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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Social Media Risks for SMBs

5 October 2010 by Lady Penelope

Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s social media phenomenon being immortalised on the silver screen this month, the privacy and security concerns of Facebook et al are still the big news.

According to a recent study by Panda Security, around a third of small and medium-sized businesses were infected with malware through social networking sites in July alone this year.

Furthermore, the survey of 315 SMBs found that 35 per cent have suffered some financial loss as a result, with more than a third of the companies reporting losses in excess of $5,000.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering that is was voted the most popular social media tool among respondents (69 per cent admitted having active accounts), Facebook is the main source for malware infections (71.6 per cent) and privacy violations (73.2 per cent). It is also the main culprit for companies suffering financial losses from employee privacy violations (62 per cent), ahead of Twitter (38 per cent), YouTube (24 per cent) and LinkedIn (11 per cent).

Despite these growing concerns, SMBs are still using social media sites as vital marketing tools with 78 per cent of respondents ignoring the risks. 24 per cent however do recognise the importance of having a social media governance policy and actively block employee use during office hours.

At UKFast, social networking has become an essential element of our customer service, allowing us to respond instantly to feedback, both good and bad. Consequently, we focus on recruiting the right people so that they can be trusted to use any medium to our advantage. We find it is the team not the tools that poses the biggest threat to businesses.