Cyber crime is a growing problem on social networks. Online security experts say some Australian companies are blocking access to Facebook and Twitter because of their fear of malware infections, amongst other problems.
This is in spite of the positive results that word of mouth marketing on the social networks can create for a company. Unfortunately the sharing that goes on in Facebook or in Twitter Tweets can also share some undesirable elements with corporate networks.
Panda Security specializes in corporate network security and from a survey of companies it did in July has come out with what it calls the Social Media Risk Index.
The data collected from 315 small and medium size businesses indicated 33% of them had been infected from a virus or malware passed to them from a social network. 23% had employee privacy violation issues resulting in losses of sensitive information. One third of those infected also said it resulted in financial losses of $5000 or more.
Twitter was the biggest problem for privacy violations with Facebook and You Tube ranking one two in that order for malware and virus infections.
According to Panda Security these problems can be managed successfully with up to date network security tools and by properly educating the work force.
In spite of the problems with social networking 78% of respondents reported that they use these tools to support research and competitive intelligence, improve customer service, drive public relations and marketing initiatives and to directly generate revenue.