace productivity
If workers have easy access to Facebook at all times of day there is a risk that productivity will be affected. A quick dip into Facebook to see what your friends are up to can often turn into a 30 minute session as the users check out their friends' latest amusing holiday snaps.

3. Company reputation
There is a risk that employees may be writing material on Facebook, or publishing photographs and videos, that may cast the company in an embarrassing light, or worse still reveal confidential or damaging information.

• Consider blocking employee access to Facebook. Either permanently or at certain times of day. Sophos has more information on this topic.

• Check out this Sophos article on recommended privacy settings for Facebook. There's also a really interesting and revealing podcast here.

• Also take a look at our recent article on how to introduce an internet usage policy in your business.

You can easily contact us by email, via our enquiry form or simply call us on 01373 888 333. Posted by Lee Edge on 13/10/2009

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