What is Facebook?
Facebook was started in 2004 by two students, as an online alternative to the traditional yearbook and it has quickly become a classic example of the latest online craze called social networking.
Currently, Facebook has an estimated 31 million subscribers from around the world and last year it turned down a US$2.3 billion offer to purchase from Google!
Negative influence of Facebook
The impact this seemingly innocuous site is having on South African businesses is growing. There are over 170,000 South Africans registered and Facebook is costing business owners time and money (bandwidth) that they can’t afford.
Time per day, spent on Facebook ranges from twenty minutes to an hour and a half a day, and during that time pictures, movies, text and increased personal email are being downloaded constantly, using up company bandwidth and eating into company productivity.
Privacy is a high-risk issue
If security settings are not adequately set up there is a risk of identity theft – by viewing your Facebook entry a thief might have enough information and access to an identity photograph, to open an account in your name or even obtain a credit card. Alternatively, a competitor may find out that you’re planning the introduction of a new product simply because one of your staff members mentioned it online!
As an individual, the easiest way to safeguard your security is to ensure that the privacy settings on your profile only allow friends access.
Options for company security
The first is to simply block access by configuring your internet firewall or router, which can easily be set up by your IT department or a support company like Dial a Nerd. Another, softer approach is to only allow access during lunch breaks.
Positive uses for Facebook
Facebook can be used in a variety of ways to actually improve productivity and even boost company morale. Companies can set up Groups within Facebook which only employees can join, therefore acting as a teambuilding exercise. It’s like an online Intranet which your Human Resources department will love – and it’s free!
Employers and recruiters are also getting clever and searching for candidates or verifying their profiles on line. An invasion of privacy? Not if they’ve published it themselves!
Colin Thornton is the Managing Director of Dial a Nerd a computer support company dedicated to homes and small businesses with a team of qualified, friendly technicians who come to you. Dial a Nerd can be reached at +27 (0)861 4 NERDS or +27 (0)861 4 63737 or [email protected]
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