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Are Your Employees Making Your Business Sick?

by james002

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A few employees download family photos.  A few ladies shop online during their lunch breaks.  What is wrong with this picture?  The CEO catches up on his Facebook account through his company BlackBerry.  If they are using company computers or any company networked system, they are putting the company and its bottom line in the cross-hairs of jeopardy.  Bottom line is this: your employees may be making your business sick.

Why should companies be worried when it comes to its employees using social media while at work?  What's wrong with personal emailing while on the job?  First of all, it is stealing the company's time to do personal activity while on the company clock. 

The proliferation of the theft of valuable information is at its highest peak just this week at the announcement of the Sony PlayStation Network major data theft.  This data theft affected approximately 77 million customers worldwide.  Sony is calling for all users to stringently examine all credit card records and bank drafts immediately.

No one may ever assume that information is private.  One information hits the internet; it is there forever and cannot be retrieved.  The silly pictures that were posted on a website 10 years ago are still out there somewhere.  Savvy employers can research a candidate's history through Google.  With the advent of major print newspapers now online, everyone's privacy is in the wind.

Companies should be very worried about social media security and should have strict employee compliance of social media usage while at the workplace.  One mistake can wreck havoc on a business's customer base, thus causing major embarrassment and costly repairs.  By utilizing an unsecured site, for example, an unwitting employee may accidentally set off a bug or virus into the network system causing a “phishing attack” to all employees and customers before it is caught and secured.

Most companies now days utilize firewalls to keep social media applications like Face book, YouTube, and internet surfing and online shopping out of the workplace.   If it is not available to the employee, they are less likely to be tempted. The traditional web-based, anti-viral spyware is good, but it is not perfect.  Some of the best networks have been intercepted by fake anti-viral spyware, spinning its cocoon of information and inflicting pain upon its prey.

A good basic rule to start with is restricting access to social media sites in the work place. This can be based on web addresses, times of day, or even to people with access. Strict policies must be in place to immediately terminate any employee even upon suspicion of knowingly placing the company in harm's way using social media.

Company owners and IT employees must never become complacent that their firewall security system or anti-viral spyware is doing its job 100% of the time.  Social media can easily escape the security rules used for traditional risks. Some predator is just waiting to infiltrate the company database with just a few clicks of the mouse and a profile page.

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