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December 30, 2010


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I completely agree with you. I wrote a post about our children's photos being on our blogs a few months back. I feel that some times we get so comfortable on twitter and our blog we forget we don't really know these people.


I try to be cautious when talking on Twitter but the other day I replied to a couple of tweets from someone who was not who they appeared to be. It shook me up a bit to be honest, and I'm more on my guard now.

I talk to my daughters about being careful online, so I try and heed by my own advice. So with my blog I don't publish recognisable photos of my girls, hardly any photos at all actually, and I use pseudonyms for all three of us.

Great post Rosie, be careful but enjoy it too.


It's always been a problem, even before computer mediated conversation started people were getting scammed over the phone by people pretending to be someone they weren't- banks phoning up, asking you to confirm account details and passwords etc.

I think the concept of the internet and privacy is summed up well here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/buriednexttoyou/5095255302/

Rosie Scribble

I agree. It is easy to become comfortable posting about yourself on the internet and feeling you are writing for a close band of readers, when in fact it is all in the public domain. I often forget that.

Rosie Scribble

nSM, I heard about that too and it's bothered me ever since. One good things is that it has acted as a reminder to be cautious. I plan to warn my daughter about the internet too. I think I'd be very concerned if she was writing in great detail about herself on life, and yet ...

Rosie Scribble

Excellent point, Alex. I've had many people calling me in the past pretending to be from my mobile phone company then offering me a better deal with their company. That flickr photo does sum it up very well. There's the internet and theirs our privacy, they don't go particularly well together. I think we can still enjoy social media but there's still a need to remember we are putting information out into the public domain for anyone to see, if they want to. Thanks for commenting.

Nic's Notebook

Yep it is worth thinking about & a bit scary! I have never thought for one second that this could actually happen to me...

Rosie Scribble

It is a bit scary. I don't think there is a need to panic, just to be a little cautious.

Michelle Twin Mum

I find that if I think about this too much, it actually comepletely freaks me out andI woudl never blog, chat again.

A few years back I was tracked down by someone I knew as a kid because I had too much info on friends reunited and then when facebook first started I had no idea the privacy was so open - stupid me!

Recently someone pointed out to me about using school photos of our kids and anyone being able to enlarge the school logo.

I have taken my surname off facebook and removed my email address and set upa blog email address. I am trying to be careful but I find it hard to knwo what I should so whilst satisying my blogging (or should I call it blurting!) need.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year Rosie.

Mich x


Interesting post. I'm always shocked as to the information some people put on the Internet about them and their families.

Rosie Scribble

I agree with you completely, Michelle. If I thought about it too much I could drive myself mad and turn the internet off altogether. I have, in fact, had sleepless nights over it. Like you I stick to my blog name for emails and even on Facebook. I know many teenagers who have had open Facebook profiles until their parents have realised this and told them to alter their privacy settings. They simply didn't know.

I'm with you on the concern about school logos too. I've always made sure never to include my daughter's school tie in photos, just to be extra careful. More for peace of mind than anything else.

Happy New Year to you too x

Rosie Scribble

I think it is certainly possible to disclose a little too much at times. Hard to know where to draw the line sometimes. I prefer to say too little rather than too much.

Sally Whittle

I remember being laughed at by another blogger when I said that I would never trust someone until I'd looked them in the eye.

I've been teased a little for that comment ever since, but I stand by it. There are all kinds of things we pick up from people when we meet them in person that we never get from a screen of text, no matter how open it might appear to be. There are countless people I know online and thought I wouldn't like - then I met them and it turned out they were lovely. And the reverse is true, too.

That said, I'm realistic - I run a company and own .com domains so my name and address are part of the public record. Anyone could find me if they particularly wanted to. I can make that a little harder by not being obvious, but I think everyone needs to make a personal risk assessment and judge what works for them - to fully benefit from social media, you have to accept and manage some level of risk, I think.

Rosie Scribble

I think it's possible to get a gist of what someone is like online but I agree with you completely. I also need to look someone in the eye to know if you can really trust them. I'm even cautious then but that's just my nature. For me, verbal cues are extremely important. Having said that, many of the bloggers I've met have been as nice offline as on.

A personal risk assessment makes sense. As you say, there is an element of risk. It's one I'm perpared to take but at times it does make me nervous.


Interesting, I met @northernmum1 yesterday, for the first time. Our friendship has developed entirely on twitter. Some of my friends thought I was mad, of course, everyone thought I would be murdered.
Actually, everyone thought the same would happen to her. We had a cup of tea and it was really great to meet another tweeter/mummyblogger.
I work in the voluntary sector we have to consider such issues when recruiting, are people who they say they are?
In my experience follow your instincts, and your gut feelings. If someone isn't who they say it's difficult to keep the pretence up, particularly amongst other experienced parents, they will slip up.
Don't get too paranoid, otherwise you may miss great opportunities like I had yesterday.

Rosie Scribble

I agree with you completely about following your instincts and your gut feeling. It is harder to do online but also possible especially with bloggers you talk to a lot on twitter and whose blogs you read. I met a lot of wonderful bloggers at Cybermummy earlier this year - going off to meet a large group of 'friends' I didn't actually know in real life seemed strange too, and possibly a bit mad, but it was definitely worth it. Best not to be too paranoid, as you say. I think it is harder to know who you are really talking to on twitter but you have proved it works.

Mwa (Lost in Translation)

It is worth thinking about absolutely. And I think that's the reason I'm still quite anonymous online. I'm scared of the weirdos.


Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Rosie. I feel I am very careful about what I post. I never post photos of my children anywhere on-line, nor refer to them by name. I try to stick to writing/ work related topics too (suspect that hasn't initiated a stampede over to my tweets ;-) but sometimes I wonder if we're all a bit naive about how much information we are subconsciously giving away when we tweet, comment on Facebook, post a blog entry, publish our website - however careful we think we are.
I do take some comfort in the fact that there are billions doing the same so you do have a very good chance of not being the unlucky one if you take reasonable care. I have six Internet birthdays and the same number of email addresses in the hope I will be too difficult to tap for identity theft - here's hoping!

Finally, for any who are new to Facebook, don't answer the quizzes/ causes which require access to your friends list etc., however tempting, unless you want your friends bombarded with emails from Nigerian business men who have a small fortune they wish to share with you ...


Great post Rosie! I needed to be reminded of this!

Scottish Mum

This is always worth remembering and is the reason I don't use any pictures of my children online at all.

Heather Davis

Really good post Rosie! Sorry it has taken me so long to find it. I've been catching up on a lot of posts. I have been thinking about this a lot recently and have pulled back from twitter and generally just putting myself out there too much on the Internet. I have older children who use the Internet and am always cautioning them - not just about the people they talk to but the amount of time they spend on it. Teenagers can quite literally spend their lives on facebook!! When I was spending my evenings on twitter they began to throw it back at me and I realised I was being a hypocrite. I want them interacting with real friends, playing, reading, doing school work etc. Everything in moderation right? When I went to a bloggers meet up I also wondered about the message I was sending. Again I would be horrified if they told me they were going to meet someone they had met online. It's all such new ground and I don't think we have got it right yet. I just know I need to be careful in order to send out the right messages to my kids. I was actually going to blog about this and might now that I've read yours! You've inspired me.

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