How to keep company secrets internal?


With the growing use of social media, keeping company information confidential becomes challenging than ever. Sharing enjoyable working experiences and great customer service stories can create positive word of mouth for the company, yet it can be problematic if important information leaks out to the social media.

To avoid secrets being revealed, many companies enact the regulation on social media. However, it seems that imposing regulation was not effective, and even can create discontent among young employees. How can corporations properly regulate employees’ social media behavior? What should corporations be aware of enacting those regulations? How can companies protect themselves from new strategies or “secret sauce” being stolen? James Pooley, the author of “Secrets: Managing Information Assets in the Age of Cyberespionage” as well as three experts, Martin Harrysson, Estelle Metayer and Hugo Sarrazin have some tips on keeping company secrets off of social media.

First of all, business managers should acknowledge that asking employees to keep information confidential is going against their digital instinct. People have the natural tendency to share and young generations live in the age of sharing all the things in their lives. With the understanding, companies are advised to put their policies in writing and clearly state what people are supposed to do as well as what they should not do to help employees focus.

In addition to imposing regulations, education and training are crucial. Continuous training can help employees understand what information and devices might be sensitive and potentially pose risks. For instance, the connection of LinkedIn or Twitter might reveal individual’s networks; likes and check-in on Facebook might show the footprints and the new field or strategy individual may be involved in. Using personal devices to connect company network might impose threats as well.

Also, keeping the eyes on social media is a key. Continuous monitoring of employees’ postings on social media to pick up signs of what might be going wrong. Companies can consider implementing and promoting internal social networks for employees to share information with risking information leakage.

Pooley mentioned that keeping this issue front and center is the best way to prevent proprietary information from being released into cyberspace. Use incentives to encourage adoption, and make sure senior employees lead by example. “We need to keep this top of mind because, as hacker incidents have shown, it can bite really hard.”



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This entry was posted in Social Media Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to keep company secrets internal?

  1. sydhavely says:

    Absolutely excellent and relevant post, Tina, calling into question the balancing of privacy, company secrets, and employee freedom of speech. Extremely well-researched and written/

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