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Sweeping web filtering policies for social networking won’t work

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Mon, Aug 22nd, 2011

With so much reaction to last weeks SpamTitan news release I feel compelled to revisit the topic. It related to our WebTitan  social media cost calculator and looked at the profile of the average company that used the calculator to estimate what social media might be costing their organisation in a given year based on average salary.

The Results

The results showed that Businesses lose an average of $65,000 per year to workers using social media reveals SpamTitans Social Media calculator, this means that almost 5% of the salaries bill is spent on personal social media activity.

We certainly seem to have caused some confusion and would like to assure everyone that in no way were we suggesting that workers should stop using social media - or social commerce if you prefer, but that companies should be aware that it is something that they should think about monitoring. Companies need to be aware of the many legal, privacy and security issues that come with social networking and if I were a CEO I would be very careful about employee use of Twitter, Facebook and Google +. 

There have always been things that stop people from working and of course you can't just review this as a financial ROI but you do need to ask yourself how much time employees spend on this relatively new 'pastime' of social networking.

Companies can't just make sweeping web filtering policies for social networking

It is clear that companies can't just make sweeping policies for social networking across all departments; factors need to be taken into consideration such as the industry a company is in, how social media is used in each department right down to the granular level of specific individual employee level.

Building Trust

And of course it is important to build trust but we also need to make employees aware that, like all non-work related activity, using social media at work is acceptable only in moderation.

Benefits of web filtering outweigh the objections

We  understand that there needs to be a balance between having access to the latest information and tools and protecting the security of the organisations network and privacy of employees.

It is important that you choose the web filtering solution that is right for your organisation’s needs. By working with IT, HR can help guide the company to safe internet use that is controlled but not blanket banned and where the organisation can safely embrace and reap the benefits of business Web 2.0 tools.

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