21 November 2019
myroyalmail is updated daily

Social media has changed the way we interact with friends, family and colleagues, but it has also introduced a range of new challenges.

One of the key dangers of social media is ‘over-sharing’, which is when people post valuable information online that can put them at risk of criminal activities such as identity theft, cyber bullying and harassment. Identity theft is a particularly fast-growing problem, and occurs when someone gathers enough information about you in order to purchase goods using your money, or is able to log in to your website accounts. In other words, they can pretend to be you!

For example, have you ever answered an online security question such as ‘what is your pet’s name?’ Have you ever shared and tagged a picture of your pet on a social media site? If you have, then information thieves may be able to bypass an important layer of security for your online accounts.

Be social media wise

Did you know that social media is completely public?

If you only share something with your friends, there’s nothing to stop them sharing it with their friends – people you don’t know. And even if you delete a message or image, your content could have been shared with other people already. That’s why we describe social media as being public and permanent. Once it’s out there, consider it out there for good.

We need to be extremely careful about our online behaviour, whether we’re using a blog or wiki, posting on a social networking site like Facebook, or a micro-blogging service such as Twitter.

Post and connect with care

  • Before you post, ask yourself whether the information might expose you to risk. Be particularly careful about posting photographs, which can inadvertently reveal important information about you (e.g. house numbers, car license plates, etc.).
  • Only accept connection requests from people you genuinely know and trust.
  • Understand your privacy settings and select the most secure options. Keep an eye on these, as many social media services make changes that can suddenly reveal information you had previously restricted access to.
  • Only ‘like’ and click on website links in posts from trusted sources. But be aware that social media accounts can be ‘hijacked’, which means they could be under the control of information thieves.
  • Avoid posting images and text that you don’t own as you could be violating copyright, data protection and intellectual property rights.
  • Avoid posting your whereabouts on social media sites or using geo-tagging applications. This alerts thieves to the fact that you’re not at home.
  • It’s a good idea to make your family members aware of the risks of social media. You can learn more about online safety for children from CEOP (UK). 

Social media and Royal Mail Group

Social media plays a key part in Royal Mail Group’s business. It is a very important tool that we use to communicate with the public and our customers. It is also used to build our brand and promote our products. On the other hand, comments made on social media sites can easily be misunderstood and prove damaging for our business.

Please watch out when using any social media sites and be mindful of your comments, Royal Mail Group’s key focus is to maintain our reputation and the level of trust we have worked hard to build in the UK.

Personal use of social media should only be undertaken outside of working hours. However, even outside of working hours employees must not use social media to share or post negative messages, images about Royal Mail Group, its employees, customers, partners, suppliers or any other aspect of the business that could be damaging to our reputation or harmful to others.

Royal Mail Group believes that every employee should be able to undertake their job without harassment and bullying, this includes harassment and bullying through social media. This is part of our Code of Business Standards, and any employee found to be in breach will be subject to disciplinary action, which can include immediate termination of employment even for a first offence.

However, wherever and whenever you use it, be extremely careful not to post anything that might harm Royal Mail Group’s reputation.

Acceptable social media behaviour

Employees must be aware of the following specific considerations regarding social media and Royal Mail Group:

  • Never discuss Royal Mail Group, its clients, partners or suppliers in your social media posts in a negative way that could cause reputational damage.
  • Never disclose Royal Mail Group Internal, Confidential or Strictly Confidential information, or confidential/private information belonging to third parties.
  • Never share or exchange commercially sensitive information on social media sites.
  • Never post comments or images that are or could be considered inappropriate, defamatory, discriminatory or sexually explicit. This includes anything that could be considered bullying or harassment.
  • Never use your Royal Mail Group username or password for social media services, and never use or share your Royal Mail Group email address.
  • Never alter Group brands or logos in any way.
  • Avoid posting images and text that you don’t own as you could be violating copyright, data protection and intellectual property rights.
  • Never make negative comments about Royal Mail Group, its employees, business contacts or competitors.
  • Avoid posting images and text that you don't own as you could be violating copyright, data protection and intellectual property rights.
  • Manager guides on the use of social media are also available in the Policy Information section of PSP. Unless social media is part of your job, it is against our Acceptable Use Policy to use it during work hours.
  • Never share messages or images about things that happen inside Royal Mail group unless approved for public release.

Reporting social media misuse

If you see a social media message or image that might pose a threat to Royal Mail Group’s reputation then it’s your responsibility to report it. Also, if you’ve been a victim of social media bullying or harassment then please report it either to your line manager or via the Speak Up service. Royal Mail Group has policies to protect you, so there’s never a need to suffer in silence.

Team members should report the message or image to their line manager. However, if the issue is with your line manager, then please contact your second line manager or the HR Services Advice Centre.

If you are a line manager:

  • Carry out an objective investigation.
  • Contact HR Services for advice.
  • Discuss the issue with a conduct manager.

However, be aware that bullying and harassment issues can of course be resolved formally and informally.

Where to get more information?

Read the Social Media Guide (available on the policy and Information site on PSP or ask your manager for a copy) and the at a glance policy summary.

Want to get in touch?

We’re always available to answer your questions or address your concerns about information security at Royal Mail Group. Simply contact the Information Security team.