White Paper | November 29, 2010

White Paper: Your Small Business Security Questions Answered

Source: AVG Technologies USA, Inc.

When social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook first emerged, some businesses viewed them as a distraction from work and banned them. With the appearance of other social formats, such as Twitter however, companies have begun to embrace this potential for collaboration. Social networking has evolved from personal networking to become a media for mass communication. Many companies now view sites such as Twitter as a valuable marketing channel.

Given these new legitimate business uses, a policy banning these sites completely seems counterproductive. While serious business roles exist for these tools, for security reasons, companies should still monitor how employees interact with them. Security experts such as Herbert Thompson, a professor in the Computer Science department at Columbia University, has warned about the dangers of revealing personal information on social networks. People may post personal details, for example their Mother's maiden name, that are often used by secure sites as password prompts.

"People are posting indiscriminately – they throw weird information out there. What has happened is there has been a growth in the technology for information sharing but not a commensurate education in what information we should share," he said.

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