Employees: social networks are ‘risky’

Posted on 7 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

A study conducted by global risk consultancy Protiviti has suggested attitudes towards social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are relatively cautious.

The sample was of 1,038 adults aged 18 and above, and found that 17% of UK employees consider social networking such as Facebook and LinkedIn a major risk to corporate security. Protiviti also reported that 28% of respondents believe that social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn pose a real risk to their own personal security.

27% of workers wanted to see more done to educate staff on the principles and rules concerning the use of social media in the workplace, with a mere 3% saying less. Those aged 55 and over would like to see clearer guidelines on the use of social media, with 30% expressing a need for this; more than any other age group.

The research found that 74% of 18-24 year olds use social networking sites at least once every day. Only 21% of those aged 55-65 years do them same – this highlights the continued generational divide faced by organisations.

Managing director of Protiviti UK Jonathon Wyatt said: “Opening up access in the workplace to social networks can create long-term benefits, however, there are many risks involved, including information security breaches.”

“By allocating direct responsibility and establishing a unified risk management process, organisations can start to mitigate the threats they face. In some companies, however, social media risk isn’t even on the agenda; it is only when serious loss of information and or theft occurs that this subject is given priority,” he added.

George Archer