Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Internet Safety and Privacy

I love digital scrapbooking. I love making pages of my twins' special moments. I love looking at others layouts in online galleries. However, I have concerns over the safety of posting such personal pictures and information in public forums.

Internet safety experts warn teens to protect their personal information on social networking sites. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in Blog Beware, warns children and teens to "Think before posting your photos. Personal photos should not have revealing information, such as school names or locations. Look at the backgrounds of the pictures to make sure you are not giving out any identifying information without realizing it. The name of a mall, the license plate of your car, signs, or the name of your sports team on your jersey or clothing all contain information that can be used to determine your location."

We warn our kids to be aware of what they post, but as digital scrapbookers we frequently post photos of our kids at school, at the park, and in front of our homes. Do your scrapbook layouts contain personally identifiable information? Could someone with ill-intent find you or your family based on what they learn in your online gallery?

I would encourage you to think about the issues, consult internet safety resources, and make the best decision for you and your family.

I will not post identifiable pictures of my boys on my public blog or in layout galleries. I will provide some information & photos of myself. I will try to find a healthy balance between extremely paranoid and completely ignorant of the dangers. Mostly, I'll try to always "think before I post."

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