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Acceptable Use and Advice on use of Social Media

Acceptable Use for Women@Work posts to social media

  • Do act in a responsible way to safeguard your own personal information and safety.
  • Do respect the different backgrounds, experiences and lifestyles of others.
  • Do show respect for others regardless of age, race, gender or disability.
  • Do not use any language in that is defamatory, obscene, indecent, abusive, offensive, harassing or misleading.
  • Do not provide or pass on any pornographic material.

Should any post not meet these requirements the post will be deleted.  You may be contacted or blocked from further access.

If you find any posts that go against these rules please contact Women@Work at your earliest convenience so that remedies can be made.

Keep your personal information secure

The following information is produced by the Information Commissioners’ Office found at

Whether you are using a networking site, internet dating or just chatting on a forum, the chances are you are putting personal information online. Once it’s out there you may not be able to control what happens to it. This could pose a risk to your privacy or even your personal safety.

So before you create a profile, post a picture or tell the online world what you’ve been doing, think about how to make sure you’re safe online.

The Data Protection Act 

Any website which collects information from you has to follow the principles in the Data Protection Act. Among other things, this law means they must:

  • keep your information safe
  • keep it accurate and up to date
  • not collect irrelevant information
  • only keep it for as long as they need it
  • only send it to countries that can promise to protect it in the same way that they have to and
  • not use it in a way you might not expect.

The following pages contain guidance on how to keep your personal information secure when using social networks, top tips about how to use privacy settings on websites, and links to further info.

Posting online

Most sites allow you to create a profile for yourself. This can be as simple as a username and contact email address, or it may include a photo, a description of you, likes and dislikes, music and videos. It may also link in to your online friends’ profiles. It could be seen by thousands of people and not everyone will agree with what you write.

When posting on websites it’s also worth thinking about the impression you’re creating – would the things you write or the pictures you post cause embarrassment in real life? How would you feel if a potential employer or your parents saw things that you posted?

Be cautious

Be careful about the personal details you post online. Little bits of information can be used by others to build up a picture of you that could be misused. Don’t reveal your home address, telephone number, date of birth or where you work to strangers.

Keep your password safe and avoid obvious ones that others may guess, particularly if you also use it for other things. It’s also worth having a separate email address just for social networking so you don’t have to give away any other contact details.

Privacy settings

Any decent social networking website should have clear and visible privacy settings. They can usually be accessed from the homepage of your account, along with other general options. You can adjust privacy settings to control who can see your information, and how much they can see.

Here are some top tips on using privacy settings:

  • Consider using the highest privacy settings when you first create your profile, then gradually adjust them and allow networking features only when you feel comfortable. This way, you won’t be making information available unless you really want to.
  • Think about what you want to use your profile for. If you only want to keep in touch with family and close friends, set your profile up so that it can only be accessed by those people.
  • You can set up your profile so that people can only access it if you have approved them. Once you accept someone as a friend, they’ll be able to access all the info and photos you have on your profile. You can always remove friends or followers if you change your mind, but by then they may have already seen your details.
  • On some social networking sites, people that aren’t your approved friends will still be able to see some details on your profile. It’s worth checking what they will be able to see. On Facebook, you can choose to make people 'limited friends’, so they will only have access to a cut-down version of your profile.
  • If you don’t understand how to adjust your settings or you feel that you aren’t being given enough options, get in touch with the site administrator or customer service team. If you still aren’t happy, consider not using the website.

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We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

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Cookies used within this site

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But enjoy!

Most people do use social networking sites safely. They are a great way of meeting new friends and keeping in touch with old ones. Control access to yourself online the same way you would offline. As long as sites allow you to control who you contact, who contacts you and what, if any, information they find out about you, they can be a privacy-friendly way to socialise.

If something starts to spoil your enjoyment – unwanted attention, offensive comments – report it to the site administrator. Above all, learn how the sites you use work and use them safely. Happy networking!

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