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The HR guide to avoiding privacy mistakes

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Social media is now just a part our lives and what we put online will ultimately exist forever. However, what you do in your personal time shouldn’t be up for public consumption as it can really damage your professional reputation. In fact, many employers now have social media policies and codes of conduct for what their employees are allowed to post on social media and not being cautious of one’s privacy can cost them their jobs.

As HR professionals it’s your job to look out for both employees and the company brand. Use this list of the biggest privacy mistakes compiled by Glassdoor on what to remember when it comes to posting online.

1.  Not carefully considering what you post.

Remind employees that nothing is truly private on the internet. Even massive multinational corporations with dedicated online security are hacked and information is leaked.  If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone no matter what settings you have in place.

2. Adding professional acquaintances as friends

Make sure your employees know to keep their private and business life separate. There are plenty stories of people losing their jobs because a colleague, client or superior found something on their social media to be in breach of company policies. The best way to avoid this is to keep professional acquaintances off your friend list.

3. Know about the workplace privacy policy

Make sure each person knows exactly what the company’s workplace policy says. Often people lose their jobs not because they posted anything illegal but rather that they were in violation of the company’s code of conduct. Make sure each person “knows their rights” when it comes to online posting so as to avoid later being sued when they claim they did not know.

Other best practices when it comes to online privacy include,


  • Be aware of your social media privacy settings
  • Take measures to secure your access, especially on public networks
  • Take adequate measures to secure your computer
  • Educate yourself on the right email habits
  • Follow password-usage best practices
  • Protect your location information


  • Ignore online accounts and profiles you’ve stopped using
  • Be too private to the point of appearing nonexistent
  • Ignore your organisation’s BYOD Policy

ALSO READ: Privacy the top concern for employees asked to BYOD

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