Privacy In This Age of Social Media, Blogging and Technology

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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I love technology. I breathe technology. But as much as I love it, I know that like any other things in this world, they have a lot of cons. One major thing I guess, and something that concerns me as a parent is - PRIVACY.

privacy-social-media-parenting

Just today, I read this post by a father named Jim about their horrible experience when his daughter was groomed by a pedophile and was almost abducted. The culprit? Snapchat! The pedophile was able to talk to her daughter via Snapchat.

Almost everyday I would read stories about pedophiles getting child pictures and turning them into pornographic materials. People who would use online games to groom their prospects.

Not just that! There are issues of stolen identity, cyber stalking, cyber bullying and a whole lot more.

Some people thought that because I have a blog and I am so active on Social Media, I disregard my family's privacy. But people who know me really well would tell you that what I post on social media and here on the blog is not even a speck of my life.

I am also very conscious on the pictures I post online. The information I provide online. Everything.

While I share bits and pieces of my life, I still value my family's privacy. And as a responsible blogger and parent, I think ensuring our privacy is very crucial.

Here are some things I do to secure my family online:

  • Think before you click. Yes! I know it's a cliche but really, it all starts here. Lots of times I want to rant on my Facebook page but after typing a lengthy post full of rant, I would just end up deleting everything. There are instances wherein I want to comment on something because triggered talaga ako eh, but then I would remember that it won't do anything good. Though of course there are instances wherein I would post rants and stuff but I make sure that I can handle anything people on the internet would throw at me. If I post something online, I know that it will reflect to me as a person or a human being or a parent. I know that I could be judged. I know that people would say something behind my back. And I know that people could use it against me. So I make sure that when I post those stuff na kaya ko sya panindigan.
  • Don't over divulge. My husband and I fight. Yes. Most of the time. But I don't post it on social media. Because I know that my husband and I could fix things and I don't want people privy of my personal affairs. I don't post our whereabouts. I don't blog about our woes as a family. I would probably mention that we have issues but I won't go into details. My finances is not everybody's concern. If may utang ako or wala. Kung may milyones ako sa bangko o wala, di nyo na kelangan malaman yun. Pero kelangan nyong malaman na wala akong milyones sa bangko. Nasa bahay, nakalatag sa kama. Cheret! (Some people argued that they don't over divulge naman daw because they don't say naman the exact things that happened. Pero besh kung sa tuwing may tampuhan kayo ng asawa mo nasa social media na agad sya, oversharing padin yun. Also sometimes, because you do cryptic posts lalo lang napagchichismisan. So besh, most of the time it is best to not say it. Yun eh for me lang naman.)
  • Share your location at least 2 hours after you left. This is a tip I got from non other than Kris Aquino. I practice this all the time unless kelangan ko talaga mag share (hello blogger duties) and most specially if I'm with my daughter. With the rise of Snapchat and IG stories, it is soooo easy to share our whereabouts instantly. But be warned. Stalkers are there lurking somewhere. And even if you don't put your actual location on your posts, it is easy to google things up. For example, I don't usually post that I'm on events because I'm very sure that a simple click on the hashtags would reveal the exact location of the event, the people I'm with, etc. And if it is really needed to post the event real-time, I would sometimes delay it or put extra precaution. I know I sound paranoid but honestly, those little details are very very important.
  • Do not over-share your child's details. I saw one blogger who post a snapshot of her daughter's school details. Yes. The name of the school, her daughter's grade level and section, the names of the people allowed to fetch her daughter. The photo also has her daughter's details - name and DOB. The reason why she posted it? She wants her readers to know that the school fees are super expensive. Uhm! Yeah! If possible, do not post your daughter's school or schedule or level and section. Be very careful when you post photos or videos as well. Sometimes you don't indicate the name of the school or the level and section pero andun naman sa background ng pictures or videos. Curate the photos and videos you'll post online. Make sure that you don't post anything that would give details about your child.
  • Do not post photos or videos of your daughter showing their private parts or any part of the body that's not allowed to be shown in public. I've read stories about people who wants to look at a child's private part and do their yucky things. Yes. Ganun sila katindi. Akala nyo FHM models lang ang "inspiration" ng mga boys (pwede ding girls)? No! May mga walang sikmura na prefer ang children. So do not give them something they could use.
  • Watermark your child's photos. I would usually put my water mark on my daughter's face so people won't be able to "re-use" my daughter's photos. I also make sure that I only share photos na okay naman. Nothing that she would hate me for posting when she grew up.
  • Check your kid's gadgets and social media account (if they have one). My daughter has a Snapchat because we use it to talk. She has an FB pero it's us who handles it. My daughter knows that she is only allowed to use her iPad. She is not allowed to borrow other people's gadgets. First, because I want her to understand the value of ownership and respecting other people's privacy. Second, because her iPad is well curated. The apps are only for kids. Her iTunes account is linked to mine. So all messages, all pictures, all contacts are automatically synced to mine. She can't download apps without my permission and she's using an account fit for kids. Yes, technology has done a lot of things to help us secure our children. We just have to use them well. But even if she is using YouTube Kids I still don't let her surf on her own. The people here at home are trained to make sure that the videos that my child watches is kid-friendly. And that the videos must have sounds so they could hear it. Aside from that I also check her YouTube history and block those that I think is not appropriate for her. So far, I only blocked one because I think the videos are little bit violent for her age. Just a little bit, the comedy is a bit slapstick type but that's it. YouTube Kids for us is doing pretty well. But I know that some parents saw videos disguised as a kiddie video but actually shows porn and suicide on YouTube kids. So we have to be very very careful.
  • Do not share all your private information or if possible, have a public info and a private one. I have 2 emails. 1 is for public and another private. I use the public email for everything that can be used publicly. Accounts on online shopping sites. social media accounts, etc. My private one is for well, more private stuff like online banking. When PRs would send me stuff, I would let them send it to a more secure address. I try not to talk about the company I work with on my blog or social media. I don't share our landline number. Even when putting stuff on forms (online or not), I would only put my public accounts instead of the private ones because those could be easily shared.
It is really difficult to be private these days but it can be done. I value privacy. Minsan sa sobrang value ko ng privacy ang dami daming stuff ang di ko na nasheshare dito.

So guys, please bear in mind that I only post stuff here that I want you to see or hear. While I am honest with everything I say here, the fact still remains that they are the ones I want you to see. And I want you to see good things about me. But it doesn't define me or my life or family's life. We have issues, we have more pressing concerns, we have flaws. And those stuff are not meant to be shared or I don't want to share them at all so you don't see them. I would probably share them in the future if I know they could help you guys out. But still, you'd most probably hear it after the issue is resolved.

Anyway, as parents it is our responsibility to ensure our children's safety and privacy. Sometimes because we want to share so much nakakalimutan na natin na may sariling buhay ang mga anak natin. That there are some things that for sure, they won't want you to share. Or there are some things that we share that actually puts them in danger.

What I lusted here is not 100% guarantee of your safety. But it's a start.

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