Managing Social Media Risks

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have become effective tools for many businesses. These platforms can reach potential or existing customers, promote products and services, recruit new employees, and build credibility. If your business utilizes social media platforms, it is important to understand the associated risks.

Each company’s social media liabilities will vary, but common risks include reputational damage and potential legal ramifications. Employers may find social media negatively impact employees’ productivity. Social media usage increases cyber security risks that could lead to compromised social media accounts, data loss, and identity theft.

While the list of risks may seem daunting, your company can take simple steps to protect themselves and manage the potential social media liabilities.

The first step to mitigating social media risks is to create, implement, and enforce a social media policy. Once a policy is established, it should be distributed to employees and included in the employee handbook. Update your policy as needed and as social media trends evolve.

Ongoing training and policy enforcement is vital. Mineral (formerly ThinkHR) has sample social media policies and online training modules. Please let us know if you need assistance accessing your Mineral account.

Create a plan to monitor for and respond to a reputational crisis that may occur on social media or third-party websites.

Assign a social media manager to be responsible for all of the company’s social media account. This may be an existing employee or a new position as your business grows. Having one person manage the social media accounts may mitigate potential risks rather than having several employees with unlimited access. This person should have training beyond your company’s standard employee social media policy training.

To protect social media accounts from cyber attacks, keep antivirus software updated and continue to train employees on cyber security. You may consider cyber liability insurance to further protect your business.

As social media usage continues to grow and change, so will the risks! If you have additional questions on mitigating your company’s risks, please contact us.

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