Why Private Schools Need A Private Network to Manage Media
Like many businesses, schools are quickly adopting social media sharing platforms as tools to communicate and engage with their customers (current and prospective families, donors, alumni). But although sharing is at the heart and soul of any community, we must also be mindful of growing privacy and security risks around publicly available digital content. In the private school setting, these are now more prevalent than ever.
With Facebook’s recent data leak scandal, this brings us to ask teachers, communications directors, marketing managers and headmasters…is social media really the best place for your school content to live? Today, channels like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr are continuing to be chosen mediums for schools to both store and share photos and videos of students. With so many loopholes in privacy settings, third party integrations, and volumes of personal data available from single platforms, we believe it’s time to rethink how and where school photos and videos should be stored to begin with. A common case? Simply try searching a student’s name in Google, and watch how it will likely link back to a public media sharing site.
While it can be argued that platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr do provide settings to manage privacy and security, they are not wholly protected private networks, with a number of limitations to consider. Privacy and security settings can often be disabled by default or are left incomplete. In Facebook’s recent data leak, third party applications were allowed to collect users’ personal data and that of all their connections. What’s more, Facebook has no way of preventing third party operators from sharing such data with other external parties such as Cambridge Analytica, a foreign company subject to very different laws and privacy standards.
Photos and videos are the most effective and requested way for a school to share and engage parents and alumni. This content also reveals a lot about an individual student. So how exactly can we protect and contain user information within school grounds, without forsaking a healthy sharing culture that so many communities strive to foster? The answer is simpler than you think. All it takes is a more robust way to manage who has access and how content is shared at each and every level. The best move for private schools is to start moving content to more secure, private networks for sharing photos and videos among their own members.
Diving further…what are the key attributes of such a solution?
- Access to content must be by invite only and the school must be able to block users from access if needed. When schools grant access to community photos by allowing external parties to “follow” the school’s feed, there is no way to control or prevent non-community members to download/screen-grab photos.
- The school administration must authorize any applications or integrations that may require access to photos and videos in the secure environment. This may be for displaying content on a website or digital displays.
- When the content is transmitted over the web, data must be encrypted such that an unauthorized recipient cannot make use of it in any way, shape or form.
- The storing and display of the data must comply with local laws.
To learn more about how you can set up a private and secure photo and video management system for your school, book a consultation with us.