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Internet Safety: Making Sure Your Family is Protected

Home : Musings : Internet Safety: Making Sure Your Family is Protected

2 nights ago I was kept up late worrying because of a blog post I read. This one was from Zdub at Raising Colorado. In her post she relays how she found out that her son has been the target of a, well let’s just say p r e d a t o r, who found his photos through her blog. You can read about what happened by clicking that link I provided so you can get the story first-hand. Go ahead and read the post, I’ll wait for you.

All done? Okay. Rewind to 4 nights ago, I was on Twitter when Joanna at Raising Madison tweeted the following:

“just a tip. if you install copyright pro make sure there are no link to URLs when you post ur pics, otherwise weirdos can still copy & paste”. She also talked about how acquaintances of hers had been victimized by such characters as the one who visited Zdub’s site.

Her tweets had alarmed me, but not enough to spur me to action. Until I read Zdub’s said post. You know how it is when it happens to someone you actually know and then you’re all shaken up and realize that it could happen to you and you have. To. Act. Now. Granted, I don’t really know her in real life, but this is someone whose blog I’ve been following for a while now! It made me feel sick that someone would do such a thing. I suppose that’s pretty naïve of me to say that, but I honestly didn’t think something like that would touch me or someone I knew.

I resolved to do something about it and that’s exactly what I did. The whole day yesterday in between baby duty, I cleaned up my blog and followed Joanna’s advice when it came to securing the photos I have posted here. I installed WP CopyrightPro which prevents copying of texts and images by not allowing the use of right-click on my blog pages. I went through all my blog posts and erased every link to URLs that were on all my photos so no one would be able to copy and paste.

Yesterday, more than ever, I questioned the wisdom of blogging about our family and posting photos online. But I find that living in fear of what might happen is out of the question. With blogging I’m finally able to exercise my creativity. It may not mean much to some, but it’s grown on me. I value this gift. I understand though that with it comes the responsibility of guarding my family’s security. I will do anything within my power to ensure the safety of my Little Miss, and for now guaranteeing that her photos could not be copied are all that I could think of.

So my fellow bloggers, the questions I pose to you are: How about you? What have you enforced on your blogs to make sure that no one gets to your photos to use them in a bad way? I’m really looking for ideas here and would appreciate your suggestions.

{Photo credit}

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  • Joy

    I’ve been putting a big watermark on my photos because even with the disabled right click, weirdos who really want to use your pictures could still get them by getting into your site’s code (not hard to do at all). Even without the URL to your photos, a simple printscreen & photoshop will reproduce a new .jpeg format of the photo you have on your site.

    • See, this is why I posted that question because I wasn’t completely sure disabling the right click will do the trick. And the dreaded print screen was niggling at me. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  • I’m literally sick to my stomach-SICK! I have been wanting to get wordpress-this makes me want wordpress even more. I don’t think blogger offers something like that.
    I already do not add pics of the kiddo anymore. I used to, so there are some old photos on there. I don’t use his name.
    This is sooo scary!

    • Hi Kate! I know right?! I definitely will be limiting posting of photos on my site now (or at the very least cropping them to smaller sizes), and as suggested by Joy who commented above, I’ll ask my husband to do large watermarks for any future ones.

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  • I never posted pics of my kids (or their names, ages, or genders) when they were under 18. It was a personal rule. Now that they’re adults, I ask their permission first.

    • I definitely understand your reasoning behind that Serene!

  • Pop

    I saw that post and was alarmed as well.
    Your daughter is so precious and while for most people like myself, pictures of her bring joy, there are so many weirdos out there. This is why my blog is anonymous. I’d love to share photos of my kids but it’s hard to do so with complete peace. In case I ever do go public, I’ll definitely keep these ideas in mind.

    • Yes, I certainly get the logic behind your decision to stay anonymous. If I could do it over I’d probably have done the same thing. But since I began blogging to share our life as a family with my friends and family abroad, that wasn’t an option for me to begin with. I am working with my husband at the moment (he designed the blog and is a whiz at WP) to make major changes. As much as I love to post photos of our Little Miss, like you said, to bring joy to other normal people like you, you are right. There are also weirdos out there and I cannot risk her well-being.

  • thanks cye for sharing this and the links of the others as well.
    i’ve been blogging for more than 7 years i guest (but currently an idle-blogger due to too much load in my hands)…i used to restrict my photos (especially of my boys) in my accounts but i put it back for public viewing i think 3 years ago…now that i’ve read your post, i am thinking of doing it again…i know it will eat much of my time, but it’s the best step we can do for now…it will all be worth it, besides protecting our family is our priority, right?

    • No problem Andie! I already, for now, password-protected the posts I put up a while ago with photos of my daughter. You’re right, it ate up a bit of my time but it’s so worth it.

  • Thanks for this post Cyrene. I need to do this. It is one of the reasons I don’t post pics of my family but I still worry about the content. Thanks again, I will be trying what you did.

    • You’re welcome Melissa! It helps to be vigilant that’s for sure.

  • This post is an eyeopener! I used to have the no right click thing on my other blog but never thought of putting one on my mommy blog. This post opened my eyes to the truth that pervs are really creative sneaky people who can target mom blogs too!
    You can also use Copyscape to see if your content is being copied or posted elsewhere. I use it at work, now I’m gonna use it on my blog too, soon as my girl, here falls asleep!

    • Yes, it’s very unfortunate that there are people who have nothing better to do than that. Sigh. Thanks for mentioning Copyscape. I’ll definitely look into that!

  • I’m super weird about details on my blog. I don’t ever call bratchild by her real name OR post pics of her. I’ve had a stalker or two when I was younger so I’m hypersensitive about it. Plus, I guess I view it as I CHOSE to have a blog-she didn’t.

    • Yikes! Stalkers? Yeah, I would understand how iffy you are about posting details on your blog even without that added experience!

  • My last post is all on sad to say – porn downloaded … we all need more protection!

  • thanks for sharing this. Just Hopping by to say hello! Cute Blog. Stop By when you get a chance!