There are still a lot of companies banning access to social networks in the office. Despite claims by supporters that social networks lead to increased efficiency through information sharing, many companies still place crude blocks on the most popular sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
But it is just because managers fear their staff are going to sit in the office wasting time watching movie trailers?
Many supporters of social media are senior IT managers who are increasingly concerned about the use of social networks to spread computer viruses. Research by security experts has now shown that using applications on social networks while at work is the single largest security concern for IT managers, especially when staff members download unapproved applications.
Unapproved downloads are a very easy way to create viral infections, and with so many companies outsourcing their IT management and support, it’s essential to carry out all due diligence on the partner you choose.
Analysts and security experts are making these warnings because of the growth of social gaming. There are many legitimate social games, such as the original stars of this format – Farmville or Mafia Wars – and many more recent ones that are picking up as these classics decline in popularity. It might be annoying to see your friends constantly providing updates on their gaming progress, but there are plenty of games and tools that look attractive and worth downloading, but are designed just to harvest private information or just cause havoc with your system.
Social networks are becoming an important way to do business, but there is a need to review how security can be managed without just blocking access – it’s likely your staff will find a way to access them anyway.
Photo by Michael Gil licensed under Creative Commons