Facebook: Tips for teacher privacy
If you’re new to teaching, or just new to Facebook, one thing you should definitely do before you step foot in the classroom is check your Facebook privacy settings. Students love to have the inside scoop on their teachers and it's important to stay hidden. You can be sure they’ll be checking out your online profiles as soon as they’ve figured out your first name, so here's our top tips on keeping your social calendar locked up from prying eyes.
Do not affiliate yourself with your school on a personal profile. List your employment as “Teacher at XXX County Schools” or not at all.
Never complain about your job online, especially if you are followed by your school and/or co-workers. This is a good practice for all professionals, not just teachers!
Do not “friend” or “follow” students on your personal social media accounts! Implement a rule that students can follow or friend you only after they graduate.
Refrain from mentioning school work or the school in any posts, it is easy to find people through the search bar located at the top and could mean colleagues or children can find you.
Change your name slightly on each platform. Using a pseudonym will make it difficult for your students to search for your profile.
Once it is out there, it doesn't come back. So make sure your content and daily updates are safe for all to see. If you wouldn't want your employers to see it, then it shouldn't be on social media.
If you do wish to connect with students on Facebook (say for coursework reasons) create a separate classroom account/page where students can join and interact. However, do take the time to make sure that these types of groups are secure.
Ask your friends/family to be respectful when tagging you in imagery.
Be careful when connecting other platforms such as 'instagram' to the site - keeping each separate means it's face harder for anyone to find you!
Connect with other teachers and find out their tips on staying secure. Facebook is a great way to network, so use it (in the right way).
Click the Preview My Profile button on your privacy settings page to see how your page looks to most people on Facebook , it's always clever to check.
Learn about location tagging and geo-location apps. You do not want your phone 'checking you in' to certain places whilst you're outside of work, stay hidden!
Teach your children all about why it's important to stay as private as possible on these sites, and show them how it's possible.
You may have set your profile so that somebody cannot search for you, but if a friend shares a video you posted, it may be visible to their friends and can link back to you. You can control this by clicking Account> Privacy Settings> Apps and Websites> Info accessible through your friends.
Do you have your own ways of tackling platform privacy? Tweet us your tips at @staffroomed.