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A Tip Sheet to Help Teachers Prevent and Respond to Doxxing

By Sarah D. Sparks & Laura Baker — May 24, 2024 1 min read
Images of digital safety against doxxing and privacy invasion.
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Teaching is a social profession, but connecting to students, families, peers, and the wider community can put educators at higher risk of having personal information released to hurt or embarrass them.

This practice, known as “doxxing,” is becoming more common with the wider array of personal information available online, via directories, social media platforms, and hacking. Doxxing often occurs alongside other cyber-bullying, and can even escalate to physical harassment.

Only a handful of states—including California, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington—criminalize or set civil penalties for malicious release of personally identifiable information. And even in states that have such laws, thresholds for harm can be difficult to meet. For example, three of the board of directors of the Newberg Dundee school district in Yamhill County, Ore., sued parents over the release of social media posts in a private Facebook group, but a state appellate court ruled last year that the board members did not prove this information release caused “severe emotional distress.”

See also

Vector illustration concept of a cyber criminal with laptop stealing user personal data while a woman expresses frustration.

Still, teachers and administrators can be proactive to help protect their information online—and teach students to be good digital citizens.

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