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EyeOnLP: Social Media and Loss Prevention Concerns

With an ever-growing number of social media platforms and ways to interact online, it’s important to know the voices as well as what they are saying – especially when it comes to business and loss prevention concerns. Social media has become ingrained in our daily lives, which makes it easier for people to share their experiences and interactions. Customers can easily voice concern about something as simple as the color of their coffee cup and within hours have support from all over—from people who may not have noticed the change without the “whistle-blowers.”

While businesses have increased their savviness to connect with new customers and interact with current ones, another important group is sometimes left out of the conversation: employees!

While employees typically use social media for personal reasons, they can also use the format to talk about their employers. You may want to think they are using social media to support your company by talking about the current deals or sharing a recent community service event, but this enthusiasm can be damaging to the company or brand and may raise data security concerns. Just picture the impact if an excited employee leaks information regarding a new product release. This may tip competitors off to a new product and features to work on.

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From a loss prevention perspective, monitoring social media can be important because employees who take to social media could be disgruntled and may be looking to hurt their company. They could be posting images of stolen property, sharing customer information, discussing trade secrets, or exploiting lapses in security at their facility. They may even know shoplifters or people who are perpetrating thefts in their store and potentially benefiting from a relationship with those thieves.

Take it from Cynthia Hetherington, president of the Hetherington Group who spoke on this topic at the 2014 Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA) conference: Be sure your company is monitoring social media to keep your company associated with positivity in the “word cloud,” and address any issues with customers AND employees early.

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