• Doug

    So… what do you do? Allow them to download and surf to their hearts content because the social aspect of the internet is just too alluring for us to effectively block? Just because we cant turn it off without people finding ways to socialize? Eventually this just leads to viruses and other malware introduced through employees who are haphazard in their computer practices (see, most everyone)
    Why not just nip things on the our side of it and leave the social networking to the watercooler or the email betting. I’d much prefer to not have to deal with rebuilding a customer service department because everyone downloaded the same chat program that happened to be carrying a virus. Its not within our scope to limit socializing, but it is not necessarily the role of the computer in the work place environment to be another tool to socialize. As you said, they will find a way… but lets not make it an issue that costs your department money because of a lack of foresight.
    How many times I’ve seen links from social networking end up taking down a web server or email server… ugh.
    Setup stations that allow the socializing and quarantine them from the business aspects. Cheaper in the end and allows the people their outlet.

    February 16, 2010
  • Doug,

    It seems to me that it would be better to control the malicious software angle at the endpoint. If users can’t install or run unapproved software, it would be far more effective than trying to identify and block the sources of such software. If you attempt to block social media sites, you’re putting yourself in a position of having to identify which sites are “good” and which ones are “bad”, while simultaneously putting your users in a position where they will actively try to circumvent your policies. People are getting better at using proxies and the like to bypass controls. If you want to prevent them from accessing social media, you have to effectively prevent them from accessing the Internet… and there can be significant business costs to doing that (especially if your competitor’s employees are unfettered).

    The core issue here, is that I do not believe that social networking can be effectively controlled… so I say don’t bother. Spend the money and time on controls that work. Manage the software, sure. Let audit/marketing audit the social networks, so they can monitor the brand impact. Let the managers manage the people. Let the business owners decide the acceptable level of risk.

    February 20, 2010

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