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Social media security issues – Workplace social media

The key thing that an employer can do, is make sure that staff are aware of the personal, family and professional risks involved in using social media and, one of the ways you can do this is by having a Social Media Policy.

Why have a social media policy

A social media policy is important, because it gives employees boundaries. It tells them what they can and can’t do and, from your point of view as an employer, it helps to safeguard the reputation and brand of your organisation.

So, we’re talking about a Social Media Policy. Why do you think such a thing might be necessary? Well, three major reasons:

  1. Helps to protect the company’s reputation.
  2. It sets standards of behaviour for employees.
  3. It can help you to create consistency across the various channels that you use.

What would you expect to include in a social media policy?

So whilst a detailed exploration of what should go into a Social Media Policy is beyond the scope of this course. The headings that you’d expect to see in such a policy would include:

  1. The rules and regulations.
  2. Any employer imposed obligations on staff.
  3. The definition of roles.
  4. Who’s allowed to do what.
  5. A warning to staff of potential legal issues.
  6. Particularly those issues that would get them into trouble.
  7. And, … last but not least, safety and security guidelines.

It’s really important, that you advise staff on how to use social media securely.

Blurring the boundaries

Let’s start with employees first. Well, the thing about social media, is that it blurs the boundaries of everyone’s personal and professional lives.

For example, if you live in the UK, you can get yourself into trouble. It’s an offence to send grossly offensive, indecent, obscene messages. Or those that are menacing and by doing so, you could find yourself punished by up to six month’s imprisonment and/or a fine.

Tips for using social media at work

So, what tips can we offer in terms of using social media properly at work?

  1. Well, the first thing, if your organisation has got a Social Media Policy, read it and observe it.
  2. Perhaps, you might need to put a sentence at the end of your post, stating that the views expressed your own and not those of your employer.
  3. Quite important to use your privacy settings.
  4. Remember, that your colleagues and your current and perhaps future employers might also be looking at your posts.
  5. It’s suggested that you avoid posting anything about your employer or your colleagues.
  6. Avoid saying anything that’s confidential or, could be considered to be in poor taste.
  7. As much as we’d like to have a moan about our pay and conditions, social media isn’t the place to do it.
  8. If you have multiple accounts, and many of us do, be very careful that you post to the right one.

Questions about this course?
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Email David Chapman

This is a preview lecture from our online course ‘Information Security Awareness’, for the full course please visit

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