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Younger employees feeling too comfortable on social media

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The business world is changing with the advent of social media. Not only do employers use sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about their applicants during the hiring process, but also once someone has been added to a staff, it is commonplace for the younger, newer hires to become "friends" on social networking sites with their bosses.

Despite a younger employee's exuberance to add their bosses on social networking sites, the online connections they are making could do more harm than good. According to a recent global survey conducted by AVG Technologies, 60 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds who are "Facebook friends" with their colleagues allow them full access to their page, but more than half said they wish they could remove inappropriate photos of themselves online.

"Young people today have a comfort with using online social networks that is leading to blurring between their professional and private lives," AVG’s senior security "evangelist" Tony Anscombe, senior security evangelist for AVG, told Fox Business.

Employees using social media in the workplace, despite regulations
Understanding how social media can affect an employee's productivity in the workplace, many business owners are completely cutting out social media use in the office. However, staff members are still finding a way to log on to such sites with mobile phones. The survey found 58 percent of employees in the U.S. admit to accessing social media sites on their smartphones during work.

Business owners must create a social media policy 
"It seems obvious that posting abusive content about a boss or workplace is not very sensible, but it's important to understand that not only could it damage a person's existing career, it could also negatively impact on future opportunities too," said Anscombe.

The popularity of Facebook and Twitter should influence business owners to build a policy of appropriate use for their staff. Employees who step over the line with their posts should know they can be fired. With the appropriate business insurance policies, firm owners can't be sued by employees who break the rules on their social media policy.

"Our research findings indicate that today's 18- [to] 25-year-old 'digital natives' need to be more aware of their online brand as something employers and recruiters are increasingly investigating," said Anscombe.

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