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Socially acceptable.

Companies that don't offer guidance or policies on social media usage in the workplace and instead ban usage outright or ignore the concept altogether are likely doing more harm than good, according to a recent news release from Towers Watson, a global professional services company.

More than half of companies block social media sites, according to Towers Watson research. They attribute the bans to fear of private or sensitive financial or competitive information being disclosed, as well as concerns that employees will spend too much time on the social sites.

"Blocking access to social sites may have reduced risk in the past, but in the future is likely to increase it, while also limiting the benefits active social media engagement can produce," said Towers Watson senior consultant Tim Jaggs, in the release. "With more and more people using social media, employers need to exploit social media opportunities, so it is essential they educate employees about both the risk and the potential."

Jaggs said all companies should establish formal social media policies to meet their organizations' needs, even if it's just to establish defensibility in the event of a liability claim. He also said insuring social media activities is important. According to Towers Watson research, 73 percent of companies have not purchased insurance against any form of cyber risk, including social media liability.

"In the social media space, the lack of a formal policy increases the risk of uncontrollable activity," Jaggs said, "therefore to support risk management, employers should have a contingency plan, which includes insurance, in their social media policies in case things go wrong."

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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY NEWS & NOTES; employees' social media use
Comment:Socially acceptable.(INDUSTRY NEWS & NOTES)(employees' social media use)
Publication:Journal of Property Management
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2011
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