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Businesses at risk from lack of a social media policy

Almost 50% of businesses are leaving themselves open to employee abuse and reputational damage, because they have no social media policy for their employees according to the result of a new survey.

The research by legal firm Roythornes, asked about the use of social media in the workplace.

It reveals that whilst over 40% of firms allow staff to bring their devices in to work, 70% set no controls in terms of what they can do with them.

This could expose the organisations to expensive risks such as data theft and viruses, as well as productivity and damage to their reputation.

Despite this, only half (51.5%) of the businesses questioned have some form of social media policy for their employees. And a worrying 64% take no steps to monitor the use of social media amongst their employees.

Commenting on the results Partner, Peter Bennett said: “There is an increasing trend for employees to bring their own mobile devices to work. Whilst many employers are starting to allow this, the majority have not established controls for managing the very real risk of damage to their organisation in terms of lost productivity and reputational damage.

“If there is one message the research tells us it is that some organisations appear to be at real risk of damage to their business, their systems or their reputation if they do not ‘grasp the nettle’ of social media in the workplace.”

He added: “All organisations should consider implementing a social media policy. Without ground rules in place there is nothing to gauge employees use, or abuse of social media in the workplace. Many of those firms who do not currently have a policy are considering it, or aware that they should have one.

“How strict the policy is depends on the organisation but some form of guidelines should be in place.”

Attachments: Roythornes Social Media at Work Survey 2012.pdf