While many companies are reluctant to completely ban social networking sites in the workplace, there are some steps employers can take to minimize legal risks.
The primary dangers of employees using the sites include:
- legal issues, such as defamation and harassment
- the leaking of confidential information, and
- damage to the company’s reputation.
One solution many companies have found to be effective: Let employees know they’re being monitored.
It’s not enough to have employees sign off a policy when they’re hired — experts say firms should send periodic reminders to employees to refresh their memories of the policy and the company’s monitoring practices.
It won’t stop all personal Web use — and it must be combined with a serious and consistent enforcement of the policy — but it helps dissuade employees from using the Web inappropriately while at work.