Five Social Media Risks Every Employee Should Know About

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December 29, 2011

How many times would you find yourself logging on to social media websites? During weekends, it is generally fine and some even spend the whole day just surfing their respective Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts, to name a few.But during weekdays, employees have to deal with abstaining for a few hours to do their work.

Using Facebook on the job is sometimes allowed to a certain extent, one which employees should never take advantage of. Here are the top social media risks that one can encounter when using any social media that can be accessed by employers.

1. Too much information

It’s the disease of those who are bound to technology and social media. It’s one thing to share to the world that you attended a wedding of a friend—some of your old friends might want to know about that. But it’s another thing to twit or post about going to the grocery to buy some milk—no one wants to know that.

Many people are ridden with the need to inform the world of the smallest things that they do when there should be a filter that sifts through what information should be shared.The same goes with posting pictures. Yes, party pictures are fun, but your employer may not appreciate pictures of you drunk or passed out.

Always remember: think before you post, lest the consequences haunt you when you recover from the hangover.

2. Lack of control over corporate data

Employees come and go in companies, and sometimes, employers cannot control the feedback and comments that they may post about a company.

Employees have to be vigilant in keeping work separate from their personal lives, especially when it comes to social media. If you have any grudges about a poorly-executed project or if you feel negative vibes for your coworker, it is best to settle this privately.

For employers and company owners, the biggest danger here is that your company’s reputation and brand name will always be at risk for potential negative attention.

3. Risk of identity theft

Identity theft has always been a lingering risk whenever one opens an online account. Whether it’s in a social media website, an online bank, or any shady website where you would need to register your full details, the risk is always there.

The bad news here is that for some people, the threat never seems to happen, which is why posting personal information is still rampant.

In fact, according to Consumer Reports in 2010, it was reported that almost 42% of Facebook users post full birth dates, a whopping 63% post photos of themselves mostly in public albums, and even 7% reveal complete home addresses.

4. Excessive use of social media by employees during work hours

This particular problem is oftentimes reported by employers who catch their subordinates playing Farmville or surfing through the Facebook newsfeed when they should be finishing a report.

Employees should be aware of how much time they spend on social media networks as this can affect their daily work output. What’s more, you might not know it, but there are ways by which your boss can know if you are doing your job or surfing away in Facebook.

Remember the cases of people getting fired over excessive Facebook use? Some may have done extreme cases, but there are also those who just mismanaged their office hours and got caught not dillydallying from their jobs.

5. Virus and malware attacks

In a survey by Consumer Reports, 9% of 2,000 Americans have reported to experience trouble in the form of scams, malware or spyware infections, and identity theft while in a social network.

It does not help that some hackers can easily get into your account and send virus emails and other malware to your contacts list. The possibilities become endless for hackers, especially if you are one of those who post virtually everything about them on their social media accounts.

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