Monday, April 13, 2015

Taking Small Steps to Protect My Family Online

I've been following Hailey Devine's blog for a while, and when she posted her thoughts on keeping her family safe on Instagram nearly a week ago, I immediately wanted to share it with everyone and remove everything I've ever put on the internet.

Since then, the post HAS gone viral, as I hoped it would (I've seen some non-blogger friends share it on Facebook) and I've had a couple days to calm down and process things. Let me tell you, I was really freaked out right after reading Hailey's experiences. Especially the bits about finding foot prints outside her house and about how people stole pictures of her baby girl to use for "baby role play". That really hit home with me, since I have a little baby of my own that I share pictures of.

I had a looooong post written on the topic... but here are my watered-down thoughts instead:

This blog is a valuable and fun way to document my life and keep my family & friends posted on what I'm up to and let them watch Nicole grow. However, I need to think more about the safety and privacy of my little girl (and my own privacy, for that matter). Growing and/or monetizing your blog, meeting other bloggers, etc. are (to me) petty reasons to make any aspect of my life so easy for anyone and everyone to access. There are so many cute blogs and friendly bloggers out there that I think we often forget that there are malicious creeps too. They just don't let you know they're reading along. Scary, much? Yeah.

In other words, this blog isn't worth the risk, however small. Who knows if there are any weirdos gleaning information about me from this blog right as we speak?! The chances are that there aren't any... but there could be, and that's so freaky! I honestly have no way of knowing! Oh... I mean... hey, you creeps who are reading this right now, I'm on to you!

However, I don't want to stop blogging. So what's the solution? I'll give you one guess!

Starting one week from now, this blog will be private! I've thought long and hard about this decision over the past few days, and it feels right. I still want my family and friends to read along though, so please put your email in this GOOGLE FORM so I can give you permission to keep reading!

Is it a cure-all? Goodness, no. People can hack your email, or hack websites where your info is stored for online shopping, or... or... so many things! There's no end to the risks of using the internet! But like I said... why make it easier for the creeps?

I'm probably going to do a "Facebook Friends List" purge sometime soon too. And my Instagram account has already been made private. I'm re-thinking other things as well... do I really need a LinkedIn account? I barely even USE Twitter! What else can I get rid of?


Pardon me while I go pull a "Ron Swanson" and drop off the grid. (Parks and Rec, anyone?)

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