Social media advice

Advice on how to prevent your social media posts working to your disadvantage.

The main risks are:

  • that you reveal information about yourself (or someone) that someone else is able to use to your disadvantage,
  • that you click on, or download something that contains malware.
  • that you post something that contravenes your contract of employment. This can lead to dismissal, even for comments you might think are not important enough.

Revealing any senstive information about yourself (or others)

Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, weblogs and podcasts are not secure and can be accessed by the general public.

Do not make it easy for criminals to use the information you post about yourself. For example, it is unwise to describe periods of time that you leave your home un-attended, or to reveal data that is commonly used (by banks etc) to identify you: the name of your first pet, your town of birth, your mother's maiden name etc.

These are exactly the sorts of information that cyber-criminals gather while they are building up a plan for identity-theft attacks, or simply to force entry into your house.

Malware on social media sites

Social media sites are prone to malware, because users are able to upload things to the website. This means that they may be able to upload malware too. Generally speaking, accessing images is OK, but if you download anything exectuable, it could contain malware.

See  "Think before clicking",  for information about how to examine a link, before you click on it.

Think before clicking

Social media risks

Do not post any comments which could be interpreted as cyber-bullying, or as any kind of attack on anyone.

It is very unwise to publish statements that bring the University into disrepute. Do not post defamatory information about your employer or your manager, (or anyone). See the related link, for information about implications in your work.

Social media risks

Social media benefits

These pages are about risks and caution. However, there are many benefits of using social media well, and in a positive way too. See the links below fpr more information about harnessing social medi to your positive advantage.

Guidance for social media, and cloud-based learning and teaching

Managing your Digital Footprint