Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are Your Notes Safe?

It occurred to me that I didn't know how far back on one's Facebook page you could go. I feel like I have mine locked down very well in light of my recent 'friending' of students. But what about those posts from a couple years ago before I allowed students to be my friend on Facebook?

I had one of those "Uh-oh" moments where I began wondering if a student could scroll back through my history and 'see' posts that were prior to "Student Lock-down". Sadly, I haven't answered that question, but I did discover another area of weakness on my Facebook privacy settings. (Side note...I did find an interesting site,, that allows you to review your posts from forever ago in one handy place. It was reassuring to read through my old timeline and not see any moral faux-pas.)

Notes! When I first began Facebooking I completed several of those chain notes where you fill in answers about yourself or create lists of 'interesting' information. Those were NOT locked down to students!! Thankfully, I'm a sane and decent person so there were no glaring stains on my character to be found in those notes, but there was information I'd prefer not to share with 10 year olds. I did what every person does to find the answer to a question...I Googled it.

To adjust the privacy settings for your notes you have to actually go to the individual notes. You can't adjust your settings for notes from the privacy setting menus that include everything else on Facebook (pictures, posts, birthday, marriage status, etc.). Here are the official Facebook directions in case you need to adjust your settings.

We cannot be too careful as educators. There are plenty of stories out there about 'Teachers Gone Wild' without Facebook exposing details that could be held against us in the eyes of our students or their parents. At this point I still feel that the benefits of 'friending' students on Facebook outweigh the potential consequences (with the exception of joblessness!). But as I've said, I think I've contained students to a chunk of information that I'm comfortable sharing. If you are a teacher and you have not recently looked at your privacy settings, I urge you to do so! 

Information about the picture can be found here.

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