How to Like Social Media While Minimizing the Risks
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- Engage in wellness programs
- Stay informed about employee benefits
- Provide feedback
- Feel as though they're part of a community and involved in your organizations corporate culture
Mobile ApplicationsRisk: As the prevalence of smartphones increases, the number of people who access social media on their mobile devices is expected to grow. This brings unique challenges to organizations that issue company phones or allow employee phones to connect to their wireless networks. Mobile devices are susceptible to attacks from malicious downloaded applications (apps) and if the phone has access to your network, your company's security could be at risk.
How to prevent it: Instituting a policy that bans employees from downloading any third-party apps on company phones may lower your exposure, but may also negate most of the advantage of supplying your employees with smartphones. Alternatively, you could provide a list of pre-approved apps that employees are allowed to download to their employer-supplied smartphones and to approve more upon request.
You may also wish to implement a policy that prohibits employees from accessing your company's wireless network with their personal smartphone, as it could cause a breach in security. Another option is to create a separate wireless network that's intended specifically for employee smartphone use. This will allow employees to use their smartphones as they desire without placing your organizations other networks at risk.
Social Networking SitesRisk: While social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn seem to be secure sites, remember that LinkedIn had a major security breach just last year. Any third-party content contained on those sites also has the potential to contain malicious software. Every link, application or advertisement could breach your security if accessed on a computer connected to your organizations network.
Due to link-shortening services, which are especially popular on Twitter, its not always clear where a link is taking you. These condensed links can direct employees to malicious Internet sites that extract personal and corporate data.
How to prevent it: Employee education is the best defense against these types of attacks. During IT training, be sure to teach employees not to use applications, such as games, on any social media site or to click on advertisements while on a work computer. Its also a good policy to advise your employees to update their passwords on social media sites on a monthly basis.
Consider introducing your employees to a URL decoder that can expand shortened links. This will allow them to see where the link will take them prior to clicking on it. Or, advise all employees never to click on a shortened link from their company devices, all corporate email should be sent using full web address links.
Other Preventative StepsHere are a few other tips to prevent a breach of security:
- Develop a social media policy
- Utilize the security functions of social networking sites to their fullest extent
- Make sure protection extends to those employees outside the office, such as temporary employees on a jobsite or working from home
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