The internet can be a fantastic resource for parents. You can look up all kinds of information from healthy family recipes to information on childhood illnesses. The internet also provides families with a great way to keep in touch with family and friends and to network with a wider support system. Social networking sites and blogs can help to keep family members and friends close by allowing you to show off pictures of your kids and keep everyone updated on them.
However, there are also people who abuse the internet. Unfortunately there are sexual predators, kidnappers, burglars, and other criminals who do their research on the internet. Parents need to be aware of the potential risks, and keep their family safe.
From one parent who spends a lot of time on the computer, here are tips on what parents need to know about internet security for families who blog.
Blogs can be fantastic for families to keep. Unfortunately, a lot of families don’t think about security when making them. I’m amazed by how many people put up blogs with loads of personal information and pictures without stopping to consider that anyone in the world can now get on a computer and look at their site. Keep security in mind when you have a family blog.
Private versus Public
You should seriously consider whether to make your blog private (open only to invited readers) or public (anyone can view). If you want to post pictures of your kids and more specific information, then I recommend having a private blog. Even if you don’t say where you live, if you mention your kids’ school or have photos with identifiable backgrounds, it’s not hard for people to figure it out. Private blogs are fantastic because you can invite your friends and family without worrying as much about who else is going to see it. My family’s blog is private, and so I feel more confident posting pictures of my children.
Even on a private blog, though, be cautious. Some sites are more private than others, and some are harder to hack than others. As a general rule, even on private blogs, it’s a good idea to post things after the fact. For example, blog about your family vacation after you get back rather than advertising beforehand that your house will be vacant.
There is also a place for public blogs, though. If you want to stay more anonymous, but share parenting stories or other information, public blogs can be great. I keep a public blog as well that does mention my family, but is mostly full of recipes, gardening stuff, etc. Some public blogs have less pictures than private blogs to protect privacy, and often use pseudonyms. One popular parenting and pregnancy blog like this is His Boys Can Swim.
If you’re going to blog, it’s important to pay attention to internet security in order to protect your computer and your family. Make sure that you have a good security system, like Norton or McAfee, and use it. Check and update your computer regularly.
For more advice for parents on blogging safely, click here.