Staying Safe

I googled my own name out of curiosity and boredom. There was so much that came up it was shocking. Of course I have left a digital (is that the right word? I’m not techy at all.) footprint, but I didn’t realize how easily other people could access my life with a few simple key strokes.

Today I got two new followers, I was excited….until I realized they were incarcerated men. These men might be innocent and nice great fine fantastic people….but odds are not favorable that is true. And they can see pictures of my kids!!! It was all I could do not to ring my tech savvy best friend Jen right then and there to make her wipe out the majority of my pics. But she is in a completely different time zone, some eight hours ahead of me. I didn’t think she’d appreciate my middle of the night (my afternoon) revelation that maybe I had put too much out there into the internet abyss that I now wanted back.

Wow! Reality hit home. I even considered shutting down my Facebook….and if you know me even a little you’d know that’s BIG. You see. I love Facebook. I love keeping up with friends and family. I love seeing snippets of their day and what’s happening in their lives.

But I do not love the feeling of being so exposed to people I don’t know. I know I know I’m writing a blog, and I’m the one who chose to put my pictures out into said internet abyss. But really what happens when you want them back? What happens  when you want a little anonymity?

Future posts I will really put more thought into what pictures go up. I am a very protective person when it comes to my family and friends…..or at least I thought I was. I prided myself on being the bulldog of the family….ouch.. Reality hurts.

A few more hours and I will be messaging Jen for advice and possible ways to protect and wipe out what I have already divulged.

How do you stay protected?

10 thoughts on “Staying Safe

  1. Scary, isn’t it? That’s why I decided to do my blog and twitter more anonymously. I don’t have a FB account any more. I feel like we are losing privacy left and right. I don’t mind most people knowing who I am and who my family is, but it’s that freaky small percentage that makes me cringe. I’m fortunate that when I google my name, almost nothing comes up. I have another blog from a few years ago, but it was first names only.

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  2. I should add, you can go into your FB account and change your name. Use your middle name instead of your last name, or use your husband’s middle name as your last name. Don’t put locations on any of your accounts, (email, twitter, blog, FB, etc.) a very general area like a state is probably fine.

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  3. I deleted my Facebook and only have my blog now. Facebook went through a period where they were not careful about letting members know that the privacy settings had changed, and it was a nightmare for me. I am happy to be rid of it (and the drama that goes with it!)…

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  4. Heather dear friend. I’m glad you brought this up – i think I’ve told you about it in my geeky way before but first step is visiting your Facebook privacy settings and change it so that all your information and posts are for friends only. I can show you how to do this. I’ve always kepy my Facebook as private as I can because that’s where I put the most information abouts myself. I’m happy to use twitter publically as I do not use it to tweet personal stuff and stick to career only. So my advice is decide what channels you love and only keep those. Use the privacy settings available. On your blog you wisely use your kids pet names rather than their real ones and I’d suggest your remove any mentions of your last name and stay on a first name basis only. Also fellow commenters have wisely said – don’t use locations unless it’s away from your house. Facebook and other channels aim at making this confusing because they can make money by utilising your information for targeted advertising and it’s not just Facebook. Every website you visit stores information about you and so i suggest cleaning your browser history regularity or don’t agree to websites “cookie” requests when they appear on the top of a web page. Happy to talk you or any of your friends through this process of updating your privacy settings if you need help.

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  5. I never post photos of my kids on Facebook, which is a friends only site, although I do enjoy seeing my cousins kids and those of my friends. This blog is anonymous as its about my family, but it’s so difficult to know how safe it really is. I try to keep my professional life separate. It’s all such new territory to negotiate, with the power to do good as well as harm. Our trans daughter relays quite a bit on her online friends for information, support and advice.

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  6. Mmm food for thought, we as a family are quite open with our location and social networks, but I think it is something we will all have to get used to in the future I would more and more about us all will be available for everyone, it has already been hinted that things like Google Glass could possibly scan and identify people in public places using sosocial networking profile pictures,
    last year I took my son to a open evening at a media and technology school in Liverpool and one of the classes developed an app that could scan cctv images with social networking profile pictures, could be useful finding criminals or missing people lol or spotting Neil having breakfast in McDonald’s again 🙂

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