Facebook, and similar social networking sites such as mySpace, Bebo, Ning, etc... are great for starting andmaintaining relationships.However, as illustrated above, such sites need to be used with care. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) isvery clear that the inappropriate use of such sites by students and professionals may impact on their ‘fitness topractice’. Pages 8 and 9 of the NMC (2009) Guidance on professional conduct for nursing and midwifery studentsclearly identify the importance of behaviour and conduct both during your programme and in your personal life.Specific reference is made to the use of social networking sites in this document on page 15 as well as the NMCadvice on their website (statement 18/11/08 “Your Code of Conduct applies to your personal life”.Any student found in breach of this guidance will be subject to the Faculty of Health’s Fitness to Practice procedure.This procedure can be found in your programme handbook. It is your responsibility to read and familiarise yourselfwith the NMC’s guidance and behave in a professional manner at all times.If you’re using any site where you are submitting personal details, make sure you’ve taken all the necessaryprecautions to keep your identity safe from fraudsters - and use a bit of common sense when it comes to uploadingphotos and/ or videos. Potential lecturers, employers, lovers, friends and/or family could look you up ...would they beimpressed with what they see? Do you really want to be easily stalked by the ex you’d rather forget?When you initially sign up to Facebook the default privacy settings are public - your profile, photos, videos, statusupdates... are open and available to anyone in the world - they don’t even have to be registered with Facebookthemselves! To change them log in and go to ‘settings’ at the top of the page and then select ‘privacy settings’.Essential reading - see this Facebook Privacy Guide in pictures from the BBC (May 2010) and a new resource byFacebook themselves to educate users on privacy.AcknowledgementsAll cartoons created using toonlet.comPages created by technologyenhancedlearning at the University of Plymouth, 2010
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