I just read an article about keeping your family safe on Social Media, specifically on Instagram. Click here to read it, it’s great and was the kick in the pants I needed to ‘get round’ to something I’ve been meaning to do.
It was written by a fellow blogger who loves to share, share, and share the joys and woes of motherhood, and her life, just like I do. But reading what she had to say stopped me dead in my tracks and made me fine tune a few things on my social media accounts. Hopefully this helps you protect your family too. This blogger had found stolen pictures of her kids on other people’s accounts, with hashtags like #babyrp #familyrp – the ‘rp’ stands for role play. This is the sick side of Instagram (click here for a summary by the Washington Post). One which I never knew existed before today. People role play their fantasies of parenthood and sexuality via pictures of other people’s children. She also had someone come watch her through windows while her husband was away. (she blogged about him being gone) Pretty scary stuff.
So, here’s a reminder that not everyone in your network followings are people you want following you. Please protect yourself and your kids more diligently by:
1. Don’t post about your vacation till AFTER you get home.
2. Turn off your location settings. On your phone AND inside each app. Although I turned off location settings on my iPhone. Instagram has it’s own automatic geotags, which locate where the photo was taken, down to the very street!
3. Avoid posting pictures of your kids naked or partially clothed. She calls it “innocent nudity“. Such as bath tub photos, etc. I also was told by another blogger to stop using hash tags on my photos because even though my account is private, if I use a hashtag (anything #cutebaby #family etc), even though you think it’s harmless, it may be some creeper’s ticket to getting off or stalking you.
4. Avoid posting photos of the outside of your house or distinguishing features of your house. Keep your home safe. Also get your address OFF the internet. Physical safety is just as (if not more) important than identity theft or photo theft.
5. Don’t post TMI. This includes every job you’ve ever had on LinkedIn, nick names you have for family members, your daily routine, names of schools your kids attend, etc. This info can be used to hack your accounts, bypass security questions, fill out loan applications or worse…
Stay safe everyone! Don’t be a victim to online predators.