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Creating an Employee IM Policy

Instant messaging is a great tool for small businesses--but it's not without risks. Here's how to minimize them.
December 12, 2005

A few years ago, a technology startup's CEO was mortified to discover that thousands of his confidential instant messages had been posted on the internet. His messages were an enormous embarrassment for his company and its business partners, and the CEO even received death threats.

Though IM has many advantages, its growing use in the workplace can expose small businesses to a host of security, legal and other risks. To help protect your business, it's advisable to draw up and implement an IM best practices policy. Here are some tips to get you started.

With proper use on a secure network, instant messaging can keep you in closer touch with your customers, partners and suppliers--and that's good for business.