Loose fingers could sink quarterly reports

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Twitter. That’s right; I’m going to talk about Twitter, making the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada the official end point for the “Have you heard about Twitter?” meme. (For a quick summary of this meme, listen to this audio from a podcast called Jordan Jesse Go!)

Twitter, the instant messaging application that limits each message to 140 characters, is experiencing tremendous growth across a range of demographic groups. Entrepreneurs, employees, supervisors, managers and executives are leaping aboard, sharing information as broad as golf scores, children’s hobbies, favourite movies, the relative tedium of on site meetings, and more interesting tidbits about their daily business.

Senior executives from across the Fortune 500 are experimenting with the service – and are being tracked by members of the traditional media.

While the Office doesn’t want to discourage the use of new technologies, especially when they seem to encourage professional development and the creation of personal networks, we continue to gently remind Canadians to watch what they say online.

This is especially true when it comes to business. Loose and quick finger work can result in uncorrectable errors and mis-statements. Every level of an organization handles information that could be considered sensitive or a business secret – from information in human resources files to the data underlying market forecasts.

Every online identity is expected to have a personality, and it is preferred that they have a professional or personal obsession that provides colour and detail to their activities.

If you are experimenting with an application like Twitter, you should have a clear idea of your desired identity in mind when putting finger to keypad.

THAT’s the way to avoid embarrassment – at home and at the office.

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