Are you getting the sense lately that everything is connected online, even in ways we don't want to be connected? I often get a feeling, when my kids are playing on my cell phone, that they're one click away from accidentally sharing something with the world that I wouldn't want shared, because it's becoming easier and easier to share EVERYTHING.
As a 'mommy blogger' (a mom who owns and operates a blog) I would say I know my way around the internet fairly well. Should there be a suspicious private message or email, or if I see a person that I want to 'investigate', well...I look them up! It's pretty easy to discover things about people that they may not realize anyone can find if they try hard enough.
So my question is this. Are you concerned with your safety and the safety of your kids because of all the information about you online? I see bloggers everywhere who nickname their kids for the sake of privacy or sometimes don't share their kids images at all, but after knowing what I know about how easy it is to 'look up' people, I wonder why bother? I have a feeling, not that I am totally safe, but that no one can be totally safe, no matter how hard we try.
There is a part of me that becomes more and more concerned as my kids become older and more comfortable online. Everything wants them to click and join, give their details so they can play, sign up for this or that...and that is what starts to scare me.
I wish this were a post about how to be more safe online but I find that I'm kind of thinking we can't be safe, as long as you're online, you're putting YOU out there whether you like it or not.
As a family, how concerned are you with the fact that your images and your kids images are online and the fact that with all the apps and 'check-in' tools, etc. that strangers are able to find out an awful lot about you regardless of how hard you try to keep things private.
Is this a concern of yours? Do you take steps to try and maintain anonymity or do you just try not to think about how exposed your personal information may be online?
Kim H Date 12/17/2013
I'm not a blogger, so I don't worry about that side of the issue. I only have a Facebook account and it has all the privacy settings set as private as they can go. I do share pictures & names on Facebook, but that is why I set up an account - so our families can see pictures of our kids even though we live far away! I know I can't eliminate all the risk, but I'm as careful as I can be!
Melissa McCarty Date 12/17/2013
I have a blog but I never show my child's face in her pictures. I try not to show her face in profile pictures too because people don't have to be friends with you to see that.
Mary Date 12/17/2013
I have a blog but I try not to put details that I think are too personal. But at the same time, I guess I don't worry about it as much because I feel safe. We're very pro-gun and I feel comfortable about defending my son and I (if my husband isn't home) if our home were to be attacked.
Deah Date 12/18/2013
I put my son's name and pictures on facebook, and now I'm wondering if that was a bad idea...but I feel like this is our reality now. Times are changing.
EB Date 12/19/2013
I follow basic rules and I expect my family to do the same. This starts with realizing, once it's on the internet it's there FOREVER. Fourteen years ago, I submitted a photo of myself that seemed fine to my sixteen year old self went online. It's STILL there. Thankfully, my 30 year old self still thinks it's OK. LUCKILY, my name is not attached. I can't imagine what other future 30 year olds will think of the things they've posted online with their names attached. I will not post a photo that I would not want my boss, grandma or worst enemy to see. The same goes for my words. As for names, locations and other identifiable information, I try to keep it very basic, reserving full name usage for companies and people that already have access to that information. I don't give out my address to just anyone, I don't post exterior photos of my home or go into great detail about the city I live it or the activities I've done (until after the fact). My private life is private and I want to keep it that way as much as possible. I feel the same way about my family and will not use their identifiable images or information without their consent and they're a long way from that! I think the way everyone handles the internet has to reflect the individuality of the family. One size does not fit all and some families will have different ideas when it comes to online safety.