Over half of UK CEOs have a Facebook page

Social networking sites, like Facebook, are increasingly being used in the workplace, according to new research. The findings revealed that more than half (52%) of 25-34 year old workers and over three fifths (62%) of 18-24 year old workers have photos accessible for their colleagues to see on Facebook.

In addition over half (58%) of UK CEO’s have a Facebook page, according to the online survey commissioned by Abbey Legal Protection. One in seven (14%) of the CEO’s admitted to having photos uploaded and available for employees to view.

Abbey warned employers about the potential risks for businesses, both in terms of reputation and the efficiency related costs.

Richard Candy, Underwriting Director Abbey Legal Protection said: “The emergence of any new form of technology or means of communication can be extremely positive and bring welcome new ways of working into the workplace. Unfortunately, this also often translates to an increase in related risks for businesses and individuals. As was the case with the internet, mobile phones and email, social networking sites are no different.

“These opportunities and risks vary considerably by organisation type and sector. Whilst Facebook can help to connect people and businesses, the risks range from corporate reputation and those of specific individuals, through to security breaches and even unlawful discrimination or harassment, to name but a few.

“The key to minimizing the minefields for businesses, is to have a clear policy in place that suits your organization. Ensure employees are aware and familiar with it. Make sure they understand what is deemed to be inappropriate usage, and most importantly, update your policy regularly, as new issues emerge.

“If you have evidence to demonstrate that these measures have been taken, you will be in a much more secure position should you ever be at the centre of a social media related legal wrangling.”