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Posts Tagged ‘Social Networks’
Why do we need Mobile Security?
Lookout – Mobile Security for Smartphones
Lookout provides both free and paid for versions of their Mobile Security applications, these cover:-
- Android Phones
- Android Tablets
- Windows Mobile
What does Lookout Mobile Security Provide?
Lookout Mobile Security provides the following functions:-
- Security – from viruses and Trojans, like the Gemini Trojan (which is targeting Android phones) which can:
- Read and collect SMS Messages
- Send and Delete SMS Messages
- Extract Contact information and forward it to a remote server
- Initiate Phone calls
- Download files to your phone
- Privacy Advisor – information about downloaded applications, regarding what data they have access to
- Data Backup – if you loose your phone, or are issued with a new one, you can restore your contacts, photos and information with a simple mouse click.
- Device Location – if you loose or misplace your phone, and who hasn’t had that moment of panic at least once. Then Lookout Mobile Security can:-
- Locate your phone for you, it will even display the location on Google Maps
- Make your phone Scream, so you can find it in a crowded office
- Lock your phone, so no one can get at your data
- Delete your Data – last resort, but it will make sure that no one else can get at your private information
- Remote Control
I have been using Lookout Mobile Security on my Android powered HTC Desire Z for a while now and have been very impressed with both the functionality and its light footprint.
Lookout – Mobile Security is highly recomended for all users of Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry. Go to www.mylookout.com and you can download your Free copy of the Mobile Security application direct from Lookout.
Acceptable Use Policy
If you are monitoring employee activity, typically this is monitoring web traffic patterns and sometimes email content, then in the UK at least, you are legally obligated to notify people that you are doing this.
Web Traffic Filtering and Monitoring – Acceptable Use Policy
Some businesses monitor their employees use of the Internet, whilst they are at work. Most businesses will have an Acceptable Use Policy – AUP, (An example of an Acceptable Use Policy is available from Business Link). These policies will normally form part of your Company Handbook and as such are something that your employees agree to when they recieve their copy of the policy.
Other businesses simply filter web traffic, to remove offensive sites or to block Social Networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Bebo etc. In this case the business are not monitoring who is attempting to access the sites they are simply blocking access. Others will allow access to Social Networking sites during lunch times or for a number of hours a week. Either way you should know what the policy of the company is and whether they are monitoring your activity.
Email Traffic – Monitoring
If your business monitors the content of email traffic, perhaps as part of a Data Leak Prevention (DLP) Policy then you need to notify the people you are sending email to that you are monitoring the email traffic. This notification normally forms part of the email disclaimer that business put in the footer of their email. If you are monitoring the content of email you also need to inform your employees. This doesnt mean that you are reading their emails you might have a profanity checker, or application checking for Credit-Card numbers etc.
Acceptable Use Policy
If you don’t have an Acceptable Use Policy – AUP, for Internet access then I suggest that you contact HR Management Support for a discussion.
Does your Business Ban Access to Facebook & other Social Networks?
Do you let your business users have unrestricted access to the Internet and social networks during the working day? Do you know if they are spending their time surfing the ‘net or on Facebook, or any of the other social networking sites, when they should be working?
Why would you ban Facebook and Social Networks at work?
This is a difficult business decision, get it wrong and you either; loose the trust and respect of your employees or have your employees spending too much time on the Internet during the working day. Some of this will depend on what your business does and whether the information from the social networking sites is relevant to the way that you do business, take a look at our blog on Xobni and social networking.
Really you have a couple of choices:-
- Ban access to social networks altogether during business hours.
- Only allow access to social networks during lunch hour.
- Allow your employees unrestricted access to social networks, but monitor the usage.
Option 1 is going to alienate a lot of people and human nature says that people will find other ways of accessing social networks, such as using mobile phones etc. So this is probably a self defeating policy.
Option 2 may work but you then need to know when everyone is going to be on a break and have to implement a service which will allow you to give different users access to different sites at different times of day. This will probably be complex to manage and will cost some money to implement.
Option 3 is the most sensible approach, however if you are going to monitor your employees usage of the Internet you need to tell your employees in advance. Form a legal perspective and good HR practice point of view you will need an ‘Acceptable Usage’ Policy that states when they can use social networking and what is excessive usage and you will need to inform your employees that the company is monitoring Internet usage.
So should you ban access to facebook and other social networks?
In most businesses there is no practical value in banning access to social networks.
If you must do something than option 3 is really the best way, can be implemented at very little cost and is a good compromise. It shows that you are a reasonable employer, that you allow your employees flexibility, but also that you are keeping an eye on overall usage of social networks and will intervene should people start to take advantage.