58 per cent of British CEOs on Facebook

One-third of U.K. employees were asked to 'friend' colleague, boss or client

Many CEOs in the United Kingdom are fans of social networking, according to a new survey.

More than one-half (58 per cent) of CEOs have a Facebook page, found the Protection Gap survey from legal insurance provider Abbey Legal Protection.

Also, 29 per cent of CEOs and senior managers have been asked to "friend" and employee, boss or client on Facebook.

One in seven (14 per cent) CEOs admitted employees can see their online photos and 10 per cent have had their Facebook knowledge used in a workplace situation.

The lines between work and personal are blurring online with 36 per cent of workers who are online reporting they have been sent a friendship request by a colleague, client or boss.

When asked which Facebook related incidents they had experienced, 21 per cent of respondents said their photos were accessible for colleagues to view and eight per cent of workers have had Facebook information and knowledge used in a workplace situation.

However, as this technology continues to enter the workplace, organizations need to be aware of the potential risks, said Richard Candy, underwriting director at Abbey Legal Protection.

"Whilst 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," he said.

To minimize risks, organizations need to have a clear policy in place around the use of social media and ensure employees are aware of it. Employees need to know what is inappropriate usage and organizations need to update the policy as new issues emerge, said Candy.

“If you have evidence to demonstrate that these measures have been taken, you will be in a much more secure position should you ever be at the centre of a social media related legal wrangling," he said.

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