One of a cheerleading coach’s responsibilities is to protect the personal information that is collected from their team members. A coach may need to collect several pieces of personal information about their cheerleaders, including phone numbers, addresses, and clothing sizes. When cheerleaders and their parents release this information to their coach, they trust that the coach will protect that information as confidential. Here are a few tips to help coaches meet those expectations. Electronic Communications When you must email several people from your team the same information, insert only YOUR email address in the “To’ section, then add all the other email addresses in the “Bcc’ section. “Bcc’ stands for blind carbon copy, and what it will do is hide all emails in that section. This means that you won’t be exposing a cheerleader or parent’s personal email address to everyone that you are emailing. If you are a coach at a gym that has several teams, you may want to invest in email software that you help you manage your communications. Avoid, and remind our staff and team to avoid, using the “reply to all’ option in emails. Also, don’t add people to a chain of emails that may include someone’s personal information. Pay attention and make sure that you are only sharing information with the people that should know it. Pay attention before you send documents. Double check that you don’t send EVERYONE a document that lists the entire team’s sizes. Before hitting the “send’ button for any email, make it a habit to double check who you include to receive it, and what information you provided, including any attached documents. Password Protection Password-protect your computer, tablet, laptop and phone and any other device that might store any of your team’s personal information. Lock and/or protect any electronic documents that list any personal information. This is a second layer of protection so that even if someone does access your electronic device, they won’t be able to access that information. General Don’t leave printed documents laying around if they have any personal information on them. Instead, keep them locked in a filing cabinet. Have any and all employees or assistants sign a confidentiality agreement that states that they will not use personal information for communications that don’t involved the team, and that they won’t share phone numbers, addresses, clothing sizes, etc. with anyone. Safely dispose of all documents that include personal information by choosing to shred them instead of just throwing them away. Be careful when posting images to social media. Make sure that you don’t accidentally expose someone’s personal information because you didn’t notice it in the background of your picture. Coaches, how do you keep your cheerleaders’ information safe and secure? Have you ever had a problem with security?