With our increasing reliance on technology and our addiction to social media and the internet, data privacy can be a worrying topic for most people. Many offices have a strict policy banning employees from surfing the internet for personal use or checking their Facebook news feeds during working hours with a view to improving productivity and concentration; however, employees will continue to access this information during their working days, even though studies show that they would be very unhappy with personal data being shared with their employers.
Atomik Research published survey findings indicating that just 36 per cent of employees would let their boss look at their smartphone, with a mere 17 per cent of workers saying that they would be extremely likely to allow their boss access to their phone.
The survey revealed that a staggering 55 per cent of employees would rather have no annual leave for a whole year than delete their social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Similarly, they would be more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol or eating chocolate than to give up their addiction to social media.
Communication apps such WhatsApp can contain private and potentially embarrassing or offensive information; however, 43 per cent of staff said they would be happy to reveal this to their manager to receive a pay rise at work. 21 per cent of workers said they would not consider unveiling such private matters under any circumstances. The recent Facebook scandal over data sharing with Cambridge Analytica has made many people uncomfortably aware of the amount of data floating around online about them and their preferences, habits and purchases.
Internet browsing history can be another closely-guarded secret for some, particularly if surfing the web in the workplace. Atomik Research disclosed that 22 per cent of staff would be willing to reveal their browsing history to get an interview for their dream job, while 18 per cent would be happy to provide their dream employers with their personal media – pictures, videos and messages – to be interviewed for this dream job. Just 12 per cent would still reveal this information if their parents were to be privy to this media, while a measly four per cent would still show their personal photos and videos if an ex-partner were to be in the room at the time.
It is important for small businesses to teach their employees about data privacy and how to protect themselves and their personal information on the internet, according to Adam Carnell of instantprint. He acknowledges that small business can encounter problems and tough situations with regards to social media; therefore, they need to handle the data of their staff with great care, ensuring they put social media policies in place for the security and comfort of both the staff and the company.
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