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FaceTime's Socialite SaaS Controls Social Media

User organizations are increasingly interested in controlling employee access to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, not only to prevent employees wasting time on such sites but also to prevent them from posting sensitive information there. FaceTime Communications Inc. has introduced a SaaS version of its Socialite software that gives IT administrators access and content-control features for these social media sites.

With Socialite, IT can control features across the three services up to and including moderation of all postings. With this new version, users on computers outside of the office can be controlled as well. Because the software intercepts web traffic, it works with both PCs and Macs.

Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer, which sells tractor trailers and has seven stores in Ohio and Indiana, uses the on-premises version of FaceTime because some employees need access to social networking sites, but the company wants to control other employee access, says Mark Nelson, IT manager. Malicious applications such as Koobface convinced the company it needs to be able to protect its network while still giving access to social networking sites.

For example, the company has set up FaceTime so users can't install or play any games, which are a driving factor for malware. In addition, the company uses YouTube for its advertising, but it creates reports to let departments see which of its users might be straying away from business use.

Retaining social media exchanges is particularly important in the financial services industry, due to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Regulatory Notice 10-06, enacted in January, that requires organizations to retain records of communications related to the broker-dealer's business that are made through social media sites. The Federal Rules for Civil Procedures were also updated in late 2006 to address electronic communications.

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