Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Online Privacy and Safety -- Physical Safety

The information you post online through social media, scrapbook pages and family trees may jeopardize yourself, your family, your friends or your property.

A friend once "checked me in" to a location without asking. As it turned out, it was not a big deal, but I did ask that she not do it again. You might wonder why. Who really cares if I'm at the LSS for the evening?

If I shared my travel plans, it would reveal to would-be thieves when my home might be vulnerable. Checking in from a ballgame or a trip out of town would indicate my potential return.

But property theft is not the only concern. What if I had a stalker or was trying to escape domestic violence? Revealing my plans or current location could be dangerous to myself and those around me.

My cousin's husband works with sex offenders. What if one of his clients found his name in my online family tree and learned the names of his wife and children? Could their safety be compromised? In this case, I include him and his children with just the first letter of the last name, while my cousin is, of course, identified by maiden name only.

Another example is a child in foster care who lived briefly with my daughter and granddaughters. For the safety of all concerned, her face was masked in all scrapbook pages where she was featured.

Generations Digital Kit from ClubScrap

It's not possible to know all the safety concerns of everyone in our lives. When in doubt about sharing information about others, please ask.

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