By Ben Simmons

Social media represents a growing information headache for UK businesses, Iron Mountain research suggests.

While three quarters of UK respondents say they regard social media communications as formal business records, only half are aware that they carry legal liability for the content. A third of UK respondents describe their management of social media as ‘chaotic’ and ‘unmanaged’ and as many as three quarters ban the use of social media at work completely.

Commenting on the survey results, Christian Toon, head of information security at Iron Mountain Europe said: “Social media is troubling organisations much as email did a decade or so ago. It’s new, it generates huge volumes of unstructured data, and that makes it hard to control.

“The immediacy and informality of social media increase the potential risks of data breaches and information exposure, so it is not surprising that many companies feel threatened. However, social media also offers a wealth of possibilities in terms of customer engagement and market awareness. No business today can really afford to ignore it. Social media is the tool that a new generation of workers will expect to work with.”

“Don’t let fear hold you back,” suggests Toon. “Build your approach based on best practice in records management. There are some essential steps you can take to get to grips with social media in a way that would protect your business, your employees and your customers.”

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