In the Twitter era, the ability of information or misinformation to spread rapidly poses operational risks for businesses, a new survey from Hartford, Conn.-based Travelers Cos. Inc. finds.

The company’s global technology business unit conducted a national online survey of more than 2,000 adults to explore risks presented by social media, The survey found little concern among respondents about potential harm to their employers caused by their postings, with 75% saying that they were "not at all" or "not very concerned."

"As the use of social media grows at an unprecedented rate, especially among 30 to 49-year-olds, the likelihood of businesses being affected by employee social media use also increases," Kathy Swendsen, president of Travelers Global Technology said in a statement. "An employee could inadvertently post confidential information that could cause irreparable harm to a business. In addition, the speed and ease of publication to a wide audience makes it virtually impossible to remove the information once it is posted."

More ominously, two-thirds of respondents indicated that their company does not have a policy in place for social media usage, or they are not aware that one exists. Accordingly, Travelers counsels businesses to develop a policy to govern employee actions on social media tools.

"By implementing policies to address social media usage and making employees aware of those policies, businesses can reduce their exposures to legal liabilities, breaches of proprietary information and damage to a company's brand and reputation,” Swendsen added.

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