The uptake of social networking and the rapid adoption of mobile devices and technologies has seen the rise of an always-connected society, and has necessitated a shift in how organisations and IT practitioners respond to vulnerabilities that stem from this phenomenon.

The “bring your own device (BYOD)” trend, which came to the fore about three
years ago, remains a hot topic of discussion, as organisations strive to implement effective BYOD policies.

Research has shown that BYOD has already seen large-scale adoption in organisations around the world, with some 75% of employees in high-growth markets and 44% in developed markets using their own technology at work.

But it wasn’t always like this, as BYOD was initially rejected by most organisations due to the associated concerns. Similarly, many companies also blocked employees from accessing social networks during working hours, as it was feared that productivity would suffer.

However, it soon became evident that the BYOD trend was here to stay and organisations were forced to relent. These days, many businesses feel that BYOD may actually make employees more productive, and acknowledge that it increases employee morale by making the company look like a flexible and attractive employer.

While challenges exist in terms of BYOD; for the most part, businesses reacted positively to the paradigm shift brought on by the requirements of an always-on society and mitigated potential vulnerabilities.

Unfortunately, while an always-connected society enjoys the benefits of instant and constant communication and engagement, there is a darker side to this.

Recently, media reports and online discussions have focused on another potential vulnerability that has been linked to our always-on iflestyles – that of infidelity.

Last month, social media network Victoria Milan – which facilitates interaction between people seeking to have afairs – released the fi ndings of a study conducted among 12 500 respondents in Europe and US, which revealed that 51% of those having affairs are using WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter to contact their lovers. Outside of social networking, the study revealed that 15% use SMS, 13.6% phone calls and 9.89% e-mail to contact their lovers.

As far back as 2011, reports emerged that Facebook was becoming a big factor in marriage breakdowns, and was increasingly being used as a source of evidence in divorce cases. In fact, the social network was cited as a reason for a third of divorces in the US (in 2010), in which unreasonable behaviour was a factor.

It is disingenuous to believe that social networking causes people to have affairs, even though some dubious studies have tried to prove just that. At best, social media makes it easy for cheaters to communicate.

So perhaps this says something about the human condition and the concept of monogamy. Whatever the case, this is not one that we’ll solve by implementing a policy.

Happy reading!

Martin Czernowalow