A growing number of companies are blocking their employees from using the popular social networking Web site Facebook on fears of proscrastination and security. But there are some things you can do - at least to make it safer.
According to a survey of 600 global companies carried out by security firm Sophos, 50 percent of companies ban their employees from accessing Facebook.
Most are concerned that employees are wasting company time. But many are also afraid their employees are sharing too much information on the site, which could in turn lead to targeted phishing attacks against their employer.
Those known to have blocked their employees from networking on Facebook include Credit Suisse, Citigroup, LloydsTSB, and Goldman Sachs.
The survey found that 43 percent of employees are now unable to access the site from their work computers, while another 7 percent are slapped with restrictions when they do log onto the site.
By contrast, 8 percent of respondents said the only reason their company did allow access to Facebook was fear of employee backlash if they did not.
Facebook currently has a reported 100,000 new people joining the social networking website every day and as of July 2007, had around 34 million users.
"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," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in a release.
"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." Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio