After a few months on the Entrecard circuit I’ve noticed one thing – there is a plethora of people willing to divulge every little detail about their lives, even their children’s lives. I’ve done my fair share of sharing, but not enough to make me feel exposed or vulnerable to anyone out there who may be reading. You may wonder why this should even be a concern. Well, with every group of good people that comes across your blog there are bound to be one or two (or unfortunately more) with not so good intentions (I just discovered that there are 19 sex offenders, some of children, within 10 miles of me). Entrecard makes it very easy for anyone connected to the network to search and read about anyone and anything.
I fear for the mothers and fathers out there that have full clear pictures of their children on their blogs with full names in view of everyone. Ever wonder how the creepies on Facebook and MySpace create their fake personas to draw in unsuspecting youth? You got it – we, MOMS, DADS, GRANDPARENTS and KIDS, tell them too much. Just because you aren’t personally writing all of this down in front of a prison yard and handing it through the fence doesn’t mean that the people in the prison (or who have been in prison or should be there) won’t someday come across it.
Just as much as we want to share with the world just how cute our little Janie or Bobbie is we should want to protect them from the bad dudes (and dudettes) that may ever want to take or hurt them. Just a few tips for keeping your family safe while blogging:
- Keep your anonymity: create pseudonyms for everyone in your family (preferably not something you use as a nickname for you or your kids so if it’s called out to them in a public place they won’t recognize it and respond)
- Keep your location general. Don’t publish your address. If you must share, give your state and region – that gives at least a 300 mile radius of possibility.
- Keep your personal pictures private, only for family. This includes ones that show your child’s sports team jersey. It won’t take a rocket scientist to track your kid down once they know the team name and their jersey number. If you do share a picture of your kids, a less that current one, i.e., baby picture, is probably safe to share. Pictures in profile are risky, but much safer that a full frontal face shot.
- Don’t publish exact birthdays or anniversaries. Who doesn’t get a little curious when a stranger out of the blue wishes them a happy anything other than the obvious holidays.
- Don’t publish your families email addresses. Yes, these may be intended to keep the family in touch, but you may want to act as your families email guardian. All you need is one unscrupulous porn spammer to give your young child a view of something not so savory.
Well, that’s my paranoid rant of the day. If I think of anything else I’ll be sure to share.