Social Media Privacy Precautions for Teachers

Social Media Tips for Teachers: Privacy for all Platforms

We live in an age of Social Media. We share, tweet, and ‘like’ everything online, and, particularly if you are a teacher, this can sometimes get you in to trouble!

As a teacher, you have a responsibility – not only pastorally, but for your own teaching career development – to keep some things private and behave in an appropriate way online.

We’re not saying that Social Media isn’t a fun, and fabulous resource – we love it at World Class Teachers! – but something that you should set boundaries with. Here are a few social media privacy pointers for some of the main platforms:

 Facebook

Tagging and Timeline Privacy

We found some very useful social media privacy tips from the NASUWT who suggest turning all our social media security settings to ‘Friends Only’. This means those pictures of you on Friday night won’t be for your students, or potential new employers to see.
– Click on ‘Settings’

– Then go to ‘Privacy’

– Choose ‘Friends Only’ (or whatever option you think is stringent enough):
facebook security

You can select the level of security of your posts on this drop down menu.

Blocking People

If your student has found you on Facebook, there is a way to block them. This means they will never be able to find, message, post on your page, or tag you, ever again.

You can add people to a list of ‘blocked users’:

– Find the ‘Settings’ on your Facebook

– Go to  ‘Privacy’, then ‘Blocking’ option.

– Add the ‘blockee’ in to the search bar on this option, and add them to your ‘blocked list’:

Blocking people

Profile Photo

We suggest not to use a Facebook profile photo that may suggest unprofessional behaviour (e.g. chugging back beers/rude gestures/half naked shot etc.). Moreover, a lot of teachers use profile photos that don’t easily identify them to stalking teens on Facebook.

You could use a picture of a pet, a favourite photo, or an image of yourself that doesn’t show your face in great detail. That way, you’ll discourage any potential Facebook stalkers!

Twitter

Twitter is a different format to Facebook, and a much more conversational and open forum. 99.9% of users on Twitter aren’t private accounts, however, less personal information can found via this platform.

If you do want a private profile on Twitter:

– Go to your profile icon in the top right hand corner

– Go to ‘Settings’, then go to ‘Security and Privacy’.

– You should select/un-tick the following options in the screen shot below:

Twitter privacy

If you want a public profile on Twitter, just remember to keep things clean, and don’t post anything incriminating!

Instagram

You can’t directly block anyone via Instagram, but you can keep your profile private between you and your friends. This means that if someone wants to follow your account, they will have to ask you for permission first.

– Go to ‘Edit Profile’ on your home screen

– Scroll to the bottom

– Click ‘Posts are Private’. Easy!

Pinterest

We love Pinterest for teaching resources at World Class Teachers, and we encourage you to start pinning yourselves! It’s unlike other platforms, since you can’t really do anything that incriminating aside from expose your love of shoes or travel shots.

You can’t make your account private, but you can make some of your Pinterest boards private when you create them. Here’s how:

Pinterest private boards

Easy peasy!

To round up, all we can say is to exercise caution when enjoying social media and know what constitutes cyberbullying. No one is saying you should be a total saint, but ensuring safe precautions is the wise thing to do!

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