Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How To Tame the Social Network At Work

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the with-a-whip-and-chair dept.

Facebook 130

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Dan Tynan provides an in-depth report on how IT can tame social networking at work without shutting the organization off to the kinds of business opportunities today's social networks present. 'They're a productivity sink and a bandwidth suck. They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a data spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise,' Tynan writes. 'Most companies are in denial about how much their employees are using social nets, as well as what they can do to stop it.' Worse, many are still balking at the fact that having a presence on social networks is rapidly becoming a requirement for doing business. Strict commonsense policies, next-generation firewalls, data leak prevention software — all can decrease your company's exposure to the risks inherent in social networking while still enabling your company to solve problems, burnish its public image, recruit top talent, and generate ideas through social networks."

cancel ×

130 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

hosts file (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933212)

add
127.0.0.2 www.facebook.com
to
c:\windows\System32\drivers\hosts

Re:hosts file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933304)

NT. Brilliantly sarcastic sir.

Re:hosts file (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933892)

Whomever modded this "offtopic" is full of fail.

This is EXACTLY my local solution at work. THe users abuse the shit out of FB if they have access to it (without even getting into the security issues).

Not to mention...my users are stupid. THey don't even know what a hosts file is, and coupled with the fact that I have the hosts entry in Group Policy which auto-updates every 15 minutes or so...it is a cheap and effective way to ditch FB & the horrible time drain that it is from the office.

Re:hosts file (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934006)

Its a little easy to bypass is it not. Simply change it to an IP address and you should be able to access it. Even if one person figures it out, everyone in the company will know how to bypass it within a month tops

Re:hosts file (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934222)

Well yes...of course it can be bypassed. Getting to FB by IP address? Shit, I doubt I have a single user who even knows what an IP Address is. Yes, it is that bad. But I've had this "system" in place for the better part of a year and a half now. One person used a proxy to get by the hosts entry, and she was summarily skidded for it when a manager came by her desk to find out why she missed a deadline and saw her plugging away on Facebook. Nobody else has tried to get around it since. I know its not perfect, or in any way shape or form an enterprise-grade solution. But it's also free & has gotten the job done for now.

Social Icon (5, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933216)

That Slashdot "social" icon of the two hands shaking has gotta go. Maybe it applied to LinkedIn but not Facebook, etc. How about an image of somebody taking a photo of them self.

Re:Social Icon (2, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933280)

How about an image of somebody taking a photo of them self.

I like that idea. Mod parent up!

And while we're at it, let's change the Apple icon into something more appropriate, and in line with the M$ icon.

Re:Social Icon (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933582)

great troll, A+++++, would bite again

Re:Social Icon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933838)

How about a tramp stamp. That seems fitting.

Re:Social Icon (2, Funny)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933846)

How about a man with a megaphone screaming at a canyon?

Or a picture of someone taking a picture of someone taking a photo of their self?

THAT's the icon you complain about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934956)

The IT icon is a stapler...

Re:Social Icon (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935646)

That Slashdot "social" icon of the two hands shaking has gotta go. Maybe it applied to LinkedIn but not Facebook, etc. How about an image of somebody taking a photo of them self.

With duckface.

Facebook Account (5, Insightful)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933234)

Is it time to get a Facebook Account? I've been on Slashdot for years and as far as I was concerned, that's the only web social interaction I need. Sure, I've got a LinkedIn account, but that doesn't really count.

Slashdot has been cutting off journal entries and making it tougher to post stuff. It doesn't prompt the journals or make it easy to search through them. I wish Slashdot would change this, but there doesn't seem to be any impetuous towards this.

Everyone else it seems is on Facebook, but let's face it. Most of them are fairly to exceedingly lame, while the people around here are people who's opinion I want to hear. Still, these fairly to exceedingly lame individuals are my coworkers, friends, and potential employees and employers.

Will it be necessary to have a Facebook account in 2011?

Re:Facebook Account (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933282)

I get all the "productivity sink and a bandwidth suck" I need right here too.

Re:Facebook Account (4, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933424)

Is it time to get a Facebook Account?

It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

Nobody forces you to put sensitive private information on there. You can block any apps that irritate you.

My contacts have settled down into a very mature use pattern now; it's used for twitter-like microblogging, sharing photos, and -- crucially -- for forum-like discussions e.g. planning a party or some other kind of get-together. I haven't had a virtual sheep thrown at me, nor been bitten by a virtual zombie, for years.

Sure, you could say "I can use email for that", but if everyone else would prefer to use Facebook, your not being on it causes them a nuisance.

It's also quite handy for remembering people's birthdays ;)

Re:Facebook Account (2, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933596)

Is it time to get a Facebook Account?

It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone. You might not have heard of it, as it's a fairly new thing....

Re:Facebook Account (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933868)

Yeah, the phone has its uses.

But, example -- I went to a music festival with a group of about 10 people, some of whom I'm close to, some of whom I'm not. We did all the organisation -- when and where to meet up, where to camp, who's driving, what to take, etc. in a thread in a private Facebook group.

I think that having an asynchronous, persistent system like that is a lot easier for ongoing conversations with more than, say, 4 people.

Yes, email, or a forum, or Google Wave (RIP) fits the bill too. But in this case the originator of the conversation chose Facebook, so it's likely that anyone not on it would have been excluded from the conversation (maybe you'd be happy with that? Let everyone else discuss the options, and then phone you with their decisions, as a fait accomplis?)

I don't see a reason *not* to get a FB account. It costs nothing. You can alleviate privacy concerns by not putting anything private on there.

Re:Facebook Account (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934018)

Wowzers, you're still paying for telephone services WHILE paying for Internet?

The only reason I even HAVE a cell phone is for work and the occaisonal need to get a hold of people while on the run.

But seriously, if I ever need to talk to my friends and family, no matter what the geographic condition is, we've all been able to use Skype, or MSN messenger, or any of the other free video/audio/text chat applications available. I haven't made a long distance phone call in like 10 years.

But do you understand what Slim was trying to say there, it's easier for people to get a hold of you if you're on Facebook instead of relying on Email if that's what your friends and family are using? I mean - yes, my Mother could call up each and every one of us and ask us our Christmas gift wish lists and then redistribute them amongst the family - OR, she can start a facebook convo, with all of us involved, and say "Reminder, post your Christmas list or you'll get coal!" and we can all read each other's list without a lot of redundant conversation. And the added benefit is that Sibling A checks their facebook way more often than they check their email.

Re:Facebook Account (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934026)

I find telephone calls are anything but polite, they interrupt me when I'm trying to do other things. Facebook is like any other message board. You post when it's convenient for you, other people read when it's convenient for them, and more than two people can communicate simultaneously. Phone calls are a waste of time for Slim's example of organising a party.. if you have a convenient all in one message board/calendar facility like Facebook, that all your friends already use, it makes sense to use it.

Re:Facebook Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934432)

Text chat = pull based communication
Voice chat = push based real time communication

Voice chat causes high kernel time via many interrupts. Text just pulls a buffer when the thread gets a time slice.

Re:Facebook Account (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934158)

I hate talking on the phone. The only reason I have voice service is because I'm on a family share plan. You're almost always interrupting someone. I would much rather send them a message that just gets to the point.

Re:Facebook Account (2, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934474)

Mom: Oh yeah, right there!
Dad: You like that?
*phone rings*
Dad: Who the hell keeps calling us?
kidgenius (704962): Hey guys! I'm outside your house!
Dad: OMG! Can't u leave us alone for at least 30 minutes???

Re:Facebook Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934796)

Is it time to get a Facebook Account?

It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone. You might not have heard of it, as it's a fairly new thing....

Use the telephone? What an ass-hat. When I want to communicate with my friends and family, we use this crazy new invention called the telegraph. A nice man shows up at your door with the printed sheet. What kind of jerk would use a telephone when you could have this kind of personalized service?

Re:Facebook Account (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934836)

It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone.

Works fine so long as number of people involved is fairly small or at least the number of decision makers is fairly small, and only so long as they're all available by telephone. If the number grows large, or circumstances make synchronous communications difficult - then solutions like email and Facebook make things much easier.
 

You might not have heard of it, as it's a fairly new thing....

Which is the equivalent of saying "I don't need that newfangled color TV. I have a radio and it works just fine for me". It's fine if you don't want to use Facebook, or email... But implying that those of us who do are somehow flawed because you choose to fall off the trailing edge of technology is ludicrous at best.

Re:Facebook Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934918)

Telephone? It's not new. And that's why I don't use it. It's yet another example of a technology that just hasn't reached a useable state. Great idea, but due to poor implementation and misguided management... well, it just doesn't live up to its potential.

What What you say? Ok look. What did mankind do to the first telephones? That's right, my boy, THEY YELLED IN IT. Do yo have any idea what I just saw on the street corner? I saw a man holding a phone and yelling "Can you hear me now?" into it (A phrase I would expect one testing an immature communications technology to use). Progress my ass. Pin drop my ass!! Someone should sue for false advertizing.

It's the one Myth that Myth Busters didn't touch in the moon landing hoax. If we can't master our own terrestrial wireless voice communications today 40 years later how could we have done it back then at a distance orders of magnitude greater? A ha! Don't see that hole being plugged do ya?!

Clearly if we were to land on the moon we'd need some reliable communication technology like Web 2.0 which didn't exist back then. If we ever do make it to the moon, it will be on /. a true, reliable, and accurate, communication tool for nerds. (And some dumb admin will delete the original recordings and we'll have to live with the lower quality copies of copies on inferior mediums like Facebook. Conspiracy nuts will use it as "evidence" that we never went there. But those that were apart of it on /. will know the truth.)

Re:Facebook Account (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935310)

"Polite to them?! Umm...i'm close enough (not in the geographic sense) to my friends and family that when we want to talk, hang out, or get together, we use that crazy new invention called the telephone. You might not have heard of it, as it's a fairly new thing...."

Facebook's killer app is in planning parties (esp. with single people looking for romantic partners) and handling new contacts afterward. Calling people individually for this purpose is not time-effective. Once upon a time, written invitations and thank-you's would be sent (weddings still show this artifact), but today the Internet makes this the better choice.

Re:Facebook Account (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935434)

My cousin out West recently had a baby. If you've ever had a newborn show up, it's really very chaotic, shatters your schedule, and it's hard to find the time to call people up and talk to them. It was a whole lot easier for the proud parents to snap a couple of photos and update Facebook. Whatever reduces the load on new parents is good, I figure.

Re:Facebook Account (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935012)

If they find me not-being-on-facebook a nuisance then that's their problem, and to be honest I don't really want to hear from people who object that much. I've long since given up being irritated by them not using Linux, they'll get over it in much the same way....or more likely start asking me for advice on whatever the Next Big Thing is.

Re:Facebook Account (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935090)

You do realize that people regularly post private information about their friends publicly on Facebook? I finally gave up and deactivated my account because I was tired of constantly untagging myself from photos, videos, and other things.

And every time Facebook added a new feature, I had to figure out all the implications and how to disable many of them. One of the worst was that friends could tag me as being in a particular location. That really ticked me off. Some of the people within my social network are not close friends, but convenient acquaintances. One was convicted of robbery in the past. Do I really want him to know that I'm at Ted's Halloween party? When I found out a friend was tagging me at certain places, it pissed me off, because it's basically a "come rob this person; they're not at home!" tag. I don't know just how long it was enabled before I found it and turned it off.

Other peoples' careless actions can have a real and lasting effect on a social network, regardless of how careful you are with your information.

Re:Facebook Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935578)

"...You can block any apps that irritate you..."

Only after they've irritated you and probably scraped all your info as well.

The only way to beat facebook is to create several dummy accounts and to encourage everyone you know to do the same. Eventually marketers will realize the juice isn't worth the squeeze and Facebook's revenue will collapse like a crappy meringue.

Re:Facebook Account (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935798)

It depends on network effects. Are many of your friends/family using Facebook? If so, it might be polite to them if you were to sign up.

Or they could be polite and not demand that everyone follow the crowd they are part of. I have my reasons for not joining Facebook, why should I be forced to give in and join? If my friends want to communicate with me, they can use email, the telephone, or even just talk to me in person, so signups or invasions of privacy needed.

Sure, you could say "I can use email for that", but if everyone else would prefer to use Facebook, your not being on it causes them a nuisance.

Too bad, if they consider me to be a nuisance for not signing up for Facebook, then they have a choice. They can suck it up, or they can stop communicating with me. If Facebook is so important to someone that they will get aggravated just because I refuse to use it, to the point of not talking to me, then I am not certain I really want to keep them as a friend. Nobody in my social circle has any doubts as to my feelings on Facebook.

Re:Facebook Account (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933646)

Depends on what reason you want to use Facebook. I have a large family all over the country. Keeping up with them would have required a major amount of effort without Facebook. For example I have 2 new nieces and it's very nice that my brother posts pictures of them periodically. That was my primary reason. The secondary reason is to keep up with friends, some of whom I would have never found again. Last it's another way for people to reach me (that I can ignore if I choose). Yes some people are in it for the vanity. It's a tool like everything else.

Re:Facebook Account (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933722)

I guess it depends on what type of person you are. If you are/were a friend of mine, and we've just naturally fallen out of touch, that's just the way it is. If I really was dying to get back in touch with you, I wouldn't have fallen out of touch in the first place. I have a small handful of friends. Hell, I could count it on a hand or two. The difference is that any one of these friends can be called up at a moments notice and they will help a brother out. And there is reciprocity to that as well. I guess as I get older, and have a family, etc., hanging out with friends kind of falls by the wayside, and that's ok with me. Some friends end up fading away, and that's just the natural ebb and flow of life....

Re:Facebook Account (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934192)

I do Parkour with a few friends several times a week, and we even have our own messageboard where we chat, but Facebook is nicer for sharing stuff like the videos and photos we've taken during sessions, or cool videos we've found on YouTube. It definitely has a place even among people who are already friends. It's also a nice way to get to know new friends (and even their friends/family) better.

Watching The Social Network yesterday almost made me delete my Facebook account, but at the same time it made me realise just how brilliant and revolutionary Facebook was when it came out. I've never really thought of it as anything other than a different form of MySpace, but being able to control what info other groups of people can see on your page is an important concept.

Re:Facebook Account (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934164)

If you keep it locked down to friends only, facebook isn't too bad. You get to know some of whats going on and the messaging can be useful. It's kind of like email but without the stuff you delete without reading.

I've got family halfway round the world and its nice to be able to keep in touch. You will need a facebook filter on your email account just to delete the notifications facebook send continually. It's also very good for birthdays. oh and new slashdot stories get posted as they become live if you become a fan.

Just be careful with what information you share.

Re:Facebook Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934952)

In the past, they *have* changed their privacy policy on a whim. AND, not to your benefit at all.

Re:Facebook Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934814)

Don't worry about it. Once enough "Corporate Individuals" get on there, Facebook will wither and die. I think anything that tries to become the "only massive one" must die. It is some kind of law we haven't defined yet or ...?

Re:Facebook Account (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935672)

Staying away from Facebook is easy...if you are willing to fight with everyone around you when they say, "Did you see those pictures I posted on Facebook? No, I won't email my pictures to you! Can't you see everyone is on Facebook?!"

Ha! Try and stop me! (4, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933250)

I browse facebook via an encrypted tunnel to a private server!

So it probably just looks like I'm funnelling in and out company secrets or something...

Re:Ha! Try and stop me! (-1, Troll)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933880)

    Isn't that the only way you should work?

    Do you trust your employer to monitor anything and everything that you do at work?

    For everyone else, what's going to happen when you find out that they've been logging all traffic in and out, and then there's a change in management? That Google search you did last month for "Obama healthcare plan" may not sit so well with the die-hard born again conservative republican fanatics who are now upper management? Quietly labeled as a neo socialist anti-American, they may decide it's necessary to downsize your department by one (namely, you).

    I don't trust any network that I don't manage, and I know where all the monitoring points are, and what they log. Sure, transit and endpoints may intercept, but it's far less damaging than your boss seeing you searching for "nigritude ultramarine". :)

Re:Ha! Try and stop me! (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933984)

Isn't that the only way you should work?

It works great, until you work at a company where the IT people understand what an encrypted tunnel is, watch for them, and are panicked that you're using one.

It only happened to me once but man was that an awkward conversation with my boss.

Re:Ha! Try and stop me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934514)

No problem at my company - they are getting "appliances" that decrypt SSL on the fly to ensure nothing illicit is going in/out. "Secure" sockets - hah!

Re:Ha! Try and stop me! (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934746)

Umm, that's not actually possible unless they have a certification authority with its cert in your browser and are generating MITM certs for every outgoing SSL connection.

Not beyond the realms of the imaginable, perhaps.

If you meant ssh and they were intercepting the initial setup of the signatures then sure, that's more likely,

Re:Ha! Try and stop me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935926)

That's almost impressive of IT to even spot that unless you were transmitting a lot of data

I just use my connection of that nature to browse the web largely (it's key to force your browser to do DNS lookups remotely), and occasionally remote in to my home computer

I'm an accountant and I know they log all our web activity and would be happy to use it to fire people if they want to under any pretext so I just browse like this to avoid giving them ammunition

Re:Ha! Try and stop me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934590)

Yeah I remember a guy that USED to work here that did that. ;-)

do what at work now? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933260)

... as I sit at work reading about how to tame social networks at work ...

Block!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933288)

Bock early, block often, block aggressively. DO NOT GIVE IN.
I'm usually not for stonewalling but this is an exception.

Once one of your PHBs uses myfacetwit to talk to another PHB the business case is made and your 0day browser exploit nightmare begins.

You might as well write a script that opens your boss's port sentry when you recive a call from your boss.

Was that info or a commercial? (3, Interesting)

gti_guy (875684) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933334)

The article looks like little more than an advertisement for "FaceTime's Socialite or Palo Alto Networks' next-generation firewalls".

Re:Was that info or a commercial? (1, Troll)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934740)

A commercial it is. Nothing good is ever found at the end of a link with *world.com as its suffix. Ads and disappointment, along with something like this article; complete Social Net-Hype bullshit. Yeah, grow your biz on facebook... if you're an idiot. I don't read articles like this, ever. Let me guess though, your "article" was light on info, heavy on ads to the point of absurdity, perhaps broken into several pages for no good reason and so much java script that you'd think the Mormon Tabernacle Java Script Choir was standing on your head. Nice!

Resistance is Futile (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933362)

"They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a DATA spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise"

Wait, are we talking about social networking here? or the Borg invasion from 'Star Trek: First Contact?'

Re:Resistance is Futile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933686)

Well the Collective really is the ultimate social network (minus the shitty games and annoying ads), so either way the answer is 'yes'.

Re:Resistance is Futile (1)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933748)

Woah, that's perfect. Where can I sign up?

Re:Resistance is Futile (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933896)

Oh, don't you worry. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our friend list.

I wonder if they know about Facebook on iPhone? (5, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933382)

The idea that corporate firewalls, IDS and content filters will stop Facebook or other social networking traffic is silly. There are hundreds of mobile devices that use consumer-grade cellular networks already in place; information WILL get out.

Re:I wonder if they know about Facebook on iPhone? (2)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933488)

Yeah, but it will be more of a pain in the ass for most people. I don't regularly use any social networking sites so I don't know what the experience is like on a smart phone, but it's probably not anywhere near as good as the experience from a web browser. Hell, if the company provides the smart phone, they're probably just as capable of locking it down as any of the staff machines. You can't stop 100% of people from getting access, but if you stop 95% of them, that's probably a satisfactory amount.

Re:I wonder if they know about Facebook on iPhone? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933690)

Yeah, but it will be more of a pain in the ass for most people. I don't regularly use any social networking sites so I don't know what the experience is like on a smart phone, but it's probably not anywhere near as good as the experience from a web browser.

Actually, Twitter and Facebook seem to have designed with the idea that they would be used on cell phones.

The Facebook app on the iPhone (IMO) is sometimes actually better than using the webpage because you get less junk on the screen (like friend recommendations etc). If it wasn't for ATT's crappy signal strength, but that isn't really the issue here.

Of course you are missing the flash based games, but considering the iPhone has its own line of games designed for its screen...

Personally, I don't really trust my employers looking over my shoulder anyways reading about my social life so I always make a habit of just using Facebook on my phone if the need arises.

Re:I wonder if they know about Facebook on iPhone? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933918)

Exactly and even if not on a personal device, many sites use SSL or are simply not being monitored (personal blogs, obscure or other-language social networks). It's a fallacy to think that in this day and age, you can keep a company secret if everyone in your company needs access to these secrets. Once you go beyond the highest levels of management (C-level) or the very guarded R&D departments you cannot keep anything a secret for very long.

If the only reason your company exists is because of an internal secret (whether that be a patent, process or a formula), you will fail because eventually someone will exit your company with enough information to reproduce it even if it has to be reproduced in a shady 3rd world country. If your company can survive while being very open about what's in the end product (such as it's software), only then will you have a stable company.

Re:I wonder if they know about Facebook on iPhone? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933990)

Exactly - the same goes for, well, pretty much everything that's blocked on a corporate network. What with MiFis and smartphones starting to crop up absolutely everywhere...

Re:I wonder if they know about Facebook on iPhone? (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935474)

Much of the advantages are there if FB is run on the employees' phones. Nothing dodgy is getting run or installed on company computers, confidential information would have to be manually copied to be leaked, that sort of thing.

Move the firewall inwards (2)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933410)

It's a long time since I had any involvement in corporate IT networks; and I realise that a lot is easier said than done, but if I were designing one from scratch today; I wouldn't treat any physical internal employee work location (ethernet at the desk or office-wide WiFi) as being any different to the wider Internet.

This would enable an infrastructure to be set-up where protection was focussed around the core services and the communications channel between them and the accessing client rather than having to worry about what is actually going on at the employee's desktop; because even if you do restrict external Internet access your employees are just going use dongles or their mobile phones.

what firewall? (5, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933452)

My friend is on facebook all day at work. His corporate firewall is ruthless. It is without ruth. It is a brick wall with no peeping holes.

He doesn't care since he's sitting back in his chair on his droid.

How the heck can IT battle this? (Is it obviously a social issue?)

Re:what firewall? (4, Funny)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933542)

Unemployment? That usually does the trick.

Re:what firewall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934086)

You've never worked for the Government, have you.

/is a social issue, not technological

Re:what firewall? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934100)

That depends on what kind of Droid he has. Like if he has an R2 unit, that thing'll just plug right into the wall socket and edit the Employee Database so he is still on a paycheck!

Re:what firewall? (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933616)

My friend is on facebook all day at work. His corporate firewall is ruthless. It is without ruth. It is a brick wall with no peeping holes.

He doesn't care since he's sitting back in his chair on his droid.

How the heck can IT battle this? (Is it obviously a social issue?)

Yup.

I've got a a Blackberry with 3G access. I can pull up Facebook on it just fine.

I've also got a nook which does a less impressive job of rendering web pages, but generally gets the job done.

Folks around me have iPhones and iPads available.

It isn't the corporate network and workstations you need to worry about. It's all the Internet-connected devices your employees are carrying around.

Re:what firewall? (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933626)

To be fair, as long as he's using FB on his droid, there's no scope for a 3rd party app to put malware on his PC.

Re:what firewall? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933656)

Why should they? If your employees are surfing Facebook instead of working, fire them. If they're surfing Facebook and working, why do you care?

Re:what firewall? (1)

cornercuttin (1199799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933672)

they can have managers that actually check on their workers. or, if the organization provides phone numbers for each employee, they can tell the employees that they will be reprimanded if their cell phones are seen; they have office phones & email if they need to communicate with the outside.

or they can provide some mechanism for employees to let managers know when someone is dicking around on their phone too much (anonymously). i get irate when i'm working my ass of on issues, but a coworker spends all day on his phone (and then turns around and complains about his salary and whatnot).

Re:what firewall? (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934124)

How the heck can IT battle this? (Is it obviously a social issue?)

Why should they? He's not exposing the company to harm. At that point it's just a productivity issue.

Re:what firewall? (1)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934168)

You forgot the part that's even worse... at night, when you're no looking, he *gasp* goes to a different place and uses a computer WITHOUT a firewall and does face-book non-stop, or at least until he sleeps.

"OMG. Why o why does my company employ such lowly filth?" you ask as you type away on your own geek based social networking site, "it's despicable!"

d

Re:what firewall? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935352)

How the heck can IT battle this?

Not IT, but whoever does policy enforcement. Most places have a personal cell phone use ban. So while he may not be violating anything IT-related, your friend is still probably violating his employment terms he signed when hired. If he's on it as much as you're implying, a simple spot check will catch him.

mate will you (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933458)

cut down on the supermarket tabloid speak - slashdot isn't for that sort of iduhvidual

If only my organization was social net enlightened (1)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933480)

SCENE: MOZILLA FIREFOX WINDOW

Firefox title bar: "Access to this site is blocked"
Firefox document body:

Content blocked by your organization

Reason:
This Websense category is filtered: Denied.

URL: http://www.facebook.com/ [facebook.com]

Options:
Click more_information [slashdot.org] to learn more about your access policy.
Click Go_Back [slashdot.org] or use the browser's Back button to return to the previous page.

More_information [slashdot.org] link leads to this not-so-helpful explanation:
Your Websense policy blocks this page at all times.

/facepalm

Re:If only my organization was social net enlighte (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934312)

It's "policy". And with all such policies, discussion is prohibited. Otherwise, the policy would be ineffective. What you seek is not helpfulness, but a way to skirt this policy and thwart the dictates of your managers. Sounds like insubordination to me.

Educate the Users (1)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933494)

Yes, I know it's a cliche. Considering the massive variety of ways that users can satisfy their addictions to social networking, there is no reasonable technical solution to the problem. So use a social one.

Yes, I know I'm being simplistic, but complexity isn't a necessary part of having a good idea. Implementing it, on the other hand...

Requirement? (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933536)

Many are still balking at the fact that having a presence on social networks is rapidly becoming a requirement for doing business

When I want to see information about a business, I just go to their website, not FaceBook.

Re:Requirement? (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933622)

When I want to see information about a business, I just go to their website, not FaceBook.

When did Facebook suddenly become the only "social network" ?

Re:Requirement? (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933652)

I think that having a presence on facebook, twitter, etc., can be beneficial to many companies. But none of those companies are the types that should worry about blocking access, etc. Being on facebook isn't going to make or break a Fortune 500 compnay...

Re:Requirement? (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933886)

And this fact is based on what? Social Networking is a new untested variable in the business place. Maybe it could break a Fortune 500 company.

Re:Requirement? (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933988)

Really? You think if Coca-Cola doens't have a FB account their in trouble? How about Exxon, Honeywell, Boeing, or BofA? You can't be serious. Heck, most of those companies don't even deal with you and me, and instead do nothing but service other large coporations....

Re:Requirement? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934148)

Coca Cola *does* have a Facebook page, and appears to spend money keeping it alive.

Now, I'm not saying they'd be in *trouble* without one. But it does appear that Coke's marketing people thing it's a worthwhile investment, and I bet Facebook viral stuff pushed by Pepsi is threatening Coke sales (admittedly, tiny percentages, but still large numbers I suspect).

My company -- very much not consumer-oriented -- has someone who as part of their job, tends corporate Facebook and Twitter identities, intended as something a customer would follow.

Re:Requirement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934016)

Excellent point. Who/What business really (will) need Facebook to do business?

Re:Requirement? (1)

digitalaudiorock (1130835) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934508)

When I want to see information about a business, I just go to their website, not FaceBook.

Ditto...I know it seems to be a must these days and even major corporations are jumping all over it, but am I the only one who sees stuff like facebook.com/yourcompany and thinks "What's the matter...couldn't afford a real website?". Guess I'm old fashioned...

man up and block it. you don't need it. (2, Interesting)

cornercuttin (1199799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933570)

first of all, 90% of companies out there can't really benefit from FB whatsoever. there is no financial benefit whatsoever. so block it, and tell your employees to shut up and quit wasting time. and companies need to quit making FB pages for themselves. you can't promote your own FB page as a company, and then get pissy if people spend time on FB within your organization. not having a FB account is wonderful. it is such a stupid thing.

Re:man up and block it. you don't need it. (3, Insightful)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934232)

So this of course means that you're also totally ok with blocking slashdot too, right?

That's what gets me the most about this entire topic is how many people are ok with saying "facebook@work = evil, stealing from the company lazy employees!!", but "slashdot@work = ok because it helps me with some downtime to keep me productive."

d

How To Tame the Social Network At Work (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933584)

Evaluate employees based on whether or not they perform their duties, not whether or not they look busy.

Hold the managers to the same standard.

If you need to squeeze more blood from the rock that is your personnel, realize that blocking sites, banning cell phone use, etc. will only drive them to do the minimum to avoid being fired. If that's what you want, go for it.

If you want good workers, treat them like decent people. Work isn't play, but it doesn't have to be a prison, either. In the 70s we realized we should allow personal calls at work so long as they didn't take up all of your time and impact your work performance. In the 2000s, we realized that people also have personal email accounts.

Maybe by 2030 we'll realize that people also have social lives. Hiring and firing won't be contingent on a clean slate social network profile. Socializing while at work will be tolerated as long as it doesn't impact your performance.

Re:How To Tame the Social Network At Work (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934206)

Uncommon common sense. Thank you.

Should be easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33933848)

"We understand that you want to surf on Facebook, et al. But this is a business, and you are an employee. Surfing such sites is not allowed. We aren't going to use a jillion dollars worth of technology to enforce you not doing what you shouldn't be doing in the first place. You are an adult. This is the policy. Follow it."

Are we talking about users in a high school, or a business?

Hahaha!! (4, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33933874)

'They're a productivity sink and a bandwidth suck. They're a vector for malware and a gift for corporate spies. They're a data spill just waiting to happen. And like it or not, they're already inside your enterprise,'

Hahaha! I believe those things are called "people" ;-)

Seriously though, if work gets done and private info stays private then who cares?

I mean, go hang with the people that smoke outside the building, they talk shop nearly constantly. I've been able to inadvertently overhear some pretty interesting details about the infrastructure of several IT shops that way just by passing by and saying "hello" to co-workers enjoying a smoke break.

Easy Solution (4, Insightful)

mhesler (877661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934022)

Keep people busy and make them accountable for getting their work done. Otherwise, what's the problem?

Technology is not the answer (4, Insightful)

Philodoxx (867034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934080)

The solution to this problem lies with management, not technology. Replace Facebook with "Playing cards" and the solution is the same. If you have somebody who wastes time at work it should be up to that person's boss to stop that behavior and get the person back to work.

Re:Technology is not the answer (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935078)

while i agree on the productivity side.. Facebook also has other issue that it brings along

i've never seen a deck of playing cards send people messages "hey checkout what happened last night ---> Attachment (Topless.jpg.exe)"

i only reference that as it was very close to something that actually happened here where more than 1 person was dumb enough to download and install crap on their machines.

Just block the social game servers (2, Interesting)

Leemeng (970560) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934234)

Can't you just block the servers used by Facebook games? e.g. Zynga, Mindjolt, etc. The domains and IP ranges should be easy to track down. That should eliminate a major time sink, while still allowing access to FB messages, events, groups, etc which could possibly be used for work.

But really, if you've got someone playing Farmville 6+ hours a day at work, then it is an employee problem, not a security problem...

Non of that "social" stuff round these parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33934296)

Where I'm currently working, there is nothing other than email. Everything starts with, includes, and ends with an email. It's more of a CYA audit trail than a communications medium. Most emails include several dozen people on the "TO:" recipient list, including people only vaguely interested in the message topic. The obvious side-effect is that many people get hundreds of emails per day, and spend much of their time pruning their inbox and, in the process, deleting or over-seeing the one percent of important messages. The only way to really get anything done is to send an email cc:ing your manager (CYA), print that email and deliver it in person. If they aren't there, put it on their desk, then call them to make sure they've read what you put on their desk. Mention SMS or twitter and people look at you like "say whuuuh?".

Every hear the saying that to a five year old with a hammer, all the world's problems look like a nail?

Whitelisting? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934568)

Block everything and then only allow those sites that are really needed.

You could even make it pretty user friendly in that people can add a site and that will be automatically added and checked afterwords on validity. Sure a user could add some pr0n site, but that will be noticed later, so people will be unlikely to do that, unless they want to be fired.

And then not all people need access to everything, so different filters per department or even per user should be possible.

For those that can't go without any access to their personal email for 8 hours, you can place dedicated PC's near coffee machines or wherever you think is good for staff. As these are dedicated, they can be placed in DMZ and would have no link to the Intranet.

Re:Whitelisting? (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934670)

The department PCs better not have USB ports configured to accept storage devices. Otherwise its a waste of time if users can effectively bypass the firewalls by plugging in their potentially compromised USB drives. Locking out PCs is hard... you have to lock out ALL I/O to be secure, not just the network. Of course, not to many places will do that due to inconvenience, so there are compromises to consider in the security plan.

It can be tamed... (1)

jpiratefish (1690054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934876)

Palo Alto Networks (www.paloaltonetworks.com) happens to have the the technology to do exactly this - plus lower the bitrate based on the user (integrated LDAP). They can even proxy SSL sessions, decode content, detect applications (or data loss) and act accordingly. Kinda scary really, but awesome power...

They allow facebook because they WANT to spy (3, Funny)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33934964)

I am convinced that my company decided to allow Facebook because they wanted direct access to people's personal lives and if you use Facebook over the network you give that to them. They can monitor and store every interaction with FB, and nosy managers can get access to this whenever they want. If they didn't let people access FB over their network, then they couldn't legally invade their privacy.

Re:They allow facebook because they WANT to spy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935698)

I am convinced that my company decided to allow Facebook because they wanted direct access to people's personal lives and if you use Facebook over the network you give that to them. They can monitor and store every interaction with FB, and nosy managers can get access to this whenever they want. If they didn't let people access FB over their network, then they couldn't legally invade their privacy.

You, sir, are a genious. THAT is the way to curb social networking at work.

Give them what they want. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935438)

Obviously, these people are not getting enough time to spend with friends and family. I suggest that you give them another 8 hours a day to spend with their friends and family.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>