It is back to school season and everyone is gearing up…literally. Backpacks are packed, school clothes are ready and those adorable chalkboards with all the details of your child are drawn. Except in our home, and here is why my children’s online protection is important.
I love those chalkboards, I love how much they tell us about your child’s interests and school and teacher and other awesome stuff about your awesome kids. I adore how much work parents put into them and how cute your children look when they are paired up with their school chalkboards. However, those chalkboards aren’t for us and it is ok if they are not for you either.
When I look at some of those adorable chalkboards, I see some great statistics about your kids. Things like their age, sometimes their birthday and often their school and/or teacher name. The paranoid mom in me sees just too much information out there for a dangerous person to know about my kids.
You will never see my kids teachers names or school name out there. Why? Because Google, Linked In, school websites and social media. It is so easy for me to google your kids teachers last name and state and find out precisely which school they work at. Most school districts have teachers listed on their website for contact purposes, so even if you think you are being sly by only writing their name, you are forgetting how easy it is to access information. I do not need some stranger to know exactly where to find my kids so I won’t be writing that on a chalkboard.
Favorite foods, TV show and even future endeavors. All great things for a child predator to use to lure your child to them. As much as we would like to believe that our profiles are locked down, they are not. Information is out there and so are photos of your sweet babies.
All someone with bad intentions needs is the details that your kid has shared privately with you to help them harm your child. What I mean is that if they can easily find their school, they may be able to approach your child (be it following you home, or following the bus or whatever…bad guys are sneaky) and they may use the information on that chalkboard to start a conversation with your kid and get them to trust them. That is going to be a big no from me, I will just keep that to myself.
Children’s Online Protection
I am fully aware that my information is on the internet. I am fully aware that I have made the choice to have my children as a big part of this blog and online as well. I take care to not use their names often, to make sure that I do not mention their school or their teachers. I don’t post photos of them in spirit wear or in front of their school building.
Once they outgrew the baby stage, I began to ask them if they were ok if mommy posted photos of them online. There will come a time when they ask me to stop posting about them, and I will 100% follow their wishes. I have had slip ups, I am not perfect, but I am trying to do what I can to protect them from people that know us, but that we do not know personally. I realize that I put my family out there, but I am also vigilant about making sure that I am protecting there personal lives, interests, locations and more.
I love those first day of school pictures, I absolutely adore that parents want to document these major milestones and I encourage everyone to do so. Just be aware of what you are posting in terms of your children’s personal information. You never know who is watching.