When employing a domestic helper, the first thing that comes to mind is how to create a healthy relationship by clearly defining house rules such as setting up a work schedule.
But after a few weeks or months, you might realize that respecting each other’s personal privacy is also a key factor to a harmonious home.
There are over 370,000 foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong living with their employers. The majority of domestic helpers are very active on social media and instant messages apps, and tend to share a lot about their daily lives to keep in touch with their friends and families back home. Yet, many employers do not take internet privacy into consideration when defining their house rules.
Can your domestic helper share pictures of your family members on social media?
Some families love to share their daily lives or holidays on social media, while others do not feel comfortable to see photos of their family members appearing online as they want to protect their private lives. Your domestic helper very likely has some photos of her and your family members taken in daily life, and sometimes she shares the photos online to show she is having a nice time with her employer. It is normal as you are having pleasant moments, but you may not want to discover your domestic helper sharing photos of you, for example, your family trip, on her Facebook timeline.
How to avoid this unpleasant surprise? Our suggestion for you is to be clear from the beginning with what you allow or not regarding your family on social media. Do you allow your domestic helper to share photos of your family and her, especially when your children are in the pictures? Let her know that she should ask for your permission before sharing the pictures on social media or sending them to her friends or family.
Is your domestic helper aware of the risks of sharing personal photos online?
When stating your internet privacy rules, it would be good to inform your domestic helper on the risks of sharing personal moments on social media, and why she should also care about her privacy while using social media.
Do not hesitate to explain to her that through the Facebook privacy settings she can choose who can see her personal information, friends’ list, future publications, post on her page, tag her, etc. She can also block some people, messages or pages.
Inform your domestic helper on what you expect for your family and which risks she could encounter if she does not protect her internet privacy, but always keep in mind that her social media accounts are also parts of her personal life, you do not want to invade this.
Should you be friend with your domestic helper on Facebook or other social media platforms?
You and your domestic helper live together but keep in mind that you have an employer-employee relationship. Would you be friend on Facebook with your boss or employees at work? The answer is probably no, but every household is different, in the end, it is up to you and your own relationship with your helper, especially if you consider her as a family member.