Focus on the Family

Dangers of Online Blogs

Like the Internet as a whole, you should be aware of the dangers of online blogs and blogging.

by Focus on the Family

Are you a blogger? You might be. There are more than 71 million blogs out on the Internet. These simple Web sites are often used for news or commentaries on a particular subject. They can also function as personal online diaries. That's where serious trouble can erupt.

The Australian Government's netalert.net.au lists as some of the dangers people (particularly children) can run into if they're not careful when blogging:

In proposing legislation to prosecute pedophiles for meeting children for sex via the Internet, forensic psychologist Rachel O'Connell warned the Scottish Parliament that, "Online journals and cameral phones are a ‘pedophiles' dream." That's because children are naively uploading pictures and giving out details of their everyday lives "because it's an online journal."

The Biggest Danger: Posting Personal Details

Blogging Mommies asks the question, "Do you know who is reading your blog?" Site founder Kelly Brown warns that the beautiful baby pictures you post online for your friends and family to see can also be seen by pedophiles and other nefarious characters. She relates that one mother had done just that, posted pictures of her twins, only to find that someone else had posted her photos on another blog. Needless to say, that unnerving experience had the mother wondering what their intentions were. And who else had seen those pictures?

Brown emphatically warns not to give out too much information. By doing so, you may be giving a stranger information they need to do you or a loved one harm. For instance, are you posting your day-to-day schedule? Are you taking the baby for a walk in a stroller every morning at the City Park? Are you revealing that you're gone from the house by revealing that you have to pick the kids of from school every afternoon at 3:00? Maybe you head out to the gym early every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning (perfect information for a burglar). Or maybe you're now working a business from your home — alone.

Brown advises leaving out specific details: names of places, specific days, and specific times. Are you planning a vacation that will take you out of town for a period of time? Don't reveal when you are leaving or how long you'll be gone. Maybe it would be better to talk about the vacation after you get back.

The Old Goat Trail blog also warns against providing too many personal details:

The Old Goat Trail also notes posting personal details can endanger your family:

You can password-protect your blog, making it only accessible to family members and friends. But the safest course to protect yourself and your loved ones is to leave out the personal details and candid photos.

Blocking Search Engines

Brown also states that, "Google is your conscience, your big brother and it keeps a record of every single word you write on the Internet. You can't be too careful, but there are methods of blocking Google from archiving your blog." She says insert the following code into the section of your blog:

Also, she says you can block other search engines from saving your pages with this code:

And, if you want to stop Google from indexing your blog altogether, insert this into your <head> section: