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A contrast on social networks.

Security professionals understand the risks of social networks better than anyone. So, given the concerns they must have, do they actually use social networks? Symantec surveyed 87 security administrators from companies in North America and Europe, from large companies and small, in order to find out.

Only 30 percent of the security professionals surveyed say they do not use social networks; however, those that do are cautious about them. They are concerned about the ability to separate work and private friends (60 percent). They want to make sure that "co-workers don't see my personal contacts." Some only use business-related sites.

The vast majority (70 percent) refuse any invitation they receive from a social network. Mostly, they refuse invitations from people they have never met, but, they also reject people they know. One of their concerns is the implied endorsement of someone when you bring them into your online circle of "friends."

What are the security concerns about social networking usage among end-users in their organization? The big three are lost productivity at 53 percent, data leakage (48 percent) and malicious code attacks (43 percent).

A large majority of these security professionals (72 percent) do not block access to social networks at work. They usually have no company policy on end-users accessing social networks (67 percent) and they are not working on one. This despite, as one survey participant said, "The content on social networks is dubious, not the content we want users visiting from work."

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Title Annotation:Web 2.0
Publication:Communications News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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