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Bits Social Media Risks and Mitigation Paper June 2011

Bits Social Media Risks and Mitigation Paper June 2011

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Published by Josh Shpayher

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Published by: Josh Shpayher on Jul 19, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Social Media greatly increases the ability for employees to open their firm up to the risk of lawsuits
by their actions. When an employee acts as a representative of their firm or provides a direct
association, their actions could potentially be used against the firm. Examples may include an
employee blogging about a current court case; an employee discussing client information or
providing client sensitive data; an employee inadvertently allowing their network to be infected with
malware (See Spreading Malware Section) that could impact clients‘ sensitive data; and more.


As with any other risk resulting in harm to the employee‘s firm, strong policies and procedures

outlining the use of social media both professionally and personally reduce civil litigation risks.
Employees should be fully trained on proper usage and understand all policies, procedures and
consequences for failing to comply.

BITS Social Media Risks and Mitigation

© BITS/The Financial Services Roundtable 2011. All Rights Reserved.


Scenario 1

An employee has a personal account that lists their employer and perhaps other information relating
to the firm such as their position or department. The employee makes claims that may be construed
as on behalf of his/ her employer that result in litigation against the firm, negative and unwanted
publicity, and lead to brand degradation and or loss of shareholder trust and confidence. (Please
also refer to Reputation Section.)

Scenario 2

A user does not set the privacy settings adequately to block viewing by unauthorized persons. Law
enforcement agencies, creditors, opposing counsel, or others mine the site for discovery purposes
resulting in legal action or embarrassment to the user. If the user indicates his/ her employer on the
page any resulting negative or harmful publicity or actions may reflect poorly on the firm.

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