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5 Tips to Keep Safe Kids When Sharing Online

by TerriAnn
Creative Photo-Taking To Protect My Family

5 Tips to Keep Safe Kids When Sharing Online – Creative Photo-Taking To Protect My FamilyWhen I first started blogging back in 2010, there was a very important decision I had to make. In sharing personal stories about myself and my family, how much would be too much? That was especially true when it came to my daughter.

Even then there were horror stories of children’s photos being exploited by sick individuals and kidnapping threats. Obviously I realized that this only happened in a small percentage of cases. However, I was not willing to have my family be a part of that.

Five (5) Tips to Keep Safe Kids When Sharing Online

My husband and I had to decide, right from the get go, where to draw the line to keep my daughter, and by extension other children that may be on my site, safe. Here are some guidelines we set:

  1. Never show the full faces of children.
  2. Never use children’s real names.
  3. Don’t check in at homes, schools, or other private places.
  4. Never announce ahead of time when I or other family members will be away.
  5. If it’s not something I’d tell a stranger walking down the street, don’t write about it.

Over the course of three years, following these has become second nature. I’ve gotten really skilled at using certain angles to only show parts of faces or backs of heads. People are referred to by nouns or nicknames and video has even been edited to omit names from being heard. The  exclusions to this are my husband and I and other consenting adults.

I realized this wasn’t the norm and that some may question our decision. This could also have an impact on the companies I worked with. That’s ‘a-okay ‘with me. Nothing is worth compromising the safety of my family. In fact, most have been understanding, if not supportive, of this.

Anonymity Can Be Beneficial

I actually had to laugh during one recent press event. They couldn’t find my daughter’s name anywhere on my site so, when they made a name tag for her, it said “Munchkin”. They apologized and offered to make a new one with her full name but I happily declined. It was a small confirmation that the small steps we took from so many years ago was still having the desired effect, maintaining my daughter’s identity and privacy.

If someone really wanted to, I’m sure they could find out what my daughter looked like, her real name, her friends, where we live, etc. Some people post all of that without a worry. Still, we’re doing what we can to draw the line with over-sharing and putting our family at risk.

Have you taken steps to protect your family and children online? If not, this video from LifeLock will show you why you should and how they can help protect against identity theft:

FTC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT : Cookies & Clogs aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.

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LyndaS June 13, 2013 - 11:39 am

Good advice.

Des @ Vocational Courses June 13, 2013 - 6:49 pm

I really impressed your blog. I’m so thankful I stopped in your site, This is big help for me as a mom.

Colleen June 13, 2013 - 7:04 pm

I usually do 3 and 4 for sure.

Jenn- The Rebel Chick June 13, 2013 - 7:55 pm

THANK YOU! “Don’t check in at homes, schools, or other private places.” this is always one that I have never understood.

Tiff @ Babes and Kids June 13, 2013 - 8:08 pm

This makes me realize just how open we are and how I need to be more private. I like the guidelines that you’ve set!

Lisa June 13, 2013 - 8:27 pm

Great tips!

Vanessa: thequeenofswag June 13, 2013 - 8:47 pm

I know I do almost all of the above and I know from personal experience you can’t be too safe!

Lolo June 13, 2013 - 9:38 pm

I do not share names or check in either.

Maryann June 14, 2013 - 11:19 am

wish I thought of these before I named my blog.

Donna June 14, 2013 - 1:24 pm

I never announce on FB I’m on vacation till I get back and then I put up all the pics. I have put up way too many pics of my son with his name. 🙁

Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy.com June 14, 2013 - 1:24 pm

I think it’s great that you’ve been able to let your daughter remain anonymous.

Jenn June 14, 2013 - 2:09 pm

Good for you! I do everything but #1.

Jennifer June 14, 2013 - 2:33 pm

I think it’s great you’ve been able to stick with the rules you’ve set for your blog. I started my blog that way but over the years I’ve been more open. Not sure exactly why that is though.

Marcie W. June 14, 2013 - 4:39 pm

I can respect the rules you’ve set for your site and I think you have done a gorgeous, tactful job of including your daughter in your posts without making anything seem censored or unnatural. Although I choose to be a bit more open I certainly agree with keeping many personal issues private.

Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving June 14, 2013 - 6:26 pm

I am the same exact way with my kiddo. Great tips and love that last photo, lol.

Stefanie June 14, 2013 - 7:26 pm

I don’t use my daughter’s name on my blog, but I do show her face.

Rachel @ following in my shoes June 16, 2013 - 10:01 pm

This is me — I show pictures but I have nicknames on the blog for each child. Although, I will say that I have stopped posting near as many stories of my children in the past year. With the scary search terms that I know people use to find innocent photos, I just hate the thought of someone find my kids… KWIM?

Tricia Nightowlmama June 14, 2013 - 9:06 pm

I love it and so try. I never thought to much about sharing too much but I love the way you do

Mellisa June 14, 2013 - 9:15 pm

Great advice! It’s really scary to think about the dangers that are lurking online.

Kathleen June 15, 2013 - 1:04 pm

These are great tips. I always worry about the boys when they are online.

HilLesha @To the Motherhood June 15, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Very important advice!

Jennifer June 15, 2013 - 7:34 pm

I’m terrible about check ins, but since my kids don’t have Facebook accounts, they are never tagged. I’m probably too open about everything else. Gulp.

Courtney June 15, 2013 - 8:21 pm

I’m terrified of what the internet future has in store for M 🙁

Shell Feis June 16, 2013 - 12:02 am

We definitely abide by the vacation rule- I’ll vaguely mention that SOMETIME this year we’re going on vacation but I don’t give dates, and I even keep that info off of my personal facebook until we’re back.

Emily @FamilyNLifeLV June 16, 2013 - 12:04 am

We don’t share names in print or check in places. Mostly to protect digital fingerprints.

Angela June 16, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Great tips! I’ve started being much more careful and if I put an image of the kids, there is a big water mark across their faces.

Robin Gagnon {Mom Foodie} June 16, 2013 - 6:19 pm

I do all but #1. Eventually I will probably pull the pictures down though. I plan to convert to completely food & home & garden eventually and those will go at that time.

Penelope (NYC Blogger) June 16, 2013 - 6:40 pm

Uh oh, I show my sons faces all the time 🙁

Elaina- A Time Out for Mommy June 16, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Great advice! This is something I worry about a lot.

Tammy June 16, 2013 - 11:01 pm

I did when my daughter was younger, but then she won a national essay contest when she was 13 and as part of the award and prize her name, state and image were plastered every where. Since she doesn’t have a common name at that point, I stopped since my name is everywhere it would be an easy and probable leap if anyone tried to find her.

Sonia June 17, 2013 - 4:35 pm

I’ve always appreciated how you protect Munchkin and her friends when you post pics.

Rod da Silva August 1, 2013 - 12:37 pm

Enjoyed your piece on protecting your kids online..

TerriAnn van Gosliga August 2, 2013 - 12:49 pm

Thank you. I sent you an email 🙂

Comments are closed.