I have insomnia and last night I decided to read some of my favorite blogs to relax, but instead I made myself crazy with worry. The Internet is buzzing about privacy and safety and when I read Jessica Gottlieb’s post on 5 things we can to do protect ourselves, I realized I’ve shared too much information online. Yup and this scared the shit out of me. I wasn’t just worried for myself but for the other mom bloggers online. Mom bloggers in general make ourselves vulnerable because pictures are shared, intimate details and moments of our lives are exposed. It’s what makes the community so appealing because our guard is let down and we can welcome others into our world and truly connect.
Of course, after reading about the 5 things I could do to protect my online identity I wanted to informally conduct some late night research on who exactly is and is not doing one of the simplest things out there, making sure your WHOIS domain registration is private. I use a simple Fire Fox tool called SEO Quake that makes my life much easier as a consultant and in about two seconds I can see anyone domain registration. The graph illustrates that most of the women I sampled are indeed taking protected measures to be private online, at least for their domain registration. Some just used a P.O. Box or cell phone number verses a paid service (costing roughly $10 per year) for complete privacy.
Different Comfort Levels Online and Off
Similar to feeling comfortable in a bathing suit, we all have different levels of comfort when it comes to showing our skin and revealing our lives online for everyone to see. Some moms post photos and others do not. Some have a pen name and refer to their children by different names or pet names. Some just throw caution to the wind and let it all hang out there.
Some get comfortable because nothing bad has happened, yet.
Become Educated and Swim Back to Shore, Please
If you jumped in without a life jacket and the water has gotten too deep, swim back to shore. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Taking Jessica’s tips would be a good first step to swimming back to shore and being safe. Clean up your Facebook and Twitter profiles and privacy settings. Read a few Internet safety articles like this one or this one.
When it comes to being a mom blogger, I get the comfort level, I do. If I could do something’s over, I would. I also know that my kids mean the world to me so I need to regroup and reflect on just how big and bad (as well as wonderful and good) the Internet can be. Just like I won’t boat without a life vest I need to make safer, smarter online choices with less risk for myself and the family.
How comfortable are you online? What precautions do you take? I’d love some feedback on this topic from other moms online, even those without a blog.
Why not? Great tips for free!