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Teachers! Lock down your Facebook account’s privacy settings

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Photo of Jill (Teach Starter)
Updated | 3 min read

Student finds teacher’s Facebook profile. Student downloads teacher’s personal photos and prints them out to plaster around the school with some not-so-subtle alterations.

Student uploads teacher’s photo to their Facebook feed. Other student’s join the slanderous conversation at your expense.

Whether we like it or not, everyone has a digital footprint online.

Very little we upload to the internet is private and even less can be removed.

This issue presents a unique problem for teachers with inquisitive students.

How do you retain your digital social life, while ensuring your students can’t dig up those embarrassing photos from a few years ago?

Short of deleting your account, fortunately Facebook offers a range of privacy and security settings to help keep you protected.

Checking your Privacy Settings


First things first. Let’s assess your current privacy settings at a glance.

Step 1: Log in to your facebook account.
Step 2: Click on the arrow beside the question mark icon in the top menu bar.
Step 3: Click ‘Settings’.

There are some quick fixes you can make right away to improve your privacy.


“Who can see your future posts?” should be set to ‘Friends’.

This will ensure that only your friends will be able to see anything you post from now on. If you would like to tighten your security even further, change this setting to ‘Only Me’. This will mean that only you can see what you post.

“Who can look you up using the email address you provided?” should be set to ‘Friends’.

“Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?” should be set to ‘Friends’.

“Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” should be set to ‘No’.

These settings will make it more difficult for students to find your Facebook account.

Checking your Timeline and Tagging Settings

This section will ensure that you have control over what is posted on your wall.

Step 1: While still on the ‘Privacy’ page, click on ‘Timeline and Tagging’ in the left menu.

Checking your Timeline and Tagging Settings

“Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?” should be set to ‘On’.

This is an excellent setting. It allows you to review any photos or posts you’re tagged in, before they display on your wall.

“Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your timeline?” should be set to ‘Friends’ or ‘Only Me’.

“Who can see what others post on your timeline?” should be set to ‘Friends’ or ‘Only Me’.

“Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook?” should be set to ‘On’.

Checking to See What your Students’ See

This is the final step. Let’s see what your profile looks like when one of your students visits it.


Step 1: Go to your profile.
Step 2: Click on the ellipses (…) beside the ‘View Activity Log’ button.
Step 3: Click on the ‘View As…’.
Step 4: You are now seeing what your student’s would see if they visited your Facebook profile.

This is your chance to go through your feed and assess what needs to be hidden or removed. I hope your public content isn’t too shocking for you!

Use a Pseudonym

Another simple solution is to change your name. Using a pseudonym will make it difficult for your students to search for your profile.

It’s important to note that, in the interest of transparency and preventing anonymity online, Facebook does not encourage using a pseudonym.

Some suggestions include using your middle name or maiden name.

In conclusion

Being aware of what you’re sharing online is half the battle. Tweaking these simple security and privacy settings will help you take control of your digital footprint and prevent any unnecessary information slipping through to your inquisitive primary schoolers!

Related resources…

Image of Online Safety Poster

teaching resource

Online Safety Poster

A poster giving students information on how to stay safe online.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: 1 - 7


Do you have any other tips and tricks for keeping your digital social life private? Let us know in the comments below!


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  • Jill (Teach Starter)

    Thank you for your kind feedback Rossana. It's an important, yet sometimes forgotten aspect of the job. We totally agree, teaching students how to use the internet safely and responsibly is vital.

  • Martine

    This is partly the reason I chose to deactivate my account over two years ago, I was tired of getting friend requests from parents! It is tricky sometimes as you miss out on joining online forums through FB, but I love not having an account anymore, so I put up with it!!!!

    • Jill (Teach Starter)

      Yes Martine, the friend requests from parents can be a tricky situation. Some people can be very offended if you do not accept their friend request.

  • Rossana Kay

    This is a valuable information that not only apply to all teachers but also teaching students from very young age to adulthood how to protect them against bullying and online predators. Thank you for making this resource and information available to us.

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