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Have you been asked for your online usernames/passwords by your ICT dept?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lou5357, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. lou5357

    lou5357 New commenter

    Hi all,

    Our staff have just signed a new ICT safety agreement. I just want to query whether or not it is now 'usual' to allow the school to have access to, for example, my TES log in/ password? I have spoken to my union about it, and they have advised signing it, but I just wondered if this was becoming the norm.
    In short, I will now need to create a new profile on TES for anything I post on the 'community' side of things and keep my other (older) one for 'teaching and learning.' This seems completely insane!
    Thoughts appreciated.

  2. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I am not surprised.

    It's their school network so they make the rules.

    Perhaps retire your old TES persona for use at home and create a new one for school?
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    It could be said that in using school equipment, this should be solely for school purposes. Fair enough.

    But . . .

    This is not the worst aspect of it in my view.

    Anyone (i.e. IT staff) with access to your login details, even if YOU use that username in school only for T&L activity, could also access the Community as you. And you might not like what they posted!

    It seems to me that TES is a unique situation, combining both professional and personal activity. And indeed, both professional and personal information. Once your IT staff know that you are lou5357, they could search your past posts, as well as posting in your name. This too would be unacceptable.

    I would therefore say that this is sensitive personal data (although not Sensitive Personal Data according to the Data Protection Act 1998), and the school should therefore not have access to it.

    I think that the school should reconsider asking for TES details. Presumably they will not be expecting you to give them access to your Twitter or FB?

    Best wishes

    Lara mfl 05 and Yoda- like this.
  4. lou5357

    lou5357 New commenter

    "Anyone (i.e. IT staff) with access to your login details, even if YOU use that username in school only for T&L activity, could also access the Community as you. And you might not like what they posted!"

    Oh my! I use my own laptop at school (not one issued by school), and hadn't thought of this! Thanks for the 'heads up'.
    I don't know about Twitter/Facebook as I don't use 'social' media other than TES, not do I post on Tes community at school, but would be grateful for any dos and don'ts as it were,
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Don't let the school know your user id, for a start, nor your password.


    Best wishes

  6. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Are you saying that your school would want to know you usernames for stuff that is posted at home. For example 'Compassman' was my usual username but in school it was something else.

    If you use usernames/passwords on the school network / laptop then fine but anything else they have no right to that.
  7. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter

    If asked, I'd just say "I don't have a TES account" It used to frustrate the hell out of my old Head as they couldn't find me on Facebook - no-one can ;)

    Not even me:D
    aspensquiver and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    They have no right to tell you not to be on social media, Tes fora or anything else done in your own personal time.

    My old head used to have a "Facebook Spy" on the staff who seemed to furnish the head with teaching staffs posts that this person thought were in any way controversial.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Such a policy is intolerable unless you post of behalf of the school (I would like to say on behalf of Crummy Academy that....). Otherwise I can't see the point outside of Blairite message control.

    I would also advise not signing.
  10. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    It's just another way of spying. First thing you teach any child is not to reveal you passwords.
    I suggest you don't tell them and if they insist or you have I suggest you change your password immediately. Do not post from school computers as ict coordinators will search in case you are accessing 'wrong'material. However if given to the head it could in my mind be considered a breach of data unless he has been legally been given that authority.
    My son works in computer security in a huge firm and although the firm can access any email sent via the firm thet are not asked for passwords.
  11. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    We tell students in IT not to give out passwords and be careful with who has access to their accounts. We also talk about the dangers of signing in on public computers.
    Can they ask? Yes. Do you have to agree? Absolutely not.
    I'd just deny having such accounts.

    Sure, the head can have a policy saying that you won't say anything about the school on public social media (and by public - any seeing as the privacy settings area are always changing). But they should have zero say on things you share etc. What next 'the head doesn't like your political opinion' and you get summoned to a meeting? Very worrying.
  12. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Some Heads are on a bit of a power trip over this kind of thing.

    Must say that since I've left I've been pretty blunt about my former school on social media.
    aspensquiver likes this.
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    It might also be that since TES started selling resources when the copyright really belongs to the school that they are going to chase this up. If the technicians were good they good install software to find out for themselves, but dubious that this is legal?

    Safest way is not admit to using any online accounts and don't use any via school network.
    Spiritwalkerness likes this.
  14. Noja

    Noja Senior commenter

    Our technicians have complete access to everything anyway...they don't need our passwords if we are on the school network :-(
  15. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I would not give anyone any usernames or passwords. I'm horrified that anyone would ask.
    We're allowed a certain amount of personal use of school ICT and while technicians can "see" anything we're looking at they are far too busy to be snooping around for no reason. They also take security and privacy quite seriously - they would be never make such a request.
  16. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Anything you do using school computers, the school has the right to ask and expect you to give account details. Anything you do in your own time not using school equipment, you do not have to give to the school.

    It's simple really. Don't use the school's equipment or Internet for private stuff. Use your smartphone's connection.

    An absolute no no never ever is to bring in your own computer for schoolwork.
  17. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Spot on!
    oldsomeman and wanet like this.
  18. lou5357

    lou5357 New commenter

    Many thanks for everyone's thoughts and advice on this subject - much appreciated!
    So that everyone is clear, this new 'updated' policy contained lots of 'you will...' style statements with a single signature required at the end of the document, rather than a document to sign specifically requesting my Tes log in details! (Lol! Talk about hiding things in plain sight!)
    Yes, I have signed it.
    As I explained to my union officer, the only applicable site I use at school is Tes (the resources section). I never post/respond to threads at school, nor have I ever said anything negative about my place of work, so it isn't as though I am in a situation that might, for example, warrant a request to TES to delete anything I have previously written.
    For me, and potentially for a few of my colleagues, the Tes log in/password issue is raising a few questions because there is obviously an overlap between the resources/jobs and community section. I understand the advice that I have been given (both here and by the union); I guess I was more curious to know if this is becoming the norm.
    Something I have thought of (whilst reading replies on here) is this: I regularly log on to my online bank account at work - usually to accommodate my daughter's college food bill - does this mean that the IT dept will also know my passwords for my online banking just because I have logged on at school? Sorry to sound ignorant of such matters, but I can't even use a modern mobile phone!
  19. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Not a good idea to sign onto online banking at work because potentially the technicians could access your details and password. Do that at home. Same goes for anything personal. Do not sign into email or fora using the school laptop or network.

    As for TES I had a sign in username for school and this one for my out of school rants. Not sure my school would have been too happy with my posts on here as Compassman but it doesn't matter now.
  20. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    If you use your school time to log on for TES then so be it.Just DO NOT post on the fora and there is no problem.At home uses your own computer and join in with a new name/password.You can do that as your comp will have a different IEP address and so TES wont recognise you. only as new.
    As long as you dont post post which the school can recognise as belonging to that school you should be ok to join in the merriment.
    I stlil feel its wrong that schools require your passwords even if technicians can access it using software.
    In this age od suspicion i still dont trust schools to act sensible to anything you say or post.

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