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1Reining in Facebook and Twitter Threats

Communication FloodgatesUnless you’ve been living under a rock, or in a cave in a far-flung corner of the world, you know social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow people to communicate more loosely. Some share too much – for sure. Loose lips sink ships. But many companies are still sharing too little, experts say.

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Complicated and Intimidating JargonNavigating hashtags and blogosphere jargon may be intimidating to CIOs, but so is the impact the trend has on their brand and their security. The result? Many are tightening their grip on how employees can use the channels at work.

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Strict Usage PoliciesRecent research shows that 38 percent of CIOs have implemented stricter social networking policies. That’s more than twice the number-17 percent –who say they have relaxed the rules.

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Personal vs. Business UseA larger percentage of tech execs-23 percent –are reigning in “personal use” of social media rather than placing limits on social media use for business-15 percent. What does that mean, though? Social media tends to cross the boundaries, so policies can be confusing and complex.

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A Little Bit LooserAttitudes may be changing, but it’s taking some time. Another study performed in October 2009 found that more than half-55 percent –of companies implemented a complete ban of social networking.

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Best Practices for Social Media"There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to social networking policies. To be effective, guidelines should include input from stakeholders throughout the organization, including IT, legal, human resources, marketing, public relations and front-line employees," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology.

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About the ResearchThe survey was developed by IT staffing company Robert Half Technology. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.