How to Use Social Media at Work and Keep Safe Online
Liz Turner, Director of Waytime Technologies Ltd
We are part of a fast moving landscape where business time undeniably overlaps with leisure time. As more and more people are connected across different channels using a myriad of new devices and networks to work at home, in the office and on the move, the risks of data, content and identity getting into the wrong hands are rising dramatically. Research has shown that 59% believe that current levels of social media use in the workplace increase the risk of information leaks, and 55% of UK employers are concerned about email viruses and other email security breaches.
It's clear that employers want their online activity to be safer, but what can businesses do to safeguard their assets online and on social media platforms?
Liz Turner, Director at Waytime Technologies, offers her Top Tips on how to keep your IT systems and network safe whilst enabling your staff to adopt safe practices across Social Media and other online activities with whatever device they are bringing to work.
Tip 1: Defend your server. This can be easily done with a combination of anti-virus packages, anti-spam filters, anti-spyware protection, a firewall and a backup system of some kind.
Tip 2: Upgrade your protection software and keep your operating systems and browsers up to date. As there are hundreds of new viruses created every day, you will need to upgrade regularly for new remedies and protection. Your operating system will have new patches that will need installing as well. Keeping on top of this will reduce risks considerably.
Tip 3: Ensure that your networks are protected through strong passwords - at least 8 characters with a mixture of upper/lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Have a policy to change passwords regularly and not to use the same passwords across your business. Most importantly - keep passwords safe. Remember that access to networks can be limited to certain groups of users as well.
SEE RELATED STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:
- How Social Media Analytics Can Improve Business Communications
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Tip 4: Have a comprehensive IT training policy for all staff which is part of your induction programme. Training should cover all company workplace technologies, how to and use mobile phones, tablets etc at work, and should include such things as how to be aware ‘phishing' attacks, what to do if a virus does get onto a computer and who to escalate serious data security issues to. Get advice from your IT provider if you are in any doubt.
Tip 5: Write a Social Media Policy - it should outline what constitutes accepted behaviour and what will happen following abuse of the system. This will also ensure that your company complies with relevant laws/acts for individuals and businesses (i.e. Data privacy, IP, Confidentiality, Copyright infringement, Advertising Standards etc) and it should clearly show examples of bad and good practice.
Tip 6: Guide your staff through Social Media Usage regularly and spell things out clearly using practical examples. Don't assume that people will remember what the rules are. Depending on your business, you might want to cover the below:
- Which sites can be accessed using your corporate network (and which are no go areas). And how to check (payment) sites are secured i.e. https, padlocks etc
- The acceptable time for staff using social networks at work for personal reasons
- Which email addresses staff should use when signing up for social networking sites. It pays to make a clear division between personal or business usage
- The risks of viruses/spam when clicking links received from friends on social networking sites
- The risks of accepting people as friends (there are lots of fake profiles out there) and how to use settings and options to block people seeing information about you
- The risks of revealing info about your company, colleagues and competitors on social networking sites
- Social Media etiquette and how to write corporate content
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”