In this digital age it is always important that you are careful what you put out online. It is especially key for federal government employees to be cautious of what they are putting out their as well as know their legal rights when it comes to personal social media usage. Of course, all employees are allowed to have their own personal social media accounts, however they must make sure their usage complies with their employers’ code of conduct.
- Use a Disclaimer – Adding your job title to social media descriptions is allowed however it is important to add a disclaimer saying that these views are your own and are not associated with the company that you work for. When seeing that you work for a certain association, people tend to assume that you are speaking for your place of employment even when that is not the case.
- Impersonation Warning – Going off of that, it is fine to have a personal account to express interests, views, and things going on in your personal life. However, it is important that you don’t act as a representative of the company that you work for on these accounts without permission from your agency.
- When To Use – Some places may allow you to use work computers, etc. and minimal work time in order to go onto personal computers. However, it is important to know that your activity can be monitored by the place you are working for while you are doing this. It is important to check out the policy on social media usage during work hours or on company devices.
- Be Aware – Make sure to set privacy settings on your accounts and only let people you know follow or friend you. Foreign intelligence has been know to target federal employees online so it’s important to be cautious. In addition, if you are aware of misconduct in your agency do not go to social media to talk about it. Reporting these things to the proper authorities are all legal but putting that confidential information on the internet is not.
These are just a few of the points that federal employees should follow when using social media. It is important to take a look at your agency’s policy as every place could have different rules and regulations regarding social media. In every case, be wary of what you share online.