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<a href="/news/employee-social-media-misuse-could-jeopardise-finances-and-reputation" title="Employee Social Media Misuse could Jeopardise Finances and Reputation">Employee Social Media Misuse could Jeopardise Finances and Reputation</a>
Posted on: 07 Nov 2013 

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Employee Social Media Misuse could Jeopardise Finances and Reputation


Social media is perhaps the most vital channel of communication in modern business, being essential for engaging with consumers. However, without proper management, it can also be extremely dangerous, affecting both the finances and reputation of a company.

Speaking in an article in The Scotsman this past week, Donald MacKinnon, director of legal services at employment law firm Law At Work, said that, without an effective social media policy in place, “employees may not be aware of what is and what is not acceptable practice, and employers may struggle to police employees’ misuse of such channels.”

In a survey carried out by Law At Work, it was revealed that almost two-thirds of businesses allow staff to use the company’s social media channels, with more than half admitting that there is no policy in place to protect the business from misuse. Other findings showed that close to a tenth of employers allow social media to be accessed without any regulations in place at all.

In relation to the survey, Mr Mackinnon said, “This is alarming, given the instant nature of social media channels which, if misused, can quickly damage both an employer’s and employee’s reputation.”

“The need for clear social media policies applies to all organisations. No matter the sector a business operates in, most of its staff will use social media channels daily, either personally or for work,” he added.

Controlling social media usage

Mackinnon said that the policing of social media is a grey area and employment tribunals have decided in favour of both employee and employer in the past. The only way to truly protect your business from social media misuse is to control social media usage.

“Organisations can protect themselves by having a social media policy that guides employees on what they can and cannot say,” he said.

“There should be no room for ambiguity, as this could end up costing the business financially, as well as damaging its reputation.”

One of the few ways to ensure full control over social media usage is to install cloud web security on your network.

As well as eliminating the threat of malware, ITWiser’s cloud web security software allows administrators to set up detailed user policies per user, per group, and per location. It also allows the limitation of social media usage and URL content filtering so that websites visited by employees can be restricted and better controlled.

If yours is one of the many businesses out there that does not currently have a social media policy in place, contact ITWiser today, before any misuse affects your organisation. 

The Register