I love the blogging friends I’ve made and being able to exchange ideas with so many creative Moms. So at times it is hard to think about safety – everyone I’m chatting with seems so NICE ! But the reality is that the people I need to worry about are not the ones I’m chatting with, they are the ones who are reading and combing through my pictures, but not letting me know they stopped by.
We all work hard to protect our children; we make sure they are dressed warm enough when it is cold outside, take them to the doctor if they are sick, make sure they have a good education, teach them about right and wrong, and teach them about stranger danger. So I just wanted to take a moment to make sure you’ve all considered if your blog is keeping your kids safe. I may sound a little paranoid, but I have a techy for a hubby & he keeps me on my toes!
Here are some things to think about:
- Do you have your names (especially last names) on your blog? If you give out your first & last name there is a strong chance someone could identify / find you
- Do you list where you live? If you say you live in a small town in Idaho and give you first name there is a chance someone could identify you
- Do you show pictures of your kids in the bath or without many clothes on? Not only should you worry about some of the disturbing individuals out there combing the internet for just such pictures, but think of your child who might be embarrassed by it at some point.
- Does your email address or name that you comment with link back to your blog? If so than you have given away your name without even thinking about it. You can edit your blogger section to make sure only your first name shows up!
- Are your pictures identifiable? Can someone look at your pictures & see the front of your house with house number. If so I sure hope you don’t have your last name online!
Heavy things to think about, I know. But I wanted to take the time to make sure all my blogging friends are safe =-) Again, chances are you are fine – but it only takes one time. Enough said.
Here is one thing I’ve noticed that you all have done that I don’t think is necessary. Many of you have your blogs locked down like Fort Knox!
What do I mean? When people try to comment on your post they have to log in, enter comment, then enter characters (to prove they are a person), and then log in AGAIN! I think you’d all have more people taking the time to comment if it didn’t take so long! The only spam I’ve gotten has been through the “Anonymous” option. If someone is going to take the time to log in under their Google account, chances are they aren’t spamming you (and then you’d be able to block their account anyway!) And have you ever noticed that most of the biggie blogs (Homeschool Creations, Confessions of a Homeschooler, etc) don’t have their blogs locked down….and they’ve been at this a lot longer than I have.
Just food for thought, so to speak! If you didn’t realize you had it enabled or how to turn it off – here is how:
- Log in to Blogger (sorry I don’t know how to do it if you are using Word press) and go to Settings Tab.
- Click under COMMENTS
- You can now choose “Who Can Comment” (I still have enabled Anonymous because Blogger catches all the spam and it is about 1-2 a week, but you might choose just to get ride of anonymous all together) Since I prepared this post I have since gotten rid of the Anonymous option & the Spam has gone away completely.
- Scroll down the page and you can choose if you want to enable “Comment Moderation” (if you want to see the comment before they get posted)
- Next is “Show word verification for comments” – I’d encourage you to choose NO. Again, do whatever you like. Remember you can always change these settings again if you decide you don’t like it. I just think a lot of us left them whatever they were pre-set at and never ever realized the hassle!
Some of you have your own form coded into your web design so this doesn’t apply to you. Others have Discus (which I love & need to figure out how to get to work with my web coding) which is the best option if you ask me (you can go there & see who replied back to you from all the blogs you commented in that use Discus).
Hope this was helpful! If you have questions about anything blogging or website related I am happy to do my best to answer it =-)