Friday, October 12, 2007

Who Really Owns Your Linkedin/Facebook/Twitter Account? Page 2

First, the article said that it was still a legal question to be decided by the courts. However, a British Judge recently ruled in favor of an ex-employer, saying that the employee built the network on company time, using a company computer, and a company’s email address. It’s much the same as many companies for years have asked departing employees for their Rollodex - Social networks, Outlook, and CRM systems are today’s Rollodex.

It was also interesting that polled readers if they thought they owned their social networks or if their employers did. 76% felt that they owned their own social networks. The 24% who felt that social networks were the employer’s property were all lawyers. That tells me there is significant risk.

2 major ways you protect your social network:

There are 2 major ways you can protect yourself, even if your employer tries to claim your social network.
  1. Possession is 9/10ths of the law: Use your own personal email, not a corporate email. Set up a free Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo email account - when you leave your employer, the email leaves with you, your employer has no access to your personal email and has zero claim over email address ownership. Using a corporate email account gives you no control if you are unexpectedly fired - if you are given a box and asked to clean out your desk, you can assume that access to your email account has already been shut down.

  2. Backup, Backup, Backup: You can backup your full Linkedin database, into a .csv file that can be read by Outlook or Excel ... or loaded into a new Linkedin account. Just click the Contacts tab, then My Connections. Scroll to the bottom right of the My Connections page, and click export connections. It will download your Linkedin network to a .csv file. For Twitter and Facebook, however, there is no backup capability.

    For Facebook and Twitter, your only protection is using a personal email.
Readers - Do any readers have stories about their social networks being hijacked by ex-employers?

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Article based on ”Who Owns Your LinkedIn Profile? What EVERYONE Needs To Know” by Hung Lee


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