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Nearly every part of the modern world has been influenced by the popularity of social media networks. Social media has its fair share of drawbacks, considering the many advantages of social media with regard to interactions between human beings, networking, and marketing. There have been widespread instances around the world where employers have requested passwords and administrator privileges for their employees' social media accounts, especially in the corporate world. This has caused a public uproar with legislators in various states in the U.S passing laws to prevent employers from asking their employees for personal social network passwords (National Conference of State Legislators, 2017). However, I am of the opinion that an employer should have the right to monitor the social media use of their employees at all times and as such should be provided with the relevant personal account passwords by the employee.
With social media networking, it is effortless to share information, even with the confidential kind, to the rest of the world. An employee could expose trade secrets, criticize a company’s customers, and even harass their fellow employees. The ultimate result of such employee actions through their social media accounts is the damaging of the reputation of the company in question (Belbey, 2015). Opponents of this position argue that most employees do not put their organization at risk by using their personal social media accounts. However, according to a survey by the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute, “14 percent of employees admitted to emailing confidential company information to third parties, 6 percent sent customers’ credit card data and social security numbers, and another 6 percent transmitted patients’ electronic protected health information through social media platforms” (Flynn, 2011). This is a potential problem to any organization and could lead to costly legal settlements. As such, by having rights to personal social media account passwords, the employer can react fast enough in case an employee shares potentially damaging information. Despite the apparent privacy concerns, the move by an organization to monitor social media activities at all times should be as beneficial to all parties since it ensures professionalism from all parties in addition to protecting the business of the employer.
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Belbey, J. (2015). Protect Your Firm From the 12 Risks of Social Media. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannabelbey/2015/05/21/protect-your-firm-from-the-13-risks-of-social-media/#5a165f6a331e
Flynn, N. (2011). Yes: Keeping an Eye on Employees Helps Companies Protect Themselves. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/should-companies-monitor-their-employees-social-media-1399648685
National Conference of State Legislatures (2017). Access to Social Media Usernames and Passwords. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/employer-access-to-social-media-passwords-2013.aspx
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