By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
Social media at school or in the workplace is the source of controversy. Employees can be reprimanded or fired for what they post on social sites, and educators generally see it as a form of distraction. Despite social media’s cultural prominence skyrocketing, or perhaps because of it, some businesses and schools choose to block social media sites from their networks, but this knee-jerk reaction generally isn’t the best approach and is often ineffective. Many people are turning to VPN service providers to access Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media websites, as well as unblocking games like Fortnite, Minecraft, Pokemon, Roblox, Fire Emblem Heroes, and more.
The Case for Blocking Social Media
Opponents of social media-use in schools tend to argue that the Internet is a scary place for children, and social media use in the classroom will leave them open to these dangers. Many schools ban social media out of fear that students will be distracted when performing online research, or that it will give them greater incentive to brush off cellphone-use policies. Rather than aim to personalize learning experiences by embracing a digitally rich, social-based approach, school policies continue to ban access in libraries, computer labs, and the classroom. They achieve this with web monitoring programs that allow administrators to specify DNS settings, which filter out specific sites. Anyone who attempts to access a banned site will be met with an error page. A similar method is to restrict IP addresses, which achieves the same end.
Along those same lines, employers justify blocking social media sites because they argue employees are only going to goof off. They already gather around the water cooler and take bathroom breaks, so it stands to reason social media breaks would be next. Many employers also feel they have to control their company’s message, and allowing social media at work can take away that control.
The Reality of the Situation
When it comes to business, social media has shown to actually benefit an employer because employees can become company advocates. Not only does employee social media use enhance a company’s reputation, but it’s also essentially a form of free advertising. When employees love what they do and brag about the products or services offered at their workplace, more people become interested – and that translates to more consumers.
Social media use at work has never been shown to adversely affect productivity. In fact, it boosts morale and opens communication lines between employees and potential clients. It can also be a great skill building tool when companies focus on encouraging employees to market and sell products on social media sites.
Teachers have also started using social media as a way of connecting students to the wider world. Classroom Twitter accounts are becoming more prominent as students have a dialogue with journalists, museums, and other experts during class projects. Sites like Instagram provide supplementary visuals that can augment class discussions and serve as student project showcases. Social media is also a fundamental tool for sharing student work with parents, helping them feel more connected to what goes on in the classroom.
Simply put, blocking social media at school or in the office goes against society’s evolutionary trends. Rather than ban these beneficial sites, it’s time to start embracing them.
What to do When Faced With Blocked Social Media
If your company or school has banned the use of social media, presenting this information to administration is the first step toward rewriting policies. Become an advocate for embracing societal change. Until then, however, there are ways around the issue.
Using Hotspot Shield VPN app will allow you to access blocked sites no matter how an administrator has set up the network. By activating the app on your device (laptop or smartphone), your IP address will be hidden from your network administrator but also your internet service provider (ISP) itself, allowing you to essentially fly under the radar.
When using Hotspot Shield, you are completely anonymous, so you can enjoy online browsing without censorship or worry. The network at school or the office won’t even know you’re connecting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other site.
What Makes Hotspot Shield VPN the Best?
There are countless VPN options available, but Hotspot Shield provides unrestricted access to online content along with complete WiFi security. This allows access to sites and apps like YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and more. It even alerts you to spam sites, so you can avoid malware and phishing scams. Even better, Hotspot Shield VPN is free to download for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones and desktops. For these reasons, the VPN has been downloaded more than 650 million times and has been featured by CNN, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. It’s a reputable VPN countless people have come to rely upon at school or in the workplace.
The Hotspot Shield Chrome and Firefox extensions have made a great download even better. The VPN extension boasts unlimited bandwidth, an easy-to-use interface, various available locations, and protected browser traffic. It will even hide your real location and all online activities. When you need an intuitive, straightforward, free solution for your browser, the Hotspot Shield Chrome or Firefox extension meets every need.
When it comes to securing a convenient and safe option for bypassing internet censorship and protecting your privacy, it’s good to know that free options like Hotspot Shield VPN exist.