Is your workplace keeping a watchful eye on your online activities?

June 04, 2012

NEW YORK, June 4 — By 2015 research firm Gartner expects more than 60 per cent of corporations to monitor their employees’ external social media use.

But that doesn’t mean you should be expected to hand over the login details to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. 

Is your workplace monitoring what you say on social networks? — Picture courtesy of shutterstock.comIs your workplace monitoring what you say on social networks? — Picture courtesy of shutterstock.comSome corporations want to monitor digital activity to make sure their employees are not sharing sensitive information that could damage their brand or pose a security risk to the company on social media sites. However, personal information they discover on such sites can also generate serious liabilities for the company. 

“The conflicts involved were highlighted through recent examples of a small number of organisations requesting Facebook login information from job candidates,” said Andrew Walls, research vice-president of Gartner. 

“Although that particular practice will gradually fade, employers will continue to pursue greater visibility of social media conversations held by employees, customers and the general public when the topics are of interest to the corporation.”

Relaxnews spoke with Allen Ackerman, a digital media recruiting expert at the Magnet Agency in the US, about social media and job seeking. 

Some recent reports in the media have implied that employers often ask a job candidate or employee to hand over their social network login details so they can check what they are saying online but Ackerman says this is absolutely not the case. 

“[N]or is it common (and probably not) legal for an employer to ask for these. We have Equal Opportunity laws in the US that bar discrimination on race, sex, ethnicity or religion. This is clearly an invasion of one’s privacy,” he said, but cautioned that public posts were another issue.  

So what are recruiters looking for when they Google you or check out your public posts on social networking sites? 

Ackerman says: “We always check LinkedIn profiles which are representative of a candidate’s business social network. It’s good to see whom we’re mutually connected to and who has recommended them. We don’t check Facebook but may check Twitter, blogs. While we view FB as more of a personal social network not everyone is of the same mind. People today have to realise that whatever they post online will be available publicly so if you are planning on a professional career you may want to think twice about posting that lampshade party shot.” — AFP-Relaxnews