Does the name Ashley Payne sound familiar?
If yes, that’s because you’ve probably read about her before: Payne, a teacher in Winder, Georgia, made news for being fired when she posted a picture of herself holding a glass of wine in one hand and a pint of beer in the other on social media. Although this picture was posted on her personal social media account, it didn’t matter. Apparently, a parent saw her social media post and wasn’t too pleased with Payne drinking on her private time and posting about it on social media. The unsatisfied parent went ahead to complain to the school board, and this cost Payne her job.
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Payne was soon summoned to the office of the head teacher at the school she worked and the interaction went something like this:
Head teacher: Do you have a Facebook page?
Head teacher: Do you have any pictures of yourself up there with alcohol?
Head teacher: Resign or be suspended.
Now, we can start to debate what Payne’s mistake was: Having a Facebook page? Billions of people do! Drinking alcohol? Billions of people do, too? Posting personal pictures on her personal Facebook page? Well, billions of people do too!
Payne’s mistake was simple: not taking her privacy, especially in an online and social media world, seriously. And it cost her her job! In an interview with a publication, she said:
“I just want to be back in the classroom, if not that classroom, a classroom. I want to get back doing what I went to school for, my passion in life.”
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In Payne’s case, teaching is her passion — her career… her dream. Yet, a simple privacy mistake cost her more than she had anticipated.
Like Payne, countless people have lost their jobs due to easily-avoidable privacy mistakes. Countless people have lost their career. Don’t make the following privacy mistakes in 2018, or they could cost you your career.