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Use of Facebook at work is a way of life for an increasing number of employees

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Employees are seeing the use of Facebook permeate their working lives with more than a third having been sent a friendship request on Facebook by a colleague, client or boss, according to The Protection Gap survey conducted online and commissioned by Abbey Legal Protection.

When asked which Facebook-related incidents they had experienced, over one in five (21%) respondents said they had had their photos accessible for colleagues to view and nearly one in 10 (8%) workers have had Facebook information and knowledge used in a workplace situation.
 
CEOs emerged as social networking fans with fewer than half (42%) claiming not to have a Facebook page. One in seven (14%) CEOs admitted to having photos uploaded and available for employees to view and one in 10 (10%) have had their Facebook knowledge used in a workplace situation.
 
Commenting on the findings, Richard Candy, underwriting director Abbey Legal Protection said: "The emergence of any new form of technology or means of communication can be extremely positive and bring welcome new ways of working into the workplace. Unfortunately, this also often translates to an increase in related risks for businesses and individuals. As was the case with the internet, mobile phones and email, social networking sites are no different."
 
"These opportunities and risks vary considerably by organisation type and sector. While Facebook can help to connect people and businesses, the risks range from corporate reputation and those of specific individuals, through to security breaches and even unlawful discrimination or harassment, to name but a few.
 
"The key to minimising the minefields for businesses is to have a clear policy in place that suits your organisation. Ensure employees are aware and familiar with it. Make sure they understand what is deemed to be inappropriate usage and, most importantly, update your policy regularly, as new issues emerge."