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Don’t access social media on official devices unless permitted: Home ministry’s social media and internet policy for govt employees

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In a first, the Home Ministry has advised government officials to not access social media on official devices unless permitted in its social media and internet policy for government employees, reports the Economic Times. The ministry issued a 24-page note which also directed officials not to carry out classified work on computers connected to the internet. Here are a few other recommendations from the ministry to government employees regarding use of social media and storage of official information:

Directives by the Home ministry

Don’t disclose official information on social media: The ministry cautioned that every single government employee including full time-employees, contractual staff, consultants, partners and third-party staff who can access, store and process official information systems, facilities and communication networks should not disclose official information on social media or social networking portals and applications.

Don’t store classified information on private cloud: It said that classified government information can not be stored on private cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud – doing so may result in penal action, in case of data leakage.

Encrypt classified data before copying to a designated removable storage media: Classified data should be encrypted before copying into the removable storage media “designated” to store classified information. It also directed USB drives can not be taken out of office premises unless authorised.

Don’t share classified information on emails: The ministry cautioned against that communication of classified information on emails. It also directed that official email accounts should not be accessed from public Wi-Fi connections.

Consider using MAC address in home wireless networks: In case employees have to use their home wireless network for official work, the ministry advised that they should “consider using the Media Access Control or ‘MAC’ address in your wireless router. Every device that can connect to a Wi-Fi network has a unique ID called the physical address or MAC address. Wireless routers can screen the MAC addresses of all devices that connect to them, and users can set their wireless network to accept connection only from devices with MAC addresses that router will recognise.”

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