Social Media Safety
Social media sites are useful Internet tools to keep in touch with friend and family, and can be utilized to meet new people with similar interests. When used responsibly, these sites can be a positive and beneficial resources. Irresponsible behavior can be determined, putting yourself and your future at risk.
Assume EVERYONE has access to your profile.
Don’t discuss things you wouldn’t want parents, teachers, future employers, and law enforcement to know about. Set your profile to “private” to gain as much control as possible over who has access to your information.
Your friends may think a photo of you acting silly at a party is funny, but how will the rest of the community feel? Your parents, college officials, and potential employers might not be as amused. Also, remember that when your friends take your picture it may end up on their profile; be aware of how you pose for pictures.
Assume the worst.
Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want people to know and don’t add people as “friends” unless you know them in real life. Your “friends” have access to everything you post and once they have it, you can’t take it away.
There are also social predators that utilize social media to find you. What information on your profile identifies who you are, where you hang out, your age, and where you live? Your real friends know how to find you, don’t post this personal information online.
You are responsible for your content.
You are the only one in charge of your profile and you can be held responsible for inappropriate content. Schools across the country are revising policies to allow disciplinary action for online behavior - so behave.
Make sure your email address is appropriate and that your voice message doesn’t send the wrong signals to college officials or potential employers who may contact you.
12 Things Students Should Never Do on Social Media
Inspired by Mashable’s 12 Things Students Should Never Do on Social Media by Stephanie Buck, click here for the full list details.
Post Illegal Activities
Yes you will make mistakes in high school. No, you shouldn’t share those mistakes via photos, videos, or stories online. Even if your profile is set to private or you think it’s a private group chat, online is never really private. First, make good choices. Second, when you make a mistake, learn from it, don’t share it.
Bullying is a serious problem in schools today. Online bullying is not only against most school policies, but can also lead to criminal prosecution. Be kind.
Trash Your Teachers
Adults have profiles online too and word gets around. Don’t say negative things about your teachers, or anyone else for that matter. Be respectful.
Post Confidential Information
Personal information is not for mass consumption. Keep your address, phone number, social security number, and other personal tidbits private.
Overly Specific Location Check-Ins
Protect yourself. Kidnappings have occurred because a student’s routine was learned by their social media posts. Be safe and keep it private. Check-in after you’re already home. Don’t tell the world ahead of time where you are going. Just be safe.
Your activities can be tracked on social media - don’t say you’re doing one thing and check-in online somewhere else. And don’t copy or take credit for someone else’s hard work.
Don’t take out your frustrations online. Never threaten a person or group.
Ignore School-Specific Policies
Check your student handbook for policies relating to student activity online and make sure you follow the rules. Students have been expelled and admission offers taken away for things posted on social media.
Unprofessional Public Profiles
Admission counselors and employers all use Internet searches and social media profiles as part of their research on potential candidates. What does your profile say about you? Keep it classy.
Never Rely on Privacy Settings 100%
Privacy settings are good but they don’t cover everything. Use good judgment when posting.
Take a moment to imagine how your social media posts affect the feelings and safety of others. Don’t give in to the angry post. Take a moment to breathe, think, and reboot.