When I first started by blog back in September of 2014 I didn’t think too much about privacy or safety. I figured only a few close friends and family would read my blog. It wasn’t until a few months after I started my blog that I found out David’s ex-wife had found my blog. She had not only found it, but she had actually printed out every single blog post and page (photos included) and organized it into a binder and had specific sections highlighted.
My thought was that if she could do this then any other person out on the internet trolling could do the same.
It’s so hard nowadays with social media sites such as: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to remember that you NEED to be careful what you post.
I know you think that photo of your baby’s first bath is totes adorable, but you know what it’s a special and private moment that should be kept off the ‘gram because those are the exact kind of photos the creeps out on the internet like. Do you know there’s special Instagram accounts dedicated to posting photos of baby’s and children for the purposes of baby role-playing? And while some seem harmless others are not. Other’s are disgustingly scary.
So how in today’s world where humans love to constantly over share their personal lives on social media and public blogs can you keep a blog that doesn’t feel too impersonal while keeping your family safe?
There’s no easy way, and some would argue well get off social media or don’t blog at all.
I’ve been blogging consistently for almost two years now, and there’s some things I’ve blogged about or have shared that I cannot take back. You live and learn.
You have to find that balance with blogging publicly and keeping your family’s privacy.
Here’s some tips I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you guys find these helpful!
1.) WATCH who follows you & WATCH what you post
If your profile is private then you have a little more control over who follows you, but for most of us bloggers we keep our Instagram profiles public because when you’re a business or brand you’re told to keep it public. For this reason it’s a little harder to keep track of who follows us. That’s why it’s important to have notifications sent. I know it can be annoying, but every time someone new follows me I receive a notification to my phone. I quickly check the profile and if they don’t have a photo or something looks off/shady I block them.
This should be a no brainer, but I see it all the time parents posting what they think is a sweet innocent photo of their baby playing at the beach, taking a bath, or chilling in a diaper with no clothes on. Some photos just need to be kept private, and if you really want to share these type of photos, then be vigilant about who’s following you on your social media accounts.
2.) LINK TO NONE
If you haven’t started a blog yet I would definitely say to not show your children faces in photos. For example only share photos where they’re turned away and not looking directly at the camera.
But what if you already have hundreds of photos online of your kids and their precious little faces?
This is where it’s important to go back and look at where the photo’s are individually linked to. You want to ensure you have it to: LINK TO NONE instead of link to media attachment, so when someone attempts to click on a photo the link does nothing.
All of my personal family photos are like this. The only exception is product review photos.
3.) STOP over sharing too much of your home
Yes, I know your home may be gorgeous. Maybe you just bought your first house, had it remodeled it or had it re landscaped. Unless you live in a very exclusive community where your home is gated I would not recommend doing “house tours.”
There’s this thing it’s called reverse Google image search, and it’s a stalker’s best friend. Stalkers and curious minds love it when you posts photos of your home because a simple image search brings up the location of where your home is.
The other day I was watching a popular Youtube who announced she had bought a home, and although she didn’t give a full on house tour within minutes the comments were flooded by people who had done a Google image search and found out exactly where she lived based off her kitchen photos!!
We live in a nice suburban neighborhood, and I’ve shared bits and pieces of my home on Snapchat. But I have never done a full on home tour of my house. Most of my outfit photos are taken in various locations throughout Sacramento and the Bay Area as well.
4.) REMOVE certain metadata from your photos
By default meta tags show everything from where and when your photo was taken, when it was uploaded, GPS data, and what kind of device was used to take it.
I remove the personal information and GPS information using Lightroom. You can use a plugin such as EWWW image optimizer to remove all this metadata. Just install the plugin and go to settings then check the box that says remove exif and metadata.
5.) Post about your vacation when you’re already back home
Enjoy your vacay and take a step away from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Seriously all those super cool photos you took can wait they’ll still be on your phone and camera when you arrive back home. It blows my mind how many bloggers I see traveling, and then posting photos tagging the hotel they’re currently staying at and what not. You’re easy prey at that point. If you’re going to post photos at least don’t make it known where you’re staying at.
Also if people know you’re on vacation (and they know where you live) you’re making your personal home a target for being robbed.
Not posting while on vacation is a strict rule I personally follow. For example when we took a road trip up North we made tons of cool stops along the way. I snapchatted a few along the way, but I NEVER disclosed specifically where we were headed or where we stayed at. I shared one photo on Instagram two days after we arrived back home from up North. It’s the photo of me and my two kids with the geo tag Confusion Hill.
I also use an app called Easy Up Pro it allows me to snapchat photos that are already on my camera to my story because by default you can’t upload photos to your snapchat story.
An example of when I like to use this app is when we were at Mount Shasta a few weeks ago. My snaps were from the day before. 🙂 I snapchatted the cute inn we stayed at when we had already left!
Want to take your family’s privacy a step further?
- If you haven’t already started your blog I recommend creating nicknames for your kids and partner. I wish I had done it for example referring to your kids as N1 and N2 or Prince and Princess.
- Don’t reveal where you or your partner work. Again it seems like a no brainer, but I’m astounded by the number of bloggers who openly talk about where they or their husband work at. David is self-employed (I will not specify in what field) because that’s all the public needs to know.
- Don’t allow Instagram and Facebook access to your location or if you do remove the geotags if it tags your home or any places near your home.
- Use a plugin, such as WP content copy protection to disable right clicking and copy and paste features on your blog. With this plugin you can choose what specific pages or posts to target.
Even if you don’t have a public blog I hope this post gets you thinking about how you can protect your family’s privacy on social media. I know it totally sucks that there’s horrible human beings out there who abuse people’s right to privacy by stealing photos of our children and putting them out on the dark corners of the internet. And, I know it’s a horrible thing to even fathom, but in today’s digital age you cannot afford to sacrifice your family’s safety and privacy by being naive. Educate yourself and your children especially if you have older children on how to properly engage and use social media.