Thursday, October 15, 2009

Internet Safety {PaRt 1}

This is going to be a 2 part post. Part 1 I will share some thoughts and questions I have about Internet Safety and Children. In Part 2, I will share some research I've done, solutions and ways to keep your family safe while still being a part of social networking and blogs.

My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about internet safety. I'm sure we got on the topic after a CSI episode or something, but whatever it was, it really got us thinking about blogs, facebook, etc. We have a personal blog where we post pictures of our children, their milestones, funny stories, etc. They are so young (21 months and 3 months) that we wanted to really capture all of these memories so we can look back on them. (Did you know that you can upload your entire blog to a website and it will make a photobook out of it so you can put those memories on paper?) Plus we wanted grandparents and other out of town friends and family to be able to see how they are growing.

However, last month I got some weird text messages and phone calls from a strange dude. And we've had a random person that we don't know leaving comments on our blog about how our baby was beautiful and his "fans" would really appreciate it if we'd post more pictures. It just seemed wasn't a normal comment just saying they thought our kids were cute. I've just really noticed lately how the internet can be a scary place and sick people can do some crazy things. So we started talking about how we could maybe be a little more wise in this area. Believe me, we are not extreme, jump on the bandwagon type people. However, we know the world is a sinful place and the safety of our children is extremely important. So what do we do....Do we totally eliminate the blog? Go through the tedious task of allowing only certain people to view it?

And what about Facebook? I admit that I love FB. I love seeing what's going on in people's lives. And I like sharing what's going on in mine. And, it helps my photography business by putting up photos that so many people can see. I have photos of my children on there bc I want to share them with friends from high school, etc. And my photography business...I have a website, Google ads, Facebook page, and blog that all have my contact information on it so that potential clients can contact me. (I think that's how the weirdo found my phone number). Are these type of things a danger to my children?

These are all questions right now. I have started researching this to see really what could be a danger and what isn't. I've got a post coming that will share what I've learned, what we've decided to do as a family, and ways you can keep your children safe as well. Maybe you've already taken all precautions possible and know that there's no way crazies can find your family. If so, please share! We'd love to hear!


Sarah Shalley said...

i like this topic. please inform me! i heard that one of my students "google earthed" me to see where i live...i don't have my address on the internet, that i know of.

do you know how we can keep that info OFF!?

Aunt Lee said...

For a fun way for parents to jump-start a discussion about common sense internet and social networking safety, here's a website that includes an instructional video and a very easy quiz.

The video is a selection of silly clips supposedly posted to the MySpace pages of the famous puppy and some of her friends. The clips demonstrate mistakes kids can make online.

The 10 question quiz covers internet safety for children: the topics of cyber-bullying, privacy, safety, dangers of spyware and malware, etc.

The quiz doesn't really focus on stranger-danger type concerns but rather gently and humorously reminds the reader that it's possible to hurt people's feelings, to mislead people who don't realize you're joking, to remember that online postings can be seen by anybody and that postings are often impossible to remove once posted.