University Integrity and Compliance

Providing independent oversight of the university's compliance programs

Social Networking: Protect the University and Yourself

Today, it is harder to find someone who is not utilizing a social networking website than it is to find someone who is utilizing one.  Social networking sites are a great way to reconnect with friends, get great deals on goods and services, play games, or see the latest updates in the life of a family member.  Social networks, though, are just that… Social.  Whatever is posted on social networking sites is not private, and once it is posted, it can never fully be deleted.  Because of this, we, as University of Louisville employees, need to be cognizant of what we post to protect the University and ourselves.

The University of Louisville is governed by over 390 different regulations in some way or another, and some of those regulations (e.g. HIPAA, FERPA, PCI-DSS, etc.) are in place to protect client data.  Other than regulations, there are many contracts that the University enters into that protect data and information brought forth in the contracts.  With all of the regulations and contracts that the University is covered under, it is important to not let your guard down when posting content on a social networking site.

A couple of tips to keep you safe online are:

Don’t give too much information out about yourself in your profiles.

  • Do not post any sensitive information about the University or its clients.
  • Be careful what type of pictures you post online.  It is not always what the focus of the picture is but what is seen in the background that can be harmful.
  • Don’t post constant updates of where you are, where you are going, or where you have been.  This is just inviting someone to follow you or know that you are not home.
  • Do set your privacy settings on your social networking sites.
  • Do know the people you allow in your network.  There are many profiles on social networking sites that just want access to your information.
  • Do a web search on your name every once and a while.
  • Be cautious of connecting with clients on non-job related social networking sites.
  • If you do connect with clients, remember, they can see everything you post, and they have access to your personal life.

Don’t keep thinking of the mindset that no one will target you.  Today, more and more potential employers search online to see what is out there on potential candidates, new or old neighbors may be trying to find out more about you, and a person you may have known could hold a grudge from something that happened years ago.  Just remember, if it is easy for you to find out something about someone else, it is just as easy for them to find out something about you.  You are your most important asset, so protect it.

Protect yourself and the University by using caution when posting work related notes on social networking sites.  If you have any questions or concerns about safe social networking, please contact the University of Louisville’s Information Security Office at