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Social Media Eroding Workplace Privacy

Posted in Employers, Candidates on Feb 03, 2013 by Rejuvenate Productions

Whilst we all know the perils of taking our work home with us, what happens when our personal lives interfere with our professional lives?

Security software firm AVG have revealed in their latest of the digital diaries reports that more than half (53%) of employees' feel that their workplace privacy is being infiltrated by the increased use of social media.


'1 in 10 discover secret discussions'


The survey of more than 4,000 workers showed that 1 in 10 discovered colleagues’ using social media to initiate secret discussions about them online. Whilst 11% have found embarrassing photos or video taken at work uploaded onto social media sites.

The report also suggests that as the use of social media increases both personally and professionally, the privacy many workers value and expect is being eradicated through employee misuse and cyber-bullying.

As a result many adults are turning away from social media altogether in an attempt to prevent their personal information from being circulated in the workplace.

Jenny Ungless, an independent HR consultant and life coach, said: "While you can't completely control what people say about you online, you can control the 'ammunition' they have against you.

"Being more careful about your posts on social networks or ensuring your privacy settings protect your personal information are just a few steps you can take.

"The research shows adults are now finding themselves in unchartered territory when it comes to social media in the workplace.

"Having to ward off colleagues' romantic advances online, suffer the embarrassment of unwanted personal photos seen by colleagues or have personal details from social networks used against you, are all things that adults haven't typically had to deal with."

Tony Anscombe, AVG's senior security, said: "This study highlights the need for a combination of greater education around social media alongside increased attention and care by both employees and employers to their social media etiquette at work.

"We're not just talking about employees remaining responsible for what they post online on social networks and ensuring it is not bringing themselves or their company into disrepute or harming their colleagues, employers can trip themselves up just as easily when managing the company's own social media presence.

"Until everyone is clear about exactly what is and isn't acceptable online behaviour, trying to enforce policies will just fail, leaving the door open to cyber-bullying and invasion of privacy."

For more information on this report or to read the full report please follow the AVG link.

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