Compliance Briefing: A guide to social media risk management strategy

Social media is valuable, but it’s also risky. Here are strategies for corporate social media policy, social network monitoring and risk management to protect sensitive information.

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Social media is increasingly used by businesses to connect with customers and generate business. But because social networks share information quickly and easily by design, they also make data vulnerable. As a result, proper social media risk management is key for businesses to use it successfully.

Balancing social media and compliance with business-related and privacy regulations is no easy task, however. It’s important to remember the risks involved with allowing employees to publish sensitive information via social networks. Learn more about developing a corporate social media policy, social network monitoring best practices and how to balance social media risk management, in this compliance briefing.

Table of contents

  Crafting a corporate social media policy
  Table of Contents

Companies increasingly use social media to augment their marketing and sales efforts and improve how they connect with customers. But as recent news events demonstrate, being able to manage the risks inherent in social media is vital.

The most egregious violators of reasonable social media use frequently demonstrate a lack of common sense regarding the technology. An effective corporate social media policy must, within reason, take such cluelessness into consideration.

Learn more in "Ways to mitigate risk with a corporate social media policy." Also:

  Social media risk management best practices
  Table of Contents

Social media can be used as a tool or a weapon, and it’s important to be aware of the powers and dangers inherent to it. For example, we may have just seen the first -- but far from the last -- high-profile case of professional suicide by Twitter. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), made several technical and tactical errors with social media that contributed to his resignation after lewd photos were displayed to the world via Twitter. In a similar case receiving less coverage in the United States, Canadian political candidate George Lepp tried to explain a questionable photograph by claiming it was taken inadvertently when his BlackBerry was in camera mode in his front pocket, and sent out by an unknown person. This impossible account led to a very public and embarrassing search for plausible alternative explanations.

Both are cases of easily avoidable injury, so perhaps it’s time to consider a few social media risk management guidelines to stem the tide of such needless incidents.

Get the guidelines in "Set social media risk management policies by preparing for the worst." Also:

  Using social networking tools
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Compliance is complex, so many managers solicit advice on the topic from peers. Traditionally, this process took place one on one at industry conferences, seminars or trade shows. But a new avenue has risen: Compliance organizations are increasingly using social networking tools to provide professionals with instant help to do their jobs better.

Discover more in "Compliance organizations increasingly turn to social networking tools." Also:

  Obstacles surrounding social media and compliance
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Not that long ago, the delimiter between home and office communications was clear. But the line blurred as social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter became more popular and companies began using them to promote their products. Now individuals have started to rely on them to raise their professional profile.

Since corporate data now sits on these sites, compliance questions arise. Should corporations begin social network monitoring? What options do they have if they find proprietary data on social media sites? If current or former employees refuse to take the information off a site, does the business have any recourse?

At the moment, ambiguity rather than clarity is found in the answers.

Find out why in "Compliance in flux as confusion surrounds social network monitoring." Also:

  More resources
  Table of Contents
This was first published in July 2011
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