I had a different post planned for today, but when I came across this story in my newsfeed I knew we needed to talk blogger safety instead.
You can click through the link, but the short version of the story is that an innocent mommy-blogger like you and me had her normal pictures scraped from her site and then placed next to X-rated photos on a porn site along with personal information about her like her name, Facebook page and the city she lives in.
Downright scary! You can read the full story of the mess she’s going through on the abc site linked above.
It’s certainly enough to make every mom-blogger think twice about those cute photos of herself and/or her kids that she puts online.
So a few safety reminders and tips:
1. Be very cautious what images you put on your blog – Any one can find them online, not just find them, but steal them. Personally, I don’t put any photos of my kids in diapers or their underwear on the blog. I find it adorable and innocent but that doesn’t mean that every person in the world will. I share those images with grandma, not with the internet.
2. Watermark – I used to watermark my images down in a corner somewhere, but then I realized that could easily be cropped out by anyone wanting to steal my photo, so I changed what I’m doing. Any photo that has a face in it, I now watermark through the face. No one can take my images without being obvious that they stole them. Now granted, they could still be taken, but it’s less likely. I tilt the text and fade it out a bit so it’s not too distracting cosmetically for my own use, but it’s certainly clear enough that a thief would be deterred from snagging the images. (I’m still working on going back and doing this to older images that I’ve uploaded to my blog, but you can see an example of what I’m talking about here.) Check out this post if you want to learn how to do your own non-distracting watermarks.
3. Who is – If you own your own domain this is something you should look into! Make sure that you pay a little extra to keep your registration information private. Otherwise, some one could do a “who is” search on your domain name and find information like your full name, address and phone number! Check with your domain name provider about how you can get this service added to your account if you don’t have it already. You should be able to add it on at any time.
4. Privacy – As bloggers, we frequently share our lives with the world, but consider carefully how much you want to be sharing. Head over to this post if you want to talk more about privacy in a blogger’s content.
Have your images ever been stolen? What steps do you take to protect yourself, your family and your blog?