Safe blogging (continued)

I was reading my feeds and came across this via Vicki D. I must admit I am shocked. These rules boggle my mind. I definitely haven’t been this careful.

“Don’t use your real name. Don’t identify your real address. Be careful about the background of the pictures that you use” (not too identifying).

And here are the risks – “identity thieves, sexual predators, property thieves “(don’t worry I don’t own anything worth stealing).”

So I’m wondering – I’m pretty sure Doug Johnson uses his real name, and I’ve seen a picture of his grandkids. I think Christopher Long uses his real name and posts a picture of his cute child – Beckett (I think). So are these rules over the top or am I naive? How do you people decide what is safe to post. I’d love to see some real discussion here.

I want to know!



Filed under blogging, safety

9 responses to “Safe blogging (continued)

  1. I think there is a difference between professionals who blog and children blogging. I use my real name also, however, this is a copy of the rules I give to parents who are looking to advise their children.

  2. Susan,
    I recently participated in an online conference regarding blogging in Higher Education which had a discussion that was very similar. I’ve seen all kinds of different rules and such that explain what you should and should not do when it comes to blogging and safety. My take, is that as a professional, we should be using our names, identifying us to others. We should also take care in giving out our addresses and numbers, our email and other such things. For kids, I’d follow the same rules I do with them and friends. I would like to know who they are, who the parents are and other such information. Having said that, all that could be boggus. However, common sense is something, that if you possess it, will provide you with a good sense of what your child should do and what you should do on line. We also have to understand that the idea of privacy is much different among younger adults and teens that it is for us. That is part of their world of connecting. There will always be those who try to use anything for dishonest or other terrible means. But we cannot hide our heads and avoid it. I’m watching parents who are so freaked out by what they see and hear about the net that their kids cannot use the school computers. In the end, rules or no rules, some still get hurt.

  3. Thanks for the pointers and the link. I’ll check it out.

  4. Donna Desroches

    Hi Susan,

    I have recently been taken with Will Richardson’s idea of being clickable,,
    and the opportunities it provides for learning from others who respond to what I have to say. We often encourage students to use a pseudonym and give false e-mail addresses. I wonder what kind of messages we are giving them about being on the web — and what freedoms they assume this gives them in a virtual environment when we suggest it is better to be anonymous?

    I have explored this a bit further on

  5. Pingback: Privacy at The Illuminated Dragon

  6. Susan (as if that’s who you really are), great question. For young people, I think the rules are a bit different due to predators… A while back, I decided to have an open & transparent web presence. Perhaps I have an alternate persona online, but I’d never admit it. I see the web as a way to network & publish; why would I want to hide?


    /s/ Peter

  7. Hi Susan,

    I do have pictures of my grandkids online and if someone had the tenacity. he could probably figure out quite a lot about them. I do not mention last names. I consider it a minimal risk.

    Oh, in regard to your blog yesterday, I am a fairly safe character to meet in person. But it is sort of thrilling to be thought of as potentially dangerous.


  8. I feel it’s a minimal risk as well. Although if I talk about my kids, their last name can be presumed. It wouldn’t be that hard to find us. I think it probably comes down to stranger safety and given that we are still with them most of the time. The risk is small.

    Thanks for the feedback.


  9. Hi Peter,

    Your comment got caught in moderation. Thanks for weighing in. It might be interesting to crete imaginary online personas (personi? 🙂 ) with students. I wonder how that would change things! When I started my blog, I stayed fairly impersonal. Several ‘star’ bloggers encouraged a more personal approach. I believe it is the individuality of a blog which makes readers return. If I take myself out of the blog, what is there to read?

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