Computer Security: Social Media - Dos and Don’ts

Do you blog frequently? Send tweets about what you've done? Keep a lively Facebook profile? Comment regularly on interactive forums? Many of us do. 


"Social media", i.e. Twitter, Facebook, public blogs, interactive forums and public commenting functions on websites, are widely used for sharing information, outreach and contact with the world. While you can make use of social media for many different purposes, the lines between private and public, personal and professional are often blurred.

Consequently, it is often difficult to get the balance right. As a social animal, you want to be frank, open and communicative and share your knowledge, experiences, opinions, feelings and life with your peers. On the other hand, while working at or for CERN, you cannot act in the void but have to respect CERN’s Code of Conduct, CERN’s Computing Rules and, for CERN personnel, the Staff Rules and Regulations. Therefore, if your posts include mention of or make reference to CERN, it is worth reflecting on whether your subject, message and choice of words are appropriate.

In order to guide you, the CERN Communications Group, HR Department, Legal Service and Computer Security Team have developed some guidelines on how best to use social media, for your benefit and that of the Organization. These guidelines apply to all CERN contributors (i.e. staff members, fellows, apprentices, associates, users and students) who comment professionally or privately about their activities at CERN using Social Media. Of course, there are no surprises for anyone sensible. These guidelines cover how to post responsibly, correctly, clearly, reasonably and, of course, as yourself. They ask you to be cautious with external sources or products, and require you to respect CERN’s rules and its reputation, as well as privacy, confidentiality and intellectual property. All this, in an easy to follow and understandable way. Take a look and enjoy your online communication activities!

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by Computer Security Team