Years ago, you could have a good moan about your company, in private, and nothing would happen. These days, with the rise of the social media network, including Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, our offhand remarks are now viewable by all, including those bosses. Problem is, when you have a platform to share your every thought or whim, some people tend to type before they’ve thought things through. And once it’s out there, whether you delete it or not, it’s out there. And now there are actual companies that go trawling for information about individuals to try and catch them out. It makes sense to either keep your thoughts to yourself, or make them private. Not everyone agrees however as a survey by the Chartered Insurance Institute found that 67% do not think that posting something inappropriate online could negatively affect their professional life, and 60% don’t think that social media could affect their personal life. So is there any type of insurance that can protect you against making an online faux pas? At present there does not seem to be one type of insurance that will cover you for any social media indiscretions, but there are some key risks that you can get insured for.
Dismissal from Work
As yet you cannot get insured against being dismissed from a work place, but you may get legal expenses if you have certain home insurance. For instance, if you have home insurance with Halifax then their Legal Expenses Cover will cover you against “employment issues such as unfair dismissal.” You should check the wording on the policy carefully. And either keep your tweets private or make sure your Facebook page can only be accessed by friends and family.
If you publish something about another person that is untrue, you could be libel for damages to their reputation. The libel and defamation law are complicated and it is usually up to you to prove what you have said is true. This can lead to lengthy court cases and expenses. As such, there are no insurance policies that cover against you libelling someone so be careful with what you say online. Even if your messages or posts are private, they could be forwarded onto the injured party.
How many times in the media have you heard of teenage children inviting friends to a party via facebook but the invite has gone out to everyone and they have been besieged by gatecrashers who have wrecked the parent’s house? If this was you then it is possible to claim for any damage done, if you can prove that it was criminally intentional. Better to get accidental damage cover to your home insurance to protect you against cigarette burns on the carpet or drinks spilled down a stereo and you could add legal expenses cover in case a gate crasher gets hurt and decides to sue you.
On Facebook I am surprised to see the amount of people who still put their full birthday, including the year they were born on their profile page. This is one of a few important details a scam artist needs to steal your identity. You can get identity fraud cover for around £10 a month but this will not cover you for any money you’re defrauded out of; just things like legal fees associated with sorting the matter out. And as long as you were careful and the theft was not down to your negligence, the bank has to refund you for any money lost through fraud anyway, thanks to The Banking Code.
So really there is no such thing as Social Media Insurance. Only self restraint and common sense!