Social media risks

Social-media-risks-850x320

Social media is an ever increasing form of communication for many people in both their personal and professional lives.  It presents people with many benefits in allowing them to communicate a variety of messages to many people with great speed and efficiency.  However, those benefits need to be balanced with the many risks social media presents.

Social media is a very broad term which includes any websites and applications which allow users to interact with other people as well as create or share information (text, photos, videos etc.).

There are endless examples where people appear to have not stopped and thought before they’ve posted on social media.  Poorly considered social media posts can and do affect the personal and professional reputation and image of individuals as well as a businesses; even if the post isn’t directly related to a business.

The following tips will assist individuals and businesses manage their risks when using social media.

Have a business plan for how and why social media is to be used

When deciding whether or not to create a business social media presence, it’s very easy to think ‘if everyone else is doing it, so should I’.  However there needs to be greater thought put into this decision.  The decision to use social media should be well thought out and based on a company’s needs and business plans; the benefits and risks need to be considered.

Business social media should be based on business requirements, not personal views

Business owners and managers need to be sure that when they make a decision on whether to use social media for their business, this decision is based on the needs of the organisation, not the owner’s/manager’s personal views of social media.  For example, a person who chooses to not use Twitter for personal use may still decide it’s a great tool for them professionally.  Business decisions and personal decisions regarding social media use should be separated.

Create clear business guidelines and processes regarding who is able to post on social media and how this is to be done

Due to the risks associated with social media interactions, it’s very important that businesses have a clear process for who is responsible for posting on social media.  The person undertaking this role needs to understand when social media is an appropriate form of communication and what sort of messages are to be shared using social media.  This process should also provide guidance on how often social media is monitored and responded to and how to respond to negative comments.

Consider training for those staff responsible for social media

It’s often assumed that young people are well versed in social media use however this isn’t always the case.  Also, not all users of social media understand appropriate business use and its associated risks.  Therefore it’s worth considering training in social media communications and its risks for the responsible staff members. 

Understand the social media site you’re using

There’s a wide variety of social media sites available to businesses, all providing similar yet different benefits.  When a business is using any of these sites, it’s very important they understand the various functions within that site.  Not fully understanding how a site works is going to increase the risks of using it.

Consider what messages should be shared using social media

All businesses have various ways in which they communicate with their customers and clients.  Social media is generally designed for short sharp messages, yet not all information suits this style of communication.  When businesses are communicating with their customers, they need to carefully consider how that particular message should be shared.

Carefully consider the implications of engaging with clients on social media

Professionals and businesses should consider if social media is an appropriate forum for them to be communicating with clients, both through business or personal accounts.  Engagement through personal accounts can blur professional boundaries.  When using business accounts, some conversations may not suit social media, especially if the conversation appears in a public setting.  It’s important to consider what conversations are best had away from social media and when to take a discussion off line.

Understand that you can no longer separate personal and professional use

Unfortunately many people hold a view that what they write within a personal social media account in their own time will have no bearing or impact on them professionally.  However this is not the case.  Whether fair or not, professionals are always representing their profession and professional self; personal social media posts can be considered to be representing a professional view.  Therefore the professional impact needs to be considered before any personal post is made. 

Don’t believe that any post is ever private

Too often people post information on social media which they intended to remain private and not be seen widely.  However social media can never truly be private.  Many online groups claim to be private and state that members require approval.  However non-approved users don’t need to be particularly savvy to access these groups and then share or copy information being posted.  Professionals need to remember that if they don’t want their colleagues, clients or competitors seeing a social media post, it should never be posted on either personal or business accounts.

Never post in haste, all posts need to be carefully considered

As mentioned earlier, social media is designed for quick short messages to be shared widely.  This means social media can encourage messages to be shared with little thought or planning which on occasions leads to poorly worded messages which are easily misinterpreted.  It’s important to pause and think through a message before it’s shared.

Download pdf here

Guild Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Latest Articles

  • Why every business needs an asset register

    When considering an insurance policy, it’s easy for many of us to think “it’ll never happen to me”.  However, the vast experience of Guild Insurance tells us ‘it’, being events that require insurance claims, unfortunately can happen to people like you. 

    Guild Insurance is dedicated to providing risk management information to those insured with us to help reduce the likelihood of events occurring which will have a detrimental impact on their business and lead to an insurance claim.  However, we also know that not everything can be prevented.  Which is why business owners also need to consider what they can do to reduce the severity or impact on their business should an event occur.  And this is where asset registers become so important.

    What is an asset register?

    An asset register is simply a list of assets held by a business.  These can be created and stored in various ways, such as paper format or electronically, yet should always be stored safely and be easily accessible.

    Why are they needed?

    All businesses should hold an asset register as they serve a number of important purposes.

    It’s estimated that well over half of Australian businesses are underinsured.  A detailed asset register will help a business understand the value of what they own and therefore the level of insurance required to be adequately protected.

    An asset register also assists businesses when there is a need to lodge an insurance claim due to property loss or damage.  When there is an up to date asset register, this necessary information can be provided quickly to an insurance company which is likely to speed up the settlement process.  Making an insurance claim for property damage or loss can be quite a stressful process for any business.  An asset register can reduce some of this stress by making the process more straightforward.

    When a business has multiple sites, keeping track of all assets is quite a challenge.  An asset register provides the business with a way to manage all assets, even when the assets aren’t physically in sight of those responsible.

    What information should be included?

    For an asset register to be of any benefit to a business, it’s important that the information is up to date and correct.  Businesses should have a process for how and when the register will be updated and by who.  This process should require adding a new asset as soon as it is purchased.  However, it would also be beneficial doing regular checks of the asset register to be sure nothing has been accidentally left off.

    The asset register should include a list of all items which could be lost or damaged if there was an incident at the premises.  Don’t just focus on the costly items; damage to a lot of items which are of lesser value can still add up and you will want a record of these items.  The types of assets to be recorded may include:

    • Furniture, both indoor and outdoor
    • Computer and other office equipment
    • Electrical items such as fridges and air conditioners

    The information to record about each of these items may include:

    • Description of the item
    • Brand, make or model
    • Serial number
    • Purchase value
    • Purchase date
    • Location of the item
    • Warranty information
    • Invoices

    Creating an asset register

    As previously mentioned, asset registers are really just a list of items so the creation of them doesn’t need to be overly complex.  There are a number of template examples which can be found through internet searches. 

    However, the challenging aspect of creating an asset register is being sure the information you have on there is detailed and correct.  It’s therefore recommended that businesses use their accountant to assist with this task.

    Download pdf here

  • Have you prepared for a cyclone?

    We hear it all the time – a disaster has ruined lives and businesses.

    Too often people unfortunately seek comfort in the belief that ‘it could never happen to me’.  Yet claims reported to Guild Insurance tell us otherwise.  They remind us that businesses suffer losses every day.

    Some business owners have unrealistic expectations about how they’ll cope if the unthinkable happens.  Businesses are often surprised at just how much they’re impacted when a disaster occurs.  This is why planning for a disaster is vital.  Once something happens, the time to prepare has gone.

    All businesses need to be realistic about what can happen and be proactive in putting risk management strategies in place.

    Matters to consider when preparing for a cyclone

    • Understand your risk of a cyclone based on location and current weather warnings
    • Find out if your building has been built to cyclone standards and make modifications where possible
    • Know the safest route out of your local area
    • Where possible, secure loose items such as outdoor furniture
    • Follow and adhere to cyclone warnings when issued
    • Have a plan, and rehearse it, for what to do in the event there is a cyclone. This plan includes but isn’t limited to:
      • Being ready and willing to leave early
      • An evacuation plan which needs to consider not only staff but any clients or other visitors who may be on the premises
      • An emergency items kit which is packed at all times and includes all emergency contact phone numbers, mobile phone chargers and a first aid kit
    • Be sure all staff are involved in preparing the business for a cyclone
    • Understand what you’re insured for in the event of a cyclone; contact your insurer if this needs updating

    Cyclone preparation resources

    The following resources are available to assist individuals and businesses prepare for and cope with a cyclone.  Utilise these resources to ensure you’re as prepared as you can be.

    NT – securent.nt.gov.au/prepare-for-an-emergency/cyclones

    QLD – getready.qld.gov.au/natural-disasters/cyclones

    WA – dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/cyclone

    Bureau of Meteorology - bom.gov.au/cyclone/about/checklist.shtml

    Download PDF here

Most Viewed

  • Business cyber security obligations

    Did you know that approximately 4,000 reports of cybercrime are reported to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network every month? That’s a lot of cyber-attacks to arm yourself against.

    While you might do your best to protect your business, do you know what to do if your business is under attack? And do you know what your obligations are when dealing with an attack?

    Download your copy of Business Cyber Security Obligations and learn the essential strategies to preparing for a cyber-attack and the legal obligations you have to your clients and staff.

     

     DOWNLOAD AS PDF

  • Guild's guide to a risk free holiday season

    With the holiday season approaching, it’s time to remind ourselves of the possible threats to our homes and cars during this time. In the lead up to what should be a fun and festive time with loved ones, it’s important to think about what you can do to protect your valuable assets during this period.

    Thefts and burglaries increase at this time as a lot of crime is opportunistic; thieves know that houses and cars might be full of newly purchased gifts. Thieves also know that with people away on holidays, there is an increased opportunity to break into cars and homes.

    However, holiday dangers aren’t just about thefts and burglaries. People also need to think about what they can do to protect their homes and cars from damage or unnecessary costs while on holidays, as well as keeping themselves safe.

    Protecting your home
    Before heading off on holidays:

    • Be mindful of how you dispose of packaging of gifts or newly purchased items. A bin full of boxes for items such as televisions, game consoles or tablets lets people know what valuable items are in the home.

    • Ask a friend or neighbour to collect your mail. A build-up of mail is a sure sign someone isn’t home.

    • Use a timer to have your house lights turn on and off at certain periods of the day, creating a look of someone being in.

    • Consider what appliances can be turned off within your home. While usage is low, many appliances continue to use power even when they aren’t being used. Items to consider turning off include hot water tanks, televisions, microwaves and computers. However, be sure to think about what you’re turning off before you quickly switch off all power; for example, fridges and freezers, unless empty, should be kept on.

    • Clear out your gutters. A build-up of leaves and other debris creates a fire hazard as well as a risk of an overflow of water entering the roof space during a storm.

    Protecting your car

    • If leaving your car at home while on holidays, where possible leave it locked securely in a garage or somewhere else out of sight. Thieves will notice a car sitting in the sam spot every day which hasn’t moved.

    • Don’t keep valuables in sight that could entice those opportunistic
    thieves. This applies to items used all year, such as mobile phones. However, over the holiday season it also applies to shopping bags which are clearly full of new items.

    • When taking your car on holidays, be sure you have some sort of roadside assistance or breakdown coverage to protect you during those
    unexpected moments.

    • If sharing driving duties during a road trip, be sure the insurance policy for the car covers all drivers.

    • Take regular breaks on long drives by either swapping drivers or taking rest breaks. Also, when on long drives, plan your stops to allow for petrol fill ups and food and drink stops.

    • Be particularly careful when driving at dawn and dusk as visibility generally isn’t as clear as during the day.


    Download the printable version

    riskhq-download-button

professional

  • Guild's guide to a risk free holiday season

    With the holiday season approaching, it’s time to remind ourselves of the possible threats to our homes and cars during this time. In the lead up to what should be a fun and festive time with loved ones, it’s important to think about what you can do to protect your valuable assets during this period.

    Thefts and burglaries increase at this time as a lot of crime is opportunistic; thieves know that houses and cars might be full of newly purchased gifts. Thieves also know that with people away on holidays, there is an increased opportunity to break into cars and homes.

    However, holiday dangers aren’t just about thefts and burglaries. People also need to think about what they can do to protect their homes and cars from damage or unnecessary costs while on holidays, as well as keeping themselves safe.

    Protecting your home
    Before heading off on holidays:

    • Be mindful of how you dispose of packaging of gifts or newly purchased items. A bin full of boxes for items such as televisions, game consoles or tablets lets people know what valuable items are in the home.

    • Ask a friend or neighbour to collect your mail. A build-up of mail is a sure sign someone isn’t home.

    • Use a timer to have your house lights turn on and off at certain periods of the day, creating a look of someone being in.

    • Consider what appliances can be turned off within your home. While usage is low, many appliances continue to use power even when they aren’t being used. Items to consider turning off include hot water tanks, televisions, microwaves and computers. However, be sure to think about what you’re turning off before you quickly switch off all power; for example, fridges and freezers, unless empty, should be kept on.

    • Clear out your gutters. A build-up of leaves and other debris creates a fire hazard as well as a risk of an overflow of water entering the roof space during a storm.

    Protecting your car

    • If leaving your car at home while on holidays, where possible leave it locked securely in a garage or somewhere else out of sight. Thieves will notice a car sitting in the sam spot every day which hasn’t moved.

    • Don’t keep valuables in sight that could entice those opportunistic
    thieves. This applies to items used all year, such as mobile phones. However, over the holiday season it also applies to shopping bags which are clearly full of new items.

    • When taking your car on holidays, be sure you have some sort of roadside assistance or breakdown coverage to protect you during those
    unexpected moments.

    • If sharing driving duties during a road trip, be sure the insurance policy for the car covers all drivers.

    • Take regular breaks on long drives by either swapping drivers or taking rest breaks. Also, when on long drives, plan your stops to allow for petrol fill ups and food and drink stops.

    • Be particularly careful when driving at dawn and dusk as visibility generally isn’t as clear as during the day.


    Download the printable version

    riskhq-download-button

  • Don't let social media damage your career

    Although social media can open the door to an exciting online community, it has made it harder to separate yourself from your professional life.

    Here’s five tips to help you protect your reputation online.

business

  • Why every business needs an asset register

    When considering an insurance policy, it’s easy for many of us to think “it’ll never happen to me”.  However, the vast experience of Guild Insurance tells us ‘it’, being events that require insurance claims, unfortunately can happen to people like you. 

    Guild Insurance is dedicated to providing risk management information to those insured with us to help reduce the likelihood of events occurring which will have a detrimental impact on their business and lead to an insurance claim.  However, we also know that not everything can be prevented.  Which is why business owners also need to consider what they can do to reduce the severity or impact on their business should an event occur.  And this is where asset registers become so important.

    What is an asset register?

    An asset register is simply a list of assets held by a business.  These can be created and stored in various ways, such as paper format or electronically, yet should always be stored safely and be easily accessible.

    Why are they needed?

    All businesses should hold an asset register as they serve a number of important purposes.

    It’s estimated that well over half of Australian businesses are underinsured.  A detailed asset register will help a business understand the value of what they own and therefore the level of insurance required to be adequately protected.

    An asset register also assists businesses when there is a need to lodge an insurance claim due to property loss or damage.  When there is an up to date asset register, this necessary information can be provided quickly to an insurance company which is likely to speed up the settlement process.  Making an insurance claim for property damage or loss can be quite a stressful process for any business.  An asset register can reduce some of this stress by making the process more straightforward.

    When a business has multiple sites, keeping track of all assets is quite a challenge.  An asset register provides the business with a way to manage all assets, even when the assets aren’t physically in sight of those responsible.

    What information should be included?

    For an asset register to be of any benefit to a business, it’s important that the information is up to date and correct.  Businesses should have a process for how and when the register will be updated and by who.  This process should require adding a new asset as soon as it is purchased.  However, it would also be beneficial doing regular checks of the asset register to be sure nothing has been accidentally left off.

    The asset register should include a list of all items which could be lost or damaged if there was an incident at the premises.  Don’t just focus on the costly items; damage to a lot of items which are of lesser value can still add up and you will want a record of these items.  The types of assets to be recorded may include:

    • Furniture, both indoor and outdoor
    • Computer and other office equipment
    • Electrical items such as fridges and air conditioners

    The information to record about each of these items may include:

    • Description of the item
    • Brand, make or model
    • Serial number
    • Purchase value
    • Purchase date
    • Location of the item
    • Warranty information
    • Invoices

    Creating an asset register

    As previously mentioned, asset registers are really just a list of items so the creation of them doesn’t need to be overly complex.  There are a number of template examples which can be found through internet searches. 

    However, the challenging aspect of creating an asset register is being sure the information you have on there is detailed and correct.  It’s therefore recommended that businesses use their accountant to assist with this task.

    Download pdf here

  • Have you prepared for a cyclone?

    We hear it all the time – a disaster has ruined lives and businesses.

    Too often people unfortunately seek comfort in the belief that ‘it could never happen to me’.  Yet claims reported to Guild Insurance tell us otherwise.  They remind us that businesses suffer losses every day.

    Some business owners have unrealistic expectations about how they’ll cope if the unthinkable happens.  Businesses are often surprised at just how much they’re impacted when a disaster occurs.  This is why planning for a disaster is vital.  Once something happens, the time to prepare has gone.

    All businesses need to be realistic about what can happen and be proactive in putting risk management strategies in place.

    Matters to consider when preparing for a cyclone

    • Understand your risk of a cyclone based on location and current weather warnings
    • Find out if your building has been built to cyclone standards and make modifications where possible
    • Know the safest route out of your local area
    • Where possible, secure loose items such as outdoor furniture
    • Follow and adhere to cyclone warnings when issued
    • Have a plan, and rehearse it, for what to do in the event there is a cyclone. This plan includes but isn’t limited to:
      • Being ready and willing to leave early
      • An evacuation plan which needs to consider not only staff but any clients or other visitors who may be on the premises
      • An emergency items kit which is packed at all times and includes all emergency contact phone numbers, mobile phone chargers and a first aid kit
    • Be sure all staff are involved in preparing the business for a cyclone
    • Understand what you’re insured for in the event of a cyclone; contact your insurer if this needs updating

    Cyclone preparation resources

    The following resources are available to assist individuals and businesses prepare for and cope with a cyclone.  Utilise these resources to ensure you’re as prepared as you can be.

    NT – securent.nt.gov.au/prepare-for-an-emergency/cyclones

    QLD – getready.qld.gov.au/natural-disasters/cyclones

    WA – dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/cyclone

    Bureau of Meteorology - bom.gov.au/cyclone/about/checklist.shtml

    Download PDF here

  • Asset registers

    When considering an insurance policy, it’s easy for many of us to think “it’ll never happen to me”.  However, the vast experience of Guild Insurance tells us ‘it’, being events that require insurance claims, unfortunately can happen to people like you. 

    Guild Insurance is dedicated to providing risk management information to those insured with us to help reduce the likelihood of events occurring which will have a detrimental impact on their business and lead to an insurance claim.  However, we also know that not everything can be prevented.  Which is why business owners also need to consider what they can do to reduce the severity or impact on their business should an event occur.  And this is where asset registers become so important.

    What is an asset register?

    An asset register is simply a list of assets held by a business.  These can be created and stored in various ways, such as paper format or electronically, yet should always be stored safely and be easily accessible.

    Why are they needed?

    All businesses should hold an asset register as they serve a number of important purposes.

    It’s estimated that well over half of Australian businesses are underinsured.  A detailed asset register will help a business understand the value of what they own and therefore the level of insurance required to be adequately protected.

    An asset register also assists businesses when there is a need to lodge an insurance claim due to property loss or damage.  When there is an up to date asset register, this necessary information can be provided quickly to an insurance company which is likely to speed up the settlement process.  Making an insurance claim for property damage or loss can be quite a stressful process for any business.  An asset register can reduce some of this stress by making the process more straightforward.

    When a business has multiple sites, keeping track of all assets is quite a challenge.  An asset register provides the business with a way to manage all assets, even when the assets aren’t physically in sight of those responsible.

    What information should be included?

    For an asset register to be of any benefit to a business, it’s important that the information is up to date and correct.  Businesses should have a process for how and when the register will be updated and by who.  This process should require adding a new asset as soon as it is purchased.  However, it would also be beneficial doing regular checks of the asset register to be sure nothing has been accidentally left off.

    The asset register should include a list of all items which could be lost or damaged if there was an incident at the premises.  Don’t just focus on the costly items; damage to a lot of items which are of lesser value can still add up and you will want a record of these items.  The types of assets to be recorded may include:

    • Furniture, both indoor and outdoor
    • Computer and other office equipment
    • Electrical items such as fridges and air conditioners

    The information to record about each of these items may include:

    • Description of the item
    • Brand, make or model
    • Serial number
    • Purchase value
    • Purchase date
    • Location of the item
    • Warranty information
    • Invoices

    Creating an asset register

    As previously mentioned, asset registers are really just a list of items so the creation of them doesn’t need to be overly complex.  There are a number of template examples which can be found through internet searches. 

    However, the challenging aspect of creating an asset register is being sure the information you have on there is detailed and correct.  It’s therefore recommended that businesses use their accountant to assist with this task.

     

Guild Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Why Guild Insurance?

For over 55 years, our customers have continued to be central to everything we do.

Better protection through experience.