Are your employees giving away too much information?

‘Overshare’ is the dictionary term for the phrase ‘too much information’. This term is referenced by urbandictionary.com as well as Webster’s New World Dictionary, which defines the verb as ‘to divulge excessive personal information, as in a blog or broadcast interview, prompting reactions ranging from alarmed discomfort to approval’.

The temptation to disclose personal experiences online exemplifies the basic human instinct to seek reassurance that we are not alone; somewhere, someone else is sharing the same experience as us at work, at home, financially, with their health. For many, social media is a part of human consciousness, but it is essential to think before sharing information and consider who is reading your every keystroke.

The significance of sharing relevant and streamlined content to represent ourselves effectively online is rapidly increasing as social media is used for recruitment purposes. A well-disciplined blog featuring informed personal opinions is eye-catching, but be aware that information posted on the internet cannot be erased.

Oversharers.com describes oversharing as ‘when people feel the need to tell us way too much’. Here you are invited to submit examples of ‘oversharing’ that you may have stumbled across online. Oversharing is usually intentional; a habit fuelled by social media, which enables individuals to make provocative public announcements to an entire network of friends.

Oversharing also extends to your organisation; people are talking via social media where conversations are vulnerable to being overlooked. It was recently reported that Julian Assange’s establishment of WikiLeaks has inspired many to overshare unauthorised sensitive information.

The intentions behind oversharing vary significantly from that of whistle-blowing; one careless comment could damage your organisation’s reputation in addition to jeopardising guilty employees’ future chances of employment.

Oversharing can facilitate social connections in appropriate environments; but be aware of potential repercussions. Generate discussion amongst employees and protect your organisation from suffering the consequences of disclosing too much information; exaggerated scenarios and story-telling are effective engagement mechanisms to demonstrate the risks and raise awareness of just who might be interested in your activity online.

Bernadette Palmer MA ICM, Dip ICM has been with The Security Company (TSC) for five years as Senior Communications Consultant. Bernadette’s in-depth understanding of the communications environment and the role of security awareness within organisations has been an invaluable asset for TSC in winning business from a wide range of companies. Before working for TSC, Bernadette was the Senior Employee Communications Manager for BT Major Business, BT Business and BT Products and Services; where she managed a team of communication specialists delivering a suite of services to internal clients. Prior to this Bernadette worked as the Security Awareness Manager for BT Security for six years where she gained an invaluable insight into the world of security within organisations.