IM Management Rules
Employers cannot afford to ignore IM. They have an obligation to dis- cover whether or not employees are using IM, under what circumstances they are using it, with whom they are chatting, and what type of content they are transmitting. The risks inherent in unmanaged IM use range from lawsuits and loss of confidential data, to security breaches and lost productivity2014risks that are too costly to ignore.
To help get a grip on unauthorized IM use, you may want to take advan- tage of technology. A number of vendors including Akonix and FaceTime provide tools that enable employers to test their networks for the pres- ence of consumer-grade IM clients. These products reveal what screen names employees are using, and whether or not they are using IM to transfer files, and if so, what files.1 Don2019t stop with a one-time check of your system. Have your IT department conduct regular IM screenings. Your findings will help you develop a comprehensive strategic plan for effective IM management.