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Half of employees blocked from Facebook at work

Date 23 Aug 2007
Author The Editor
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Social networking site Facebook is being blocked for 50% of workers, according to new research. IT security and control firm Sophos has revealed that the site is restriceted by bosses who are worried about the website's impact on productivity and security, and have therefore put policies or access controls in place to ban its use in the workplace.

In the poll, 43 percent revealed that their company was blocking access to Facebook, while an additional seven percent reported that usage of the social networking website was restricted and only those with a specific business requirement were allowed to access it. In contrast, 50 percent of respondents said that their company did not block access to Facebook, with eight percent specifying that the reason was fear of employee backlash.

A second poll showed that 66 percent of workers were concerned that their colleagues were sharing too much information on Facebook, which could lead to identity theft and targeted phishing attacks against the company.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: "Companies are split on the question of Facebook. Some believe it to be a procrastinator's paradise which can lead to identity theft if users are careless. Others either view it as a valuable networking tool for workers or are too nervous of employees backlash if the site is suddenly blocked.

"If workers are allowed to be given access to these sites then it's imperative that they are taught best practices to ensure that they are not putting their personal and corporate data at risk. Five minutes spent learning the ins-and-outs of Facebook's privacy settings, for instance, could save a lot of heartache later."

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