Internet safety has been a concern of mine for several years. Way back when I had a MySpace account, I tried to be careful with what I posted and wrote, but it wasn’t until I got my first Facebook account that I really watched what I posted. (And now that everyone can see everything, I try to be even more careful!)
The Internet is forever. No matter what I’ve written or uploaded, it’s not going to disappear. Not entirely, anyway. There are hackers and programmers (like my brother-in-law) who are much smarter than me and could find things I had forgotten about long ago…if they so chose.
Interenet safety, for me, starts with watching what I post…and where. What information I give out to whom. And then we started this blog, and it’s no secret that we’re sharing our lives, our stories, our children with you. But where do we draw the line when it comes to safety?
1. We make sure to watermark all pictures that are uploaded onto our site.
When we were first getting started, we found an article about keeping your kids safe while blogging. One of the ideas was to watermark all pictures, and we have been doing it ever since. If someone tries to use our pictures as their own, their readers will see the Sisters ‘N Cloth watermark on some part of the picture. Sometimes it’s more obvious, and sometimes it’s more hidden, but it’s there. And along the same lines, we are careful as to what pictures we do post. There are many perverted people in this world, and what may seem like an innocent picture can be twisted into something much, much worse.
2. We are careful about what we talk about, what activities we talk about, and giving a detailed description about our daily lives.
This would seem like an obvious thing to avoid, but there are people out there who do this not only on their blogs but also on Facebook or Twitter. Personally, while I don’t mind sharing where we’ve gone before, I’m not okay with sharing the places where we have to go today. Not that many of our readers are familiar with the city or the area that we live in (and those that are know us in real life anyway), but it’s the thought that someone could stalk me or my famliy that gets me. I don’t want to give anyone that opportunity!
3. Here’s one that we don’t do: use nicknames for the kiddos.
Now, sometimes we aren’t as specific and use acronyms (DD, DH, DS) for our family members, but we also use their names. For me, it isn’t as necessary because Abby is already a nickname. So is my husband’s name, Drew. And let’s be real, there aren’t many people who spell Jeniffer with two f’s, the way I do. But using nicknames can be a very effective way of keeping your family’s identity hidden, which is why I wanted to mention it.
Of course, these are ways that we as bloggers keep our families safe, and it’s no where near what happened to Mary Ann! (If you aren’t familiar with her story, please check in with our host site, The Slacker Mom, to read her story today. And please like her Facebook page, too.)
As moms, we try so hard to protect our children from the world. Let’s not forget to protect them on the Internet, too.