Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blogging Safety

I read a post on Mormon Mommy Blogs by Heather about safety when blogging. This blog post by Heather says everything I've ever thought about safety while blogging. She earns a gold star from me today!!

My family blog is kept private and I've very picky about who I allow to see my blog. Even with those things said, I don't include many "identifying" tidbits on my family blog (such as address, etc) because I'm freaked out about internet safety.

I am going to copy and paste her blog post below because I feel it is really important -- but please check out her original post as well. I've linked to it HERE. Be careful, people!! All too often I see party invitations, announcements, etc with names, addresses, pictures on PUBLIC (as opposed to private) blogs. We live in a really scary world. Be careful!! As the title of Heather's blog post says it best, "Better Safe Than Sorry."

The blogging community is awesome. I’m sure all of you agree. We read about each other’s lives, we leave validation in the forms of comments and emails; we rally around crises together and support each other’s businesses. It’s a large sisterhood we’ve got going on here. It’s a wonderful one.

We feel safe with each other. We understand each other. But, even in this environment of love and friendship there is something I just don’t get. I just don’t get at all.

It’s like laying out a Welcome Mat for Trouble.

It’s like sending a Pedophile a personalized invitation.

It’s like waving a banner that says, “Here I am! Hurt me!”

What could I possibly be talking about? I’m talking about the information that I occasionally come across on public blogs that literally makes me wince. For example: Pictures of the front of the family home. Pictures of children standing outside their classrooms –which include their teacher’s name and room number, complete addresses and phone numbers, invitations which include date, time, and directions to a person’s house. Information, in short, that can lead a “stranger danger” right to your front door.

It’s a scary thing folks, it seriously is.

I saw a news report a while back where some reporters set up an experiment with some parent volunteers. The parent stood in a room watching a reporter *a.k.a. complete stranger to their child* talk their children into getting into a car with them. Parent after parent stood in shock as their child who “would never get into a car with a stranger” got into the car. Over and over again.

Think about it. You have no way of knowing who exactly is checking in on your blog. Chances are that the people who do read your blog know what you look like, know what children look like, know their names, know their interests… You get the idea.

A long time ago a friend of mine was in an abusive marriage. She was able to get her and her daughter away. She has since remarried and has some more adorable children. Well guess who recently showed up at her door one night, when her husband wasn’t home? Her ex-husband. How did he find her? Her neighbor’s blog.
It’s a true story.

I’d just like to remind all of you that what you share with us, you are also sharing with the rest of the world. Be careful about what you’re posting. It’ll help keep you and your family (and possibly your neighbor’s family too) safe.

That’s all. I am now stepping off my soapbox.

sig4blog

If you're reading this on a feed reader or on Facebook, check out the blog homepage at Cleverhomemaking.blogspot.com.

5 comments:

  1. Just remember in an Ensign not too long ago we are asked to make our blogs away to spread and share the gospel. It becomes that much more difficult when we are private. That is the biggest reason I have not switched to privatizing my blog. I don't thing I would maintain it if it was.

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  2. I chose to keep my blog private because I have so many "strangers" that follow this blog, and I was uncomfortable sharing even my kids pictures and general family info with such a large audience. I keep this blog public and I have many non-LDS friends who have access to my private family blog. I maintain my family blog because I'm making it into a family scrapbook (eventually) and need to keep it updated that way. Plus I have lots of extended family who keep up with my family blog. So, everybody's happy. :)

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