Protecting Personal Information Q&A

  • What is personal information?
    Personal information is any information or combination of information that enables an individual to be identified. 
    Personal information may include:
    • Full name
    • Address
    • Phone numbers
    • School
    • Date of birth
    • Email addresses
    • Username and password
    • Pictures 
    How can parents help protect their students?
    (excerpt from 
    • Explain that nothing is really private. No matter what kids think. Privacy settings aren’t infallible. It’s up to kids to protect themselves by thinking twice before they post something that could damage their reputation or that someone else could use to embarrass or hurt them.
    • Teach kids to keep personal information private. Help kids define what information is important for them to keep private when they're online. We recommend that kids not share their addresses, phone numbers, or birth dates.
    • Make sure your kids use privacy settings on their social network pages. Encourage kids to really think about the nature of their relationships (close friends, family, acquaintances, strangers) and adjust their privacy settings accordingly.
    • Remind kids to protect their friends' privacy. Passing along a rumor or identifying someone in a picture (called "tagging") affects their privacy. If your kids are tagged in friends’ photos, they can ask to have the photos or the tags removed. But there’s not too much they can do beyond that.
    • Establish a few hard-and-fast rules about posting. No nude or semi-nude photos or videos -- ever. Not online, not via mobile phone (known as "sexting"). No pictures of doing inappropriate activities.
    • Remind kids that the Golden Rule applies. What goes around comes around. If kids spread a rumor or talk trash about a teacher, they can't assume that what they post will stay private. Whatever they say can come back to haunt them in more ways than they can imagine.
    • Help kids think long term. Everything leaves a digital footprint. Whatever gets created may never go away. If they don’t want to see it tomorrow, they'd better not post it today.

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