One of the programs I developed this year with another RA provided information to help residents understand the importance of setting privacy settings on facebook. The program explained both the importance of customizing the privacy settings on their facebook accounts and the specific things they could do to keep their privacy settings appropriately configured.
We came up with a list of information that might be found on a facebook page that someone probably wouldn’t want a stranger to know, such as a person’s relationship status, phone number, questionable pictures, hometown, and information about family members. We printed out a sheet for each resident with their name and these headings listed on it.
The names of residents in attendance were put into a hat and program participants randomly selected the name of another person who attended the program from the hat. We gave them 10 minutes to “stalk” their person, and get as much information as they could from facebook, google, etc. Some of the residents were able to get a LOT of information which surprised the person it was about, and some were unable to get anything because their person’s privacy settings were so strict. After everyone shared their findings, we talked about why it was important to keep information private, how future employers might look at facebook as a resource, and how anything posted on the internet/facebook became public and permanent. The program discussion included information about safe use of social networking sites and how to set privacy settings appropriately.
Submitted by Nicole Misencik, Summer Resident Assistant, Quinnipiac University