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If You Saw THIS, You’d Know Why I Feel So Strongly About My Children’s Safety Online

I’ve been called crazy. I’ve been called paranoid. I’ve been told that I have a “they’re out to get me” attitude. But honestly, when it comes to my children’s safety, I DON’T CARE!

I am a tiger mom. NOTHING and NO ONE is more important than my children.

I blogged yesterday about the incident we had at Ava’s school earlier this week, and in that post, I mentioned that I’d share with you all why I am so overly cautious about what I share about my kids online. Aside from the millions of reasons why, we as parents, need to be cautious online, there is one overwhelming reason why I am as “paranoid” as I am.

The search terms used to find my blog!

And I’m not talking about randomly, one weird search term that crops up, I’m talking about DAILY there is some sick search term that gets some sicko to find my blog. It has made me HYPER aware of what I share about my kids online. 

But first, here are just a few examples of the search terms:

These are dinkum. I have not made them up, I have taken them directly from my Jetpack stats:

  • little girls nipples
  • little girls nips
  • little girls loose undies showing privates
  • big s.e.x little girls
  • big s.e.x. 18
  • little girl nakes butt cheeks
  • little girl no shirt
  • little girl no undies
  • preteen p.o.r.n. pics
  • small girls being m.o.l.e.s.t.e.d
  • r.a.p.e girl body
  • mom x.x.x. BJ’s son

I’m going to stop right there, because that’s already enough to make me vomit. And that’s just some examples from the last 30 days!

So yes, call me paranoid. But the internet has opened Pandora’s Box and let all the sick freaks roam free under it’s anonymity. And it’s my job, as my children’s parent, to protect them at all cost. I haven’t always gotten it right, but as the internet grows bigger and bigger, my awareness has grown too and with it, I’ve made some hard and fast rules about what I will and won’t share about my children online, irrespective of where I’m sharing it.

Here are my rules for keeping my children safe online:

  1. No naked photos shared EVER! The end. Not even half naked. Even bathing suite pictures I’m wary of.
  2. I don’t tag our location when sharing a photo, unless we’ve already left said location.
  3. I’ve turned off the GPS settings on apps that share photos.
  4. I will NEVER disclose the name of my children’s school on my blog. Ever. You can ask me, but if I don’t know you as a friend, in real life, I won’t tell you. I have also informed all my kids schools, in writing, that they MAY NOT share photos of my children online for marketing purposes for the schools. 
  5. I have the highest security settings I could set for Facebook, in terms of privacy settings on my personal profile. 

Recently, I’ve even gone so far as to disable right clicking on my blog. This prevents my photos or content from being downloaded or saved. Sure, you can still get a screen grab, but it’s not quite the same. 

I am also mindful, when taking photos of other people’s kids, if I intend to use the photos on my blog, to ask their express permission first. If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have also noticed that I will, from time to time, untag myself in your photos if I’m uncomfortable with what was shared or feel it makes my children vulnerable in anyway. 

Do you have rules about what you’ll share about your kids online? I’d love to hear them!

Maz recently wrote a post after images of her children were stolen as well, so again, be aware. 

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13 Comments

  • Reply belindamountain

    I’ve done all of these but need to chat to the schools to be extra sure. Some good tips thanks Sharon.

    June 8, 2017 at 7:13 am
  • Susan Tozer
    Reply Susan Tozer

    I feel sick. This is terrifying. I’ve been careful about what I post but clearly not ‘paranoid’ enough.

    June 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
  • Reply Pandora

    I’m appalled at the list of search terms, but I suppose I can’t say I’m surprised. Anonymity has made people much bolder online.
    Anyway, besides all this, we already have to start making our kids aware of what they share. They are so good at this technology stuff, it’s easy for them to send a picture via Whatsapp for instance. My daughter shared a photo of me on the in laws family group that was slightly embarrassing, and when I got cross, she told me to just delete it. So she got a lesson in how you have lost control of your pictures the second you press send. This is a conversation we are going to keep having, because the younger generation seem to have no idea about privacy anymore. Now we have a rule where we ask the person in the picture for permission before we send anything, even on Whatsapp to family. We also need to teach them that they can refuse to be in someone else’s pictures if they don’t want to be.
    Having said that though, there is also nothing stopping anyone hanging around near schools and noting who comes and goes and at what times. There have been instances of people hanging around on the beach taking pictures of kids, you just can’t have eyes in all directions all the time. What I’m saying is that we are so paranoid about the pictures that get posted online, for instance the whole first day of school uproar every year, we seem to forget that people can just hang around outside school and take pictures, because in that chaos, who would notice? I’m not saying you should post pictures of kids with school name clearly visible, but also be aware that people see them in their uniforms every day in real life too. It’s a never ending worry really.
    So yes, I agree with your online rules, what we post is under our control. Its a start.

    June 8, 2017 at 8:15 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Agree. But I think it’s important to note that sexual predators don’t always come across children by scoping them out at school, they can also do it via the internet. So anyone who found my blog and developed an obsession with my children could find them if I wasn’t careful and that is why I am careful, especially after seeing those search terms.

      June 8, 2017 at 8:59 am
  • Laura-kim le Roux
    Reply Laura-kim le Roux

    I am not so worried about what I share now but more about what my kids share and who they interact with

    June 8, 2017 at 8:34 am
  • Reply flutterbymegs

    I agree with what you have blogged above! Safety and privacy is something that we as parents must never take for granted because there are a lot of sick and weird people in the world.

    June 8, 2017 at 9:02 am
  • Reply Michelle Oosthuizen

    I think it’s really great that you check with friends before posting anything about their kids.
    I have a friend who also blogs a lot and he has included us and our family (including my son) in his blog posts and posted photos, all without ever asking our permission.
    I am very careful about what I post about my son (and myself) and the other day did a google images search just to double check what comes up. I was quite shocked at how many photos of my son came up and I would honestly say 90% of them came up linked to his blog. Thankfully none were bad but it does bother me somewhat.

    June 8, 2017 at 9:31 am
  • Reply sula1968

    I am hyper paranoid about kids on my blog. I don’t share my surname, I also never mention which school they go to. For a while after discovering a link to my blog on a paedophile page (with the comment look at this lovely high res pic of this cutie) I removed all pics of my children. I then found out how to make my pics low res and changed them all. The pic of my son which was linked to was just a face pic not even body.

    June 8, 2017 at 11:10 am
  • Reply peanutgallery247

    Oh my gosh, the search terms list is shocking and appalling. What a sick world we live in! I haven’t been as cautious as you have been but your tips are helpful so I will certainly make more effort, as my child is almost a year old, this is more important now. I have a similar guest post on my blog, regarding social media safety, so if your kids have internet access, you may want to read this : http://peanutgallery247.com/kidguard/

    June 8, 2017 at 11:56 am
  • Reply Rolene

    Thank you for this post. I think it needed to be said. I don’t even mention my children on their real names. I wanted to keep my surname secret as well but it got out with a guest post through my gmail account. The only photos of my children is one where they look at one another and I made them blue an cut off half of their faces. I share your paranoia when it comes to our children!!

    June 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm
  • Reply Shaveh

    I have the same paranoia but have really slacked off a lot. I’m now motivated to comb through my posts and rename all of my kids and take inappropriate pics down and watermark as many as I can. It’s so sad that we have to think or stoop to this sick level in order to protect our children.
    Would you be open to sharing (via email) how you did the Jetpack thing? I’m still new at having my blog public, so I’m really keen to learn how to be smart with my content protection.

    June 8, 2017 at 10:56 pm
  • Reply High Heels And Fairy Tales

    Those search terms… they left me so shocked, I had to take a few minutes before I could even read the rest of the post. There are some sick, disgusting monsters out there! People tell me I’m too protective, and too paranoid, and I get the “you’re so uptight as a mom” insinuations too… with all the dangers out there, is it even possible to be too anything when it comes to your child’s safety?

    June 12, 2017 at 9:57 pm
  • Reply GiveLiveLove

    One of my close friends recommended your blog to me, and sent me the link to this one in particular. It’s truly scary what sickos are out there!!

    June 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm
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