Content Filtering Question: Has Social Media Hurt Your Business or Helped?

JohnMHoyt Computer Security, Fun Stuff, Homeland Secure IT, John M. Hoyt's Personal Stuff Leave a Comment

As I sit here, I am reading a friend’s status on Facebook that says, “well…ugh!!! no more waiting on the mail….got denied my unemployment cuz the state says i had disregard for my employer when i posted on facebook i was loosing my job. ??? SO…ADVICE….NEVER talk about your job, and NEVER have coworkers as friends on facebook!!!!! now, if i could just find a job, none of this would matter!”. I heard from her two weeks ago, and she had lost her job officially because the business she worked for saw her post that she was afraid she was losing her job and they let her go. There is probably more to this story, like the position she was in was being phased out, etc, and when she heard about it, she posted on Facebook that she was worried about her job and they took that as an opportunity to go ahead and eliminate her.

That is a sad story, but there are plenty more like them. A few weeks ago, I remember seeing someone post on Facebook that they had been terminated from their job because of questionable content on their personal Facebook, and there have been several higher profile cases make the mainstream media that are similar. Person posts something on a social networking site, employer sees it, employer fires worker.

While we are talking about the bad sides of social media, we might as well hit upon these: Business secrets are leaked, time is wasted, bandwidth is consumed and disputes with clients and rival businesses happen.

But what about the good aspects? Some businesses uses Social Media as a means for following what the world is saying about their products or those of their competitor. Network Solutions for instance saw me ranting on Twitter one day and started up a conversation to ask how they could help me. That is a great customer service and marketing tool in my opinion. Many other businesses use social networking as a vehicle for promoting their products or services in a more direct way, which can be annoying, but for the most part, business in general does not “spam” their offerings to the world.

Another good side of social media would be the ability to keep up with trends and to catch the latest breaking news in your industry. Due to Twitter I have been able to see security information instantly instead of waiting for email notification from the various sources. Staying up to date is vital to keeping our clients operating properly.

There are obviously two sides to this coin. If your business finds itself in need of blocking certain content, such as access to social networking sites, this is possible through the use of firewalls and software packages that can permit access to a particular site while blocking access to others, or you can disallow everything across the board. If you would like to discuss how content filtering can help you or your business, please contact us for a free consultation.

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