The role of educators in protecting privacy

The role of educators in protecting privacy

As educators you need to protect your privacy and also train others to do the same. The irony is that nowadays if we don’t post about ourselves online, there are other people who might, like friends who post pictures of us on the internet just for fun. In some cases, an innocent picture can send out a conflicting message on the internet.

We need to educate our students on the importance of protecting their privacy as well as others' privacy. It’s not about changing the student, rather it is about changing the environment that will help educate the student in the right way. As educators, you need to be cautious of your online activities. Your behavior and attitude displayed online matters. You need to maintain decorum while being online, as well as urge your online friends to respect your privacy as you do for them. Be careful not to post any personal pictures of yourself or write a comment without giving it proper thought. All these unprepared online actions may later prove detrimental to your career, as well as your character.

A student’s perspective about looking at and accessing technology differs from the way we see it. They are not bothered by its consequences and threats. The advantage they see is that they are connected with friends; they can share pictures, videos, text messages and browse for information. They also want this kind of access without the supervision of parents or educators. The educator’s role is to make students aware of online risks and the restrictions that should be implemented while online. Though students may not initially appreciate these restrictions, we nonetheless have to ensure that they stay safe online.

Students should be taught about their online sharing practices and the online friends they choose to maintain. Students should know that once they lose control of their privacy online, it is difficult to restore. The intentions with which they share information online with others may not be taken as it is and can be misused in different ways. Have regular presentations on the importance of a student’s privacy, show videos of victims of privacy invasion and the consequences of it. Have discussions with the students and teach them how they can recover from privacy compromises.

The same practice should be proposed to the school administration for school staff. All educators should know about privacy issues and there should be some collective practices adopted and implemented in schools to ensure that educators are cautious of their privacy invasion online. 

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