Do social networks have a place at work?

Cluley believes businesses also need to be careful when dealing with social networks, and encourage their employees to do the same. "We asked security minded people, have you been spammed on a social network. 33 per cent said yes. Have you received malware on a social network or been phished? 21 per cent said yes. There is a very real threat, a reasonable number of people now. Imagine if they were 19 or 20 year-olds entering your company now, spending longer on these social networks."

"So there are real risks to companies and one of them is that 40 per cent of people use the same password for everything they do. So if they know the name of your first pet, or they know your stripper name which reveals your mother's maiden name – you know..."

But Cluley warns against blanket bans for social networks within over-sensitive companies. "If the web and email were invented today, most [security people] would say 'you know what, we don't want it.' We live in an age where if you want to connect with new customers and monitor your brand, you've got to be on social networks...it would have drawbacks...just try to make it more secure."

And that should remain the case even where there are productivity concerns. "There are people that are Facebook crack addicts basically, constantly talking like pirates or biting each other as vampires rather than doing their work. I can understand [wanting to prevent this] entirely, and you might want to monitor how long people spend on these sites. But it would be a mistake to think that's the only issue here."

Fundamentally, Cluley believes attitudes need to change. "I think people view [social networking] as a huge playground and treat their computer as their own. We call them personal computers, but they're connected to the entire world. People have got the wrong kind of attitude.

"They type things they'd never say through a megaphone in Leicester Square and post them onto the internet."

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