Employers who act like they have access to your Social Networks need to review the Golden Rule of the workplace. For ages workers have been taught by their parents, schools and peers that when you enter the workplace you must check your personal affairs at the door – for good, bad or otherwise they are, in the workplace, a mere distraction from the work that you were hired to do. On the flip side good employers know that their purpose is not to be your “friend” so they don’t try to pry into your personal life – instead they maintain a professional demeanor.
The use of social media is popular because networks are a great way to keep in touch with and to share photos and life events with friends and family. What most people fail to realize is that you are, in effect, using a new communications channel that is connected to a very busy online marketplace crowded by others who are also trying to gain access to you, your time, attention and your data. Ever since the internet shifted from a military space to an e-commerce marketplace the scramble has been on for businesses to figure out how to connect to their audiences on the world’s biggest social networks through computers, smartphones and now, through tablet devices.
It is the nature of the internet to be more human and intimate than older forms of media like radio television and print. Due to its interactive nature, your privacy settings are super important when it comes to making sure that what you put on your social media profile and pages can only be viewed by those it was intended for. Leaving the door open for a bored employer to creep in is not a good idea even at the best of times as we all have personal issues to cope with, chat about or reflect on that simply do NOT belong in the realm of business. Recently Facebook came out with their stance advising their users that employers had no right to their passwords and that it was an invasion of privacy to assume they should be able to access this information! You can bet that if you don’t have your privacy settings in place, your employer or prospective employer will be looking at you…
In addition, you need to understand that the social media vendors are also collecting data about you. Have you ever noticed that when you are shopping for a certain item, you will soon get spam emails offering that item? It is always a good idea to be aware of what information is being gathered and bought and sold about you and be cautious about what information you leave on websites.
Further, social media is also a valuable source of information for identity thieves. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal advised that in 2011 there was a 13% increase in identity theft for Americans with a total of 12 million cases reported. Smartphone users are even more vulnerable, with 7% of identity theft cases related to Smartphone use. When you use a Smartphone, it is important to understand that you are carrying a mini-computer with a vast amount of personal data often in and out of the workplace. We all know that no one leaves their smartphone at the door of the workplace when they enter in. Yet, most people fail to protect their Smartphones even while they vigorously guard their personal computer at home against access to banking information, personal calendars, emails, and photos.
Here are some tips on keeping your Smartphone data safe from prying eyes both in and out of the workplace!
1. Keep your OS up to date. The statistics are that 32% of Smartphone users fail to update their OS. OS updates to your Smartphone include security features against the most recent hacking attempts. It is critically important to run the most current OS.
2. Have a current anti-virus and security firewall program on your Smartphone.
3. Look for a program that can back-up your data, protect it, find your Smartphone if it is lost or stolen and that can also lock down your data. Retina X Studios has a world class suite of applications that can do all of these tasks for you!
3. Have a strong password on your Smartphone and any financial accounts. A strong password is your first line of defense if your Smartphone is lost or stolen.
If you are looking for a program to protect your Smartphone, check out Mobile Sync Pro. It is specifically designed for Smartphones and offers a full range of ways to protect your data. Stay Smart, Professional and Protected!