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Are you and your employees as risk averse when engaging in social media as you are with conducting business? The two don’t seem to go hand in hand as many people are far more liberal with their personal brand and then subsequently their social media brand in social spaces such as Facebook and Twitter.

“People on social networking have to take into consideration what might other people think about what I’m putting up. How might other people use this both for and against me? And make a conscious risk based decision as to whether or not what they want to post is actually worth posting,” said Ira Winkler (@irawinkler), Chief Security Strategist for Codenomicon.

At the 2012 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Winkler gave a presentation about the dangers of social media. While the examples he presented were well known (e.g., Star Wars Kid and Weinergate), Winkler wasn’t trying to scare people into no use of social media, but rather prescribe responsible use. We need to give our use of social media thought and attention just like we would any other form of communications, Winkler said.

Winkler’s advice was for all, but he warned that social media behavior trickles to business use.

“What people do individually they will do at their company,” said Winkler. “If they don’t think with their private postings they’re not going to think with their work related postings.”

Businesses have to train people to have common sense, but people can’t have common sense if they don’t have common knowledge, said Winkler. And more importantly, even if they do build that common sense, people lose their filter over time. You need to be vigilant about social media use both personally and for your business.

Stock photo of social media button courtesy of Shutterstock.