Why We Need to Train Employees in Proper Social Media Usage

Sad but true: It only takes one employee to say one wrong thing on the Internet to get an entire company in trouble. This therefore behooves each company to ensure their employees know the proper way of navigating around social media pitfalls. Whether it’s left to the I.T. department or some other agency within the company to do so, training has to be undergone before a potential public relations or legal disaster strikes.

Everything from CEOs speaking out against same-sex marriage to employees accidentally posting political propaganda on the corporate profile instead of on their private accounts has resulted in negative PR for major corporations in recent years. It seems like every week another company falls victim to these social media missteps. Bad PR isn’t the only side effect when employees are careless, either: It also leaves the company vulnerable, security-wise.

So what’s the best solution? Should companies ban employees from having any type of social media account of their own? That isn’t very realistic, and the real solution has to rely on airtight social media training for employees.

One particular aspect of training is in the sharing of data. If you give out your birth date, pet names, school names and all sorts of other personal info on a social media site, you leave yourself open to phishing attacks. Emails containing actual personal data retrieved from social media networks can convince readers and urge people to click on certain links, which can then infect a corporation’s entire internal network. The problem is aggravated even more when employees use the same device for work and personal use.

Some other basic safety measures involve not reusing the same passwords for everything, and not clicking on a link in an email unless you both trust its source and can tell where it redirects to. Businesses, in the meantime, also need to beef up their own security firewalls and protect against data loss.