This is a post I have thought about writing almost every week. I’ve hesitated because the topic surrounds something negative and I don’t want to instill fear or create a forum for an entirely different discussion. However, every few week I see a fellow mom and blogger post something that makes me think maybe we should start sharing tips on how to put some best practices in place for when we do share pictures of our kids. I’ll be the first to admit that sharing pictures of your kids is a slippery slope. I went into my blog thinking that I was going to have cute fake names for my kids and never say their real names. But over time I grew more comfortable writing about them and more comfortable sharing moments form our lives. But with the ease of relaxed practices and falling into a groove it’s still our responsibility as mothers first to have a moment of reflection where we ask ourselves, what could be the implications of doing this and how can I minimize them?
My 4 Most Important Tips for Any Mom With a Public Instagram or Facebook Account
As lifestyle blogging and influencer marketing becomes more and more widely accepted myself and fellow mommy bloggers are taking to Instagram to share pieces of our life in hopes of growing a following, business and income. While the implications of our actions will, and should be widely discussed, I want to save that discussion for another post.
Today I want to talk to all my fellow lifestyle bloggers and anyone with any public internet presence (whether you realize it or not) some really simple steps to maintain a little more privacy and safety online, while still sharing those sweet pics of your little ones.
1: Stop Posting Pics of Your Kids In Their School T-Shirts
I really feel that parents should avoid posting pictures of their kids while they are in their school t-shirts. I know they are great fundraisers, I know they foster a stronger sense of community and I know that I will probably eat these words when my kids are old enough to realize they want to wear them. They are great for field trips and pep rallies but they aren’t great in photos that live on the internet for all eternity and can be accessed by anyone. Advertising where you child goes to school is advertising their exact schedule and where they are without you 40 hours a week.
2: Make Your Whois Registration Private
If you are a blogger scratching your head right now, then this definitely applies to you. Anytime someone buys a domain (like legosinmylouis.com) you register your personal information so ICANN has a record of who owns it. If you aren’t paying your domain hosting company to have your whois.com registration information masked – everyone can you see name, email address, phone number and physical address.
Check your Whois registration here: http://www.whois.com/
How to Fix a Publix Whois Registration: Ad “ID Protect” to your Whois registration through your hosting company (as low as $1 a month). I host through Siteground and they have ridiculously good support and are really fairly price. In case you aren’t happy with your hosting company they are also only $14.95 one time rate to transfer your domain to them.
3: Don’t Post in Real Time
That umbrella, those beach chairs . . . . were hauled from the car, for the parents, by the parents sitting in the sun on the sand.
A photo posted by Legos in my Louis (@legosinmylouis) on
Geotagging your Instagram photos is a great way to gain exposure and followers. If I go to a popular beach and tag the Instagram photo for La Jolla Shores, I have a great opportunity to have like-minded beach lovers check out that geotag and then find and like my photo. However, doing this in real time is providing a treasure map to right where my kids and I are for half of the day. While I think the risk factor this presents is fairly low, there is little downside to waiting to post the photo until you leave.
You no longer have to be at the actual location to post your photo to Instagram with the geotag so you might as well wait until you’re home and settled. Same for Instagram stories – you have 24 hours to post the media you record so instead of trying to catch everything as it happens wait an hour.
4: Don’t Provide Details About Your Neighborhood and the Front of Your House
I never post pictures at our favorite park. It would be too easy for someone to put together that the park we spend the most of our time at is probably in our neighborhood. Paired with posting any picture of the front of our house I would basically someone everything you need to pinpoint my house, when I bought it, how much I bought it for, etc.
While we can all hold different positions on the parenting practice of publicly sharing pictures of our kids online, I think we can all agree that we should all step back to evaluate if there are any best practices we can follow to do so just a little more safely.
Do you have any good tips to share? It’s definitely a topic worth commenting on and we are all ears!