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With a good social media policy in place, you won't have to resort to India's stealth 'monitoring' tactics...

by , 09 May 2013
Indians are furious. That's because the Indian government has begun rolling out a central monitoring system to monitor Indian citizens' phone calls and all internet communications like texts, emails and social media. It's all in the name of national security. But you don't have to resort to these measures in your own company. Here's how a good social media policy will help your employees communicate in the social media space without harming your company's reputation or security.

India's implemented multi-million dollar central monitoring system as a way to minimise the threat of terrorism on the country following the Mumbai attacks of 2008, says Memeburn
That's a good thing.
But the fact that it also offers a single access point to lawfully intercept voice calls and texts, emails, social media and the geographical location of individuals is seen as a bad thing, as the implementation of the system has largely been kept under wraps.
But you don't have to resort to this type of 'stealth tactics' to monitor your employees' social media usage.
Here's why you need a social media policy…     Download your Social Media Policy here.
Cognoscenti says it's a good idea for companies to have formalised guidelines or ground rules for how employees may use social media
Simply institute a workplace communication policy to stop employees from bringing your company into disrepute in their private time, irrespective of how they do it, says The Labour Bulletin
Then specify your stance on social media use in your company's social media policy.
For example, if you restrict access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter during business hours to increase productivity, mention this in your social media policy.
Make it clear that the Internet is a public domain and you can use anything negative an employee posts on social networking sites about your company against him. 
Mention your company's stance on social media use in your employment contracts, too!
Just make sure that this is also clear in your employment contracts so that once an employee signs the contract, you can hold them liable for social media abuse.
Then, if you do monitor your employees' social media use, don't keep it a secret. 
In some cases, all it takes to scare your employees off of abusing the company's Internet to sit on social networks all day, is to state that you monitor any websites your employees' access.
You won't be alone in doing so, as 60% of companies are expected to monitor their employees' Internet and social media use for security breaches by 2015, says PCWorld.

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