Do not share company secrets online on social media
With most of the points so far in this superb guide to social media screw-ups, the general context of what you post on your own social media means that it is at least sometimes debatable as to whether or not a company actually has the legal grounds to terminate based you on what you post on Twitter, Facebook or other online sites. This applies to both interviewing potential candidates, or vetting seasoned employees. However, the open sharing of intellectual property is the one social media faux-pas you never ever want to do. It’s one of the biggest no-nos here.
Intellectual property refers to a company’s internal secrets. In almost any big industry or corporation, you will probably have to sign a non-disclosure form stating that you most definitely will not share any company information. This can be related to new technology, trade secrets, burger sauce, food ingredients or insider information. Not only can you be terminated if you reveal any sensitive information or company secrets, but based on the potential liability, you may also be subject to legal action for damages caused by your indiscretion.
Despite the obvious seriousness of the implications of sharing intellectual property, not everyone gets the picture… most especially on the lower floors. It is not unheard of for a low-level employee who overhears a private conversation amongst management to then release discretionary information about the company. Oftentimes, the employee does not even realize the significance of what they’ve revealed — however, that often does not deflect the company from taking action against that employee.
Remember, as the old wartime saying went, loose lips can sink ships. Posting company secrets or private information can be hugely damaging. In some cases, if the information is sensitive or sensational enough, it could even sink the company. So always be very, very careful about what you post on Twitter, Facebook or whatever. Don’t just think twice… think three or four times! And still don’t do it!