Social media is now prevalent in the workplace. 98% of employees have social media for personal use while 80% use social media on the job. Employers reserve the right to monitor your internet activity, so it’s important to take precautions to protect your privacy regardless of how you may use social media both in and out of work.

Read up on your employer’s social media policy

If you haven’t done so already, reading up on your company’s social media policy is an essential step for gaining a firmer understanding of their rules and guidelines, as well as any areas you may have to be particularly careful. The policy may be anywhere from a few paragraphs to several pages long depending on your specific role, company, and industry. In most cases, a company social media policy will include: a code of conduct regarding social media usage for personal matters during work; rules for social media usage outside of work; guidelines for interacting with coworkers on social media; and a company disclaimer stating they can monitor your social media activity at work. If, after reading the policy, any point’s remain unclear or confusing, be sure to contact your HR department for clarification.


Be smart about your social media activity 

When you access the internet on a company-owned device, your online activity (including your social media activity) will be tracked. So, to better protect your privacy, it’s generally wise to limit or avoid using social media at work (unless you’re required to as part of your job, of course). When you do check your accounts on company-owned devices, never post or search for NSFW content and always log out of your account when you’re done. Even better, only access social media on your personal devices. Moreover, learning to be smart about your social media usage at work can also help you develop good habits that translate into other areas of life. For example, weddings have their own social media rules and etiquette. Some couples may create a hashtag for their wedding, while others may want the event phone-free. Getting in the habit of being cautious about your social media use can help you ascertain when it is and isn’t appropriate to share.

Don’t mix work and personal accounts 

If you post on your company’s social media accounts as part of your job, strengthening your own social media privacy is particularly important. Company social media accounts are always linked to an administrator with a personal account — meaning you have to use the same password for both accounts. Fortunately, an easy way to protect your privacy in this case is to create a new social media account solely to be used for the administrator role for the business page. For example, this account may simply be a fake business profile or the profile of your boss.

It’s important to be smart about your social media usage both in and out of work. By checking your company’s social media policy, avoiding accessing social media on company devices, and keeping work and personal accounts separate, you can better protect your personal information and privacy.