Privacy compromise is a threat for both adults as well as teenagers. With the usage of digital media in every work field, protecting one’s presence over the internet is a prime concern. Educators constantly remind students about the right usage of the internet and importance of privacy protection. However, sometimes as educators we don’t practice what we teach.
As educators, we have to be more careful in examining our online activities. Sometimes what we post online can backfire and can also impact our career. This is true in the case of 33-year-old Melissa Cairns, a teacher at an Ohio middle school. She was trying to silence her students by putting duct tape on a student’s mouth. The act was meant as a joke and the students enjoyed her sense of humor. Then she took a photo of the student with the duct tape on their mouth and posted it on her private Facebook page. She captioned the photo as "Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!" A fellow employee happened to see the post and reported her to the school administration. Melissa was asked to remove the picture and was suspended from the school. This incident took place in January 2013 and since then Melissa is fighting for her career over a Facebook photo she meant to be humorous.
There are many people like Melissa around us who are appealing for justice because their intentions were not meant to offend anyone. This incident has also exposed that nothing on the internet is “private”. As we see in Melissa’s case, where she has posted the photo on her private Facebook page, but we have to realize that private Facebook pages are only private to a certain extent. We can never truly trust our Facebook friends, as these might be largely unknown to us in terms of their intentions.
Hence, educators should be concerned about what type of information can be found about them online. From being put at risk to losing their good standing in the community, educators should be aware of the effects of not having online privacy.
Maintain the respect of students and their parents:
It is important for educators to keep the respect of students and parents. Maintaining internet privacy can help preserve a good reputation.
Follow School Educators' Internet Privacy:
Follow your school's educators' internet privacy. If the school does not have it, speak to the school administration regarding it. Maintaining and exercising educators' internet privacy will protect your job, as well as prevent others from losing their job and reputation.
Use your social networking skills effectively:
It’s good to be present on social media. Use the opportunity to build connections with peers, share your view points, know about the best practices adopted in other schools, and build a good network of effective contacts. This will help you in improving your performance at school and also set a good example for students.
Maintain a Good Standing in the Community:
Educators hold good respect and standing in the community. They are the right people to entrust in nurturing and bringing up children under their guidance. In order for educators to keep a positive reputation in their community, it is important for them to maintain some level of privacy and respect others' privacy online.