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yellowtriangleWhen experts talk about social media risk, the conversations focus on how to control how Social Media tools are used.

Clearly, access to Social Media tools place employee communications outside of the organization's control, as a result of it being:

  • a real-time communication,
  • a rapid one-to-many publication through private and public networks and
  • a democratization of access to individuals and audiences.

As defined on the JD Supra blog, and Blue Hills' Social Media Risk report, the risk from using Social Media is not in the communication itself, but in deeper worries: sensitive corporate information disclosure, reputational harm, fraud and conflicts of interest. These are not unique to Social Media but manifest themselves very powerfully in Social Media.

So, Social Media multiplies the number of employees who are in a position to pose a risk to an organization’s interests relating to information disclosure, inappropriate discussion, breach of ethical walls and as fraud targets. However, the risks from the use of Social Media are not new, they are definable, somewhat established risks in which organizations already have experience. The challenges come from how to appropriately manege the Social Media channel without stifling the benefits.

In highly regulating industries, there is a clear need for monitoring and Compliance capture of this information. But for everyone else, that may be too much.  One of the biggest opportunities is to engage employees in approriate awareness so they better understand the importance of responsible use of Social Media.This makes Social Media training a core foundation of the risk, needing investments in engaging, educating, and incentivizing employees to behave appropriately

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