Can my school track what I am doing online if I am not using their Internet or computers?

by on September 18, 2012

Q: I hope this can be put straightforward:

If I’m NOT using any school computers, or school-based internet, is it possible for that school to track my IP address from various websites, such as Facebook, or Twitter?

The internet being used is offered by a service that has no direct connection with the school. Can the school contact my internet provider to search out keywords from specific IP addresses?

This is a very critical bit of information to me, not commit acts of violence, but to maintain my right to anonymity in the electronic frontier! Thanks guys!

2 Responses to “Can my school track what I am doing online if I am not using their Internet or computers?”
    Picked as best answer

    No, if you are not using their internet and not using their PCs they cannot track you.

    The only way they would be allowed to track you is if you signed some form of a waiver or if the school has a police warrant allowing them to collect information about you.

    As well your ISP should not release any information to them about you with out the means above. That as far as I know is illegal.


    JSelden’s post is pretty accurate. Your internet service provider would be identifying you to 3rd parties unless it’s the police, and then would only be doing so if you’ve be doing something threatening or criminal.

    That said, just because this IP address stuff isn’t publicly available, it’s still sometimes possible to figure out who made a post with some sleuthing.

    For example, if you make a post on twitter or reddit under a username you’ve used on other websites, a google search of that username might turn up other posts under that username that tell enough publicly available tidbits about yourself that would make it possible to figure out who you are.

    So use an account to post stuff that is only used once for that express purpose, and if it really needs to remain anonymous, don’t tell your friends that you did it!

    Finally if you feel a need to post something and you fear reprisal from the school, consider talking to a parent about your concern first. Also, don’t post angry, give yourself 24 hours to think about whatever it is your concerned about, and if it really matters enough to stir the pot.