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Social Media Creates New Risk For Businesses

Social media is a good way to connect with your clients in a cost effective way. Almost every business has a web page and many are using Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote their business. However, many businesses are not necessarily up to date with the risks and legal issues associated with using social media. Social media has grown in popularity and importance faster than most companies’ ability to currently handle it.

One of the biggest risks faced by businesses is the unintentional violation of laws and regulations. If you violate a law or create a legal issue with another person or business, your business insurance may or may not respond. We recommend that you have us complete a review of your business insurance to make sure that you have the proper business insurance.

Social Media Issues

Copyright -- You can’t cut and paste information off the internet and claim it is yours. Always properly source the information and give the recognition to the author.

Use of images -- Most images are copyright protected and you cannot use them without permission or purchasing them. There are many sites where you can purchase images.

Employees -- Employees can create legal issues and even hostile work environments if posting something too personal about co-workers and others. Employees can also cause problems by divulging company trade secrets or other confidential information on the internet.

Intellectual property rights -- Anything developed by an employee while in the course and scope of his/her job should be property of company.

Legal issues -- Today, “tweets” on Twitter, status postings in Facebook, and discussion forum postings on LinkedIn are all discoverable information to the same extent as emails and text messages.

Develop a Social Media Policy

You should develop a social media policy for your company. It may be better to hire an outside firm to manage this risk. Employees should be aware of the effect their actions may have on their images, as well as company’s image. The information that employees post or publish may be public information for a long time.

   Define what social networking is, particular to your organization, so employees know exactly what is meant by the term.

   Assign one person to manage the program.

   Keep passwords protected and changed often.

Worthington Insurance specializes in competitive auto, home, contractor and business insurance as well as insurance in Philadelphia, Yardley, Morrisville, Langhorne, Newtown, Bensalem, Levittown, Bucks County and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Posted 12:24 PM  View Comments

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