Employers believe that they have a right to know how their employees portray themselves and their organisations in online social networks.


According to the third annual Deloitte LLP ethics and workplace survey, 60 per cent of business executives believe that they should know what employees do and say online.


Of the respondents, only 17 per cent of employers claimed to have programs in place to monitor and mitigate the possible reputational risks related to the use of social networks.


However 53 per cent of employees say that their social networking pages are not an employer's concern. Seventy-four 74 per cent have a clear understanding of the risks involved in using online social networks, as they believe that it makes it easier to damage a company's reputation.


Sharon Allen, chairman of the board of Deloitte, said: “With the explosive growth of online social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, rapidly blurring the lines between professional and private lives, these virtual communities have increased the potential of reputational risk for many organisations and their brands.


“One-third of employees surveyed never consider what their boss or customers might think before posting material online. This fact alone reinforces how vulnerable brands are as a result of the increased use of social networks. As business leaders, it is critical that we continue to foster solid values-based cultures that encourage employees to behave ethically regardless of the venue.”