Do your colleagues often go onto their Facebook from work? Of course, and so do many others: they also hit eBay and othersites. But a new UK study, conducted by Global Security Systems (GSS) and Infosecurity Europe 2008 has shown thatemployees admit to spending about 30 minutes each day visiting social networking sites. That adds up to around $13 billion in lost productivity annually for British companies, as well as ahuge drain on corporate bandwidth – many companies estimate between 15-20 percent of their bandwidth is being taken up with employees on social networking sites. Some bosses would prefer to seesocial networking sites banned altogether. Claire Sellick – Infosecurity Europe Event Director – said, "It would appear that most CISO and IT Directors loathe social networkingsites and if they had their way would ban them completely, but what is also coming across loud and clear is that the HR departments actually welcome the use of these sites – so there is a lot ofinternal pushing and shoving going on between HR and IT over how best to manage these sites." In the immediate future many companies plan to monitor use of social networking sites, butonly 17 percent intend to ban access to them at work. David Hobson, MD of GSS, said, "Social networking sites are now integral to the way that many of the latest and youngestrecruits into the workforce communicate and work, so for some sectors social networking sites may have a part to play in terms of competitive advantage or used for research or as a marketingtool. It comes down to a fine balancing act – and mostly a case of introducing a "reasonable use" policy. However, what is apparent are the serious security implications associatedwith social networking, where hackers, exploiters and extortionists are worming their way into these sites extracting all sorts of information on the members – our advice as always to anyone usingthese sites is to give as little personal information away as possible."
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