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Spell Out the Rules for Technology Use

Social media has changed constantly since it came roaring onto the scene. Facebook is still the champion in total number of users, but according to the Pew Research Center, its growth has leveled off and its popularity has fallen among young people. At the same time, Instagram has grown more popular in recent years.

The ongoing volatility of social media creates a challenge for cities and towns seeking to maintain relevant technology use policies for staff. Some have created standalone social media policies while others integrate the topic into an overall policy on the use of government technology in the workplace. There are numerous issues to consider when developing these kinds of policies to limit risks to the municipality and prevent misuse of equipment.

Work access and social access

  • Will employees have access to work email on personal devices?
  • Are employees allowed any personal use of employer-owned devices? If so, how is the usage defined?
  • Will social media use on personal devices be limited during work hours?

Monitoring and security

  • If usage is monitored, does the policy clearly explain that users should have no expectation of privacy on the employer-owned devices?
  • Is there a policy regarding password security, frequency of changing passwords and process for reporting theft of a technology device?

Overall personnel considerations

  • Is the technology use or social media policy tied to other personnel policies such as disciplinary action, hours of work, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and violence in the workplace policies?

The Municipal Association's technology use policy is available to use as a template and can be found online.